Ramadan fast ends in shul
Muslims were invited to the New London Synagogue in St John's Wood on Tuesday for an Iftar meal to break the daily fast during Ramadan.
Alif-Aleph, promoting interfaith dialogue, has organised an annual Iftar event since 2003, celebrating similarities in the religions, traditions and food of Jews and Muslims.
"It's a great opportunity to meet and talk to Muslims," said New London member Vera Morris as guests tucked into a buffet of salmon bagels, cakes and dates.
Around 40 people were at the celebration, a number of them from the Turnpike Lane Mosque. The group included student Mash-Fiqul Alam, who has a keen interest in Jewish history and interfaith activities. "A lot of people are surprised to hear that I am a supporter of Israel," he said.
As guests gathered around a sefer Torah, Lester Kershenbaum explained that the Arabic roots of Sephardi Jews had resulted in similar prayer melodies. Participants from both communities emphasised the importance of providing platforms for them to relate to one another.
In his concluding remarks, Alif-Aleph founder Dr Richard Stone declared: "We are both ethnic minorities, and together we can be stronger."