GOARCH - October 29, 1998

Archbishop Spyridon Welcomes American Sephardic Delegation
to Discuss Issues of Mutual Concern and Visit to Patriarchate

New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, today, October 29, welcomed a delegation of the American Sephardic Federation, led by President Leon Levy, and held extensive discussion of issues of mutual concern. The Federation also expressed a desire to meet with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during an upcoming visit to Turkey. His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon gave his assurance that he would facilitate the visit and convey the warm wishes of Mr. Levy to His All Holiness.

Following opening comments and an exchange of gifts, the meeting proceeded with a discussion of several issues. These included the similarities in traditions and history between Sephardic Jews and the Greek Orthodox Community; the importance of the Wye River Summit and the concerns for the Greek Orthodox in the Middle East including the Islamification by the Palistinian Authority of Christian holy sites, the status of Jerusalem, the status of minorities in Turkey, and the increasingly close ties that Israel is developing with Turkey.

Members of the American Sephardic Federation in addition to Leon Levy included Jayne Rosengarten, Exectuve Director; Amy D. Goldstein, Public Policy Chairman and Director of Israel, Zionist and International Affairs for Hadassah; and Cliff Russo, member of the Board of Directors and representative of the Greek Jewish Community in the United States. The Archdiocese participants, in addition to His Eminence, included Protopresbyter George Passias, Chancellor; Father Mark Arey, Executive Director of Communications and Father Philemon Sevastiades, Director of Publications and Interfaith Relations Liaison.

  October 29, 1998 ]