Apology: FDI World Dental Congress 2023 and Yom Kippur date clash
FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) wish to jointly state our sincere apologies that the annual World Dental Congress scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia from 24 to 27 September 2023, clashes with Yom Kippur (24 to 25 September) the holiest day of the year in Judaism. In particular, we apologize whole heartedly for any offence it may have caused to our Jewish members, friends, colleagues and partners.
Whilst regretfully the global pandemic led to extremely limited availability of dates for this year’s event, which was rescheduled from 2021, the FDI and ADA acknowledge that our shared core value of inclusivity has been compromised and we must do better to avoid such conflicts going forward. We have learned from this unfortunate situation and have committed to immediate and thorough due diligence, for all future congresses, meetings and events, to avoid dates of religious significance.
The FDI and ADA wish to sincerely thank key members of the Jewish dental community in Australia, with whom we have been working in order to find every solution possible to ensure the importance of Yom Kippur is truly respected. These include but are not limited to:
- Moving the Congress opening ceremony to prevent a clash with the Yom Kippur fast.
- Extending the trade show each night to allow our Jewish dentists, partners, exhibitors and colleagues to compensate for any time lost at the exhibition.
- Adjusting the main scientific programme to ensure Jewish speakers can observe Yom Kippur, and making exclusive plans for faith observances at the meeting venue.
- Liaising with the Great Synagogue (Orthodox Judaism) on Castlereagh Street Sydney, which as a result will now welcome out of town Jewish delegates to attend the Yom Kippur services.
- Contacting Temple Beth Emmanuel in Chatswood (Progressive / Reform Judaism) to inquire if Jewish delegates can attend their services during Yom Kippur.
While we recognize that this may not be the ideal outcome for our Jewish community, we thank you for your understanding of the incredibly difficult conference environment we face due to the pandemic, but most importantly seek to clarify how seriously the FDI and ADA have taken the issue, and sincerely hope that all affected find some solace in the solutions presented. Above all, we emphasise our commitment to not allowing this to occur again.