During the course of their meeting in Amman in October 2011, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land decided to establish a Commission for relations with the members of other religions in the Holy Land – Muslims, Jews and Druze. The Committee for Relations with the Jews had its first meeting on February 24, 2012.
After some months of planning, the seven members of the new Committee for Relations with the Jews, working under the auspices of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, met in the offices of the Maronite Archdiocese in Haifa on Friday, February 24, 2012. The members of the committee include representatives of the different parts of the Catholic Church, named by the various Ordinaries:
Rev. David Neuhaus SJ, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics and Migrants in Israel (chairperson),
Rev. Yuhanna Bshouty, Greek Catholic parish priest of Jdeideh,
Rev. Rafic Nahra, of the Hebrew speaking Vicariate and Maronite Church,
Deacon Sobhy Makhoul, Maronite Archdiocese,
Sister Reem Obeid SJA, representative of the Union of Women Religious,
Ms. Margaret Karram, Focalari Movement
Mr. Wadie Abunassar, public affairs advisor.
The first meeting was consecrated to clearly defining the need for this committee and putting in place a program of action that this committee can accomplish. The members also undertook to study the documents of the Catholic Church, the teaching of the universal Church, the documents of the 2000 Pastoral Plan of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, the documents of the 2010 Synod of the Catholic Church in the Middle East and the documents of the local Ordinaries.