(JNS.org) England’s new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will visit Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, and Jordan next week. Welby, whose father was Jewish, recently discovered that he had lost relatives in the Holocaust and on his trip to Israel will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
After Welby was appointed as the head of the Church of England in November 2012, he found out that his father was born a Jew. Welby’s Jewish grandfather, Bernard Weiler, came to England from Germany in in the late 19th century and married Londoner Edith James. Weiler and James were both described as “Hebrews” on the ship registry of an overseas trip they took.
“[Welby] realizes that the issue of Israel-Palestine is very difficult between Christians and Jews and will see how we can still talk despite what’s going on. He has the empathy to listen to every side, and listens to people of faith,” said Rev. David Gifford, CEO of the Council of Christians and Jews, according to the Times of Israel.