Interfaith

Sharing more than Abraham

By Fiyaz Mughal, December 24, 2010

I have just returned from Berlin where I attended a conference with the Council of Christians and Jews to look at the possibility of trilateral discussions involving Muslims, Christians and Jews and historical narratives.

The common theme for the future seemed to be what Abraham means to the three faiths, and two fascinating days were spent discussing how this great prophet could be a bridge for interfaith discussions between the three faiths.

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Europe's Muslim and Jewish leaders meet, discuss co-operation

By Jennifer Lipman, December 8, 2010

Leaders of Europe’s Jewish and Muslim communities have met in Brussels in an effort to encourage greater religious co-operation.

Some 50 people from countries including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, attended Monday’s meeting.

It was organised by the European Jewish Congress (EJC) along with the World Jewish Congress and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

British Muslim representatives included Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters and Mohamed Zina, co-chair of the Muslim-Jewish Forum.

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Interfaith Arts Festival

December 1, 2010

Visitors enjoyed a look at the work of Muslim, Christian and Jewish artists at the Interfaith Arts Festival in London last week.

Held at the Candid Arts Gallery in Islington, the festival was organised by the Three Faiths Forum to mark National Interfaith Week

Stephen Shashoua, director of the Three Faiths Forum, said: "London is an incredibly diverse city, but there are very few opportunities for people to really engage at this level with anyone outside their own religious or cultural group.

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African rabbi in bid to become first Ugandan Jewish MP

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010

A Ugandan Jew who grew up under the Idi Amin regime is hoping to become the first rabbi serving in a national parliament outside of Israel or Europe.

If Gershom Sizomu is elected he will also be the first Ugandan Jew elected to national office.

The African country goes to the polls in February 2011 and this week Rabbi Sizomu will find out if his application to stand for the parliamentary seat of Bungonkho North, in the city of Mbale, has been accepted by the electoral commission.

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On this day: Daniel Barenboim is born

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

Born in Buenos Aires, his Russian-Jewish parents taught him piano from the age of five and by seven he was performing in public. When he was 11 the family moved to Tel Aviv.

At a young age he attracted the attention of renowned conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, who described the young musician as “a phenomenon”. By 1957, Barenboim was playing Prokofiev professionally on a New York stage and is now known as one of the most influential conductors in the world.

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IDF's first Arab officer: 'It's my duty'

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A 26-year-old who has become the first Israeli Arab officer in the IDF has called for more members of his community to fight for the country.

Lieutenant Hisham Abu Rayya has faced outrage in his community and accusations that he is a traitor for taking on the role.

But he told The Times that serving in the Israeli army, and even protecting a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, was “my duty to my country”.

Lieutenant Abu Raaya rubbished claims that the reason Arab teenagers opt not to join the Israeli army is down to discrimination.

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A bite at interfaith follows kosher food

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A kiddush for 100 Christians at a Leeds synagogue has spawned a new interfaith initiative to create a Jewish heritage day out for schoolchildren and faith groups.

Three weeks ago Alwoodley's Etz Chaim Synagogue hosted 100 members of the neighbouring St John the Evangelist Church which was looking for a large reception venue after a major ceremony. The food had to be kosher so the synagogue laid on a kosher Christian kiddush.

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Blair to launch Haifa human rights celebration

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Tony Blair is to open an annual human rights event in Haifa this Chanucah.

The former UK prime minister will virtually launch the Leo Baeck Education Centre’s celebration of International Human Rights Day by lighting a candle on the first night of the festival.

Mr Blair will be opening the event on behalf of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

A special prayer has also been composed by rabbis from the Centre as a symbol of “commitment, as human beings, as Jews and so importantly for us at this time, as Israelis, to the values of Human Rights”.

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Wiesel: build interfaith centre at Ground Zero

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2010

Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel has called for the establishment of an interfaith centre near the site of the September 11 terror attacks rather than the controversial “Ground Zero mosque.”

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A new chapter in interfaith?

By Ed Kessler, September 21, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, proclaimed a "friendship across faiths" as he introduced Pope Benedict XVI to a select group of 100 representatives of Britain's religious communities in London.

It was the Vatican's Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965 that "brought about the single greatest transformation in interfaith relations in recent history," the Chief Rabbi said, "and we recognise your visit today as a new chapter in that story and a vital one".

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