The ICCJ welcomes a new President and a new Executive Board

07.07.2017 * Elections for ICCJ President, Treasurer and Executive Board were held on Thursday July 6th in Bonn, Germany. The elections took place during the Annual General Meeting of the ICCJ, and each candidate was elected for a tenure of three years.

from left to right: Abi Pitum (treasurer), Bo Sandahl (president), Liliane Apotheker (first vice president), Debbie Weissman (former immediate past president), Michael Trainor (board member), Pavol Bargár (second vice president), Samuel Szteinhendler (board member), Phil Cunningham (immediate past president), Willy Weisz (board member)


Rev. Dr Bo Sandahl was elected new ICCJ President, succeeding Prof. Dr Philip Cunningham who has served as ICCJ President during the past three years. Bo Sandahl was ordained in the Church of Sweden in 1986, holds a Doctorate in Systematic Theology from Lund University and has served as a Vicar for the past eleven years. Earlier this year he was appointed Dean of the Diocese of Lund, where he is in the process of assuming office. His involvement in interreligious dialogue began in the early eighties when he studied in Jerusalem, and he has previously served as Chair of ICCJ member organization Samarbetsrådet för judar och kristna in the region of South Sweden for a period of ten years.

Prof. Dr Abi Pitum was re-elected as ICCJ Treasurer. An ICCJ veteran, Abi Pitum resides in Munich and has served on the board of the Jewish Community of Munich since the seventies. He is currently Vice President of the International Martin Buber Foundation, executive board member of the Deutscher Koordinierungsrat and of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Besides his involvement in Jewish and interreligious associations, Abi Pitum is also Honorary Consul General of Mongolia. As ICCJ Treasurer, Abi Pitum has been very successful and is much appreciated for his efforts.

Liliane Apotheker was re-elected as First Vice President of the ICCJ. Born in Antwerp, Liliane Apotheker currently resides in Paris/London and has chaired two very successful ICCJ conferences in recent years, most recently the Bonn conference. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, fluent in five languages and has been involved in interreligious dialogue for a number of years.

Dr Pavol Bargar was elected as Second Vice President of the ICCJ, following a successful tenure as board member since the 2014 election in Buenos Aires. Pavol Bargar is a researcher at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague and has served as Chair of the Czech Council of Christians and Jews in the past. He serves on a number of editorial boards and is a prolific writer in both Slovak/Czech and English.

Rabbi Samuel Szteinhendler was re-elected as Executive Board member. A Masorti Rabbi in Santiago de Chile and Cuba, Samuel Szteinhendler has served on the ICCJ Executive Board since 2014 and is largely responsible for the re-kindling of interreligious cooperation in several countries in Latin America. He was ordained as Rabbi at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer in Argentina and has held numerous executive positions in Rabbinical assemblies since, while concurrently serving as Professor, Counselor and/or School Principal.

Rev. Dr Michael Trainor was re-elected as Executive Board member. His involvement in numerous international, national and local interfaith initiatives has awarded him the Order of Australia in 2007 by the Australian Government. He resides in Adelaide where he serves as a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese, and as a Senior Lecturer in Biblical studies at the Australian Catholic University. He was recently elected Chair of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews and chairs the theological committee of the ICCJ, in addition to being a prolific contributor to various publications.

Dr Willy Weisz was elected as Executive Board member of the ICCJ and this will be the first time he serves on the ICCJ Executive Board. Based in Vienna, Willy Weisz is a retired scientist and lecturer who volunteers in the care for Jewish patients at the General Hospital in Vienna, and is an active member of the Austrian Coordinating Committee for Jewish-Christian Dialogue since over ten years. An experienced educator and lecturer on Judaism, Willy Weisz has published numerous articles in books and journals.

The members of the ICCJ Executive Board introduce themselves here (PDF-file).