Deputies at mosque exhibition

By Simon Rocker, August 12, 2010

A Board of Deputies delegation toured an exhibition on Islam's relations with other faiths at the Islamic Cultural Centre at the Regents Park Mosque in London.

Shahid Munir, director of research for Exhibition Islam, reported "a lot of enthusiasm from the Jewish community" for the display.

A particular highlight, he said, was a rare showing "of Torah scrolls which were written across the Islamic world where sofers [scribes] wrote in many exquisite styles".

Rabbis were also taken around the exhibition by Mehri Niknam, founder of interfaith charity the Joseph Foundation.


Jews and Muslims discuss Islamophobia and antisemitism

By Beth Alexander, August 12, 2010

Sixty-five delegates from more than 25 countries gathered at the University of Vienna this week for the MuslimJewish conference, the first of its kind to be held in Europe.

The brainchild of Ilja Sichrovsky, 27, a Jewish International Development student from Vienna, the week-long conference aimed to engage Muslim, Jewish and Christian students in meaningful dialogue.


Israel trip for Jews, Muslims and Christians

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

An interfaith group is encouraging Jews, Christians and Muslims to join a study trip to Israel examining ways to bring peace to the Middle East.

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is a Christian-led independent charity in east London.

It will run the eight-day "study and encounter" tour of Israel in November. Participants will be expected to work together to investigate how to create productive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.


Interfaith support for opposition to food labelling

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

Muslim leaders have joined the concern expressed over new EU regulations which mean kosher and halal meat will be labelled “meat from slaughter without stunning”.

The European Parliament voted in favour of the amendment to the provision of food information to consumers last month, just two weeks after New Zealand banned the kosher slaughter of animals.

The decision, which only applies to food killed by religious slaughter, was widely condemned by the Jewish community with Henry Grunwald, chairman of Shechita UK, calling it “discriminatory”,


Chief Rabbi slams Methodist report

By Simon Rocker, June 23, 2010

The Chief Rabbi and other Jewish presidents of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) have expressed their concern about a report on Israel prepared by the Methodist Church.

The document, which is to be debated at the church's national conference later this month, calls for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza".

The Methodist Church has already faced criticism for demonising Israel from Jewish organisations in London and Manchester.


Uproar over Methodist Israel report

By Simon Rocker, June 17, 2010

Jewish leaders have condemned a "skewed" report on Israel prepared by the Methodist Church, warning it could set back interfaith relations for years.

The report, which is to be debated at the church's national conference later this month, calls for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza".

Over the past few days, Jewish organisations in London and Manchester have protested about its contents in meetings with Methodist representatives.


Muslims say Israel is key to dialogue

June 3, 2010

Jews and Muslims involved in interfaith work have differing ideas about discussing Israel in their dialogue groups.

In Manchester, Lucille Cohen, the new president of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council, has said that on the whole she believes that "if it's appropriate, leave Israel on the side".

Mrs Cohen, the former president of the Zionist Central Council, is also involved with the Altrincham Interfaith Group.


UK Jews and Muslims can co-exist

By Ed Husain, March 11, 2010

A few days ago, I listened to a speech by Foreign Secretary David Miliband at the historic Brick Lane Mosque. The mosque was once a thriving synagogue, and before that a Huguenot church. As a child, I remember seeing mezuzahs on door frames, and buying groceries from a Jewish shop with my father. And though it was widely, if erroneously, believed that the local MP, Peter Shore, was Jewish, he spoke regularly at the mosque. There was no animosity between Jews and Muslims in the East End of my childhood.


Schools unite in interfaith celebration

December 9, 2009

Pupils at the Akiva Primary in Finchley were joined by their Catholic counterparts from the neighbouring St Theresa’s School to celebrate the presentation of an award to interfaith relations pioneer Sir Sigmund Sternberg by the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

The pupils gave performances about Chanucah and Christmas before Sir Sigmund received a star to add to his papal knighthood, awarded in 1985 in recognition of efforts to promote relations between Jews and Catholics.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also addressed the gathering.


Promoting peace between Jewish students and Palestinian activists

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Trying to convince Palestinian farmers in Ramallah of the benefits of a two-state solution is no easy task. But doing the same with pro-Palestinian students in Britain can be even harder.

Members of OneVoice, the grassroots movement which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote co-existence and conflict resolution, yesterday completed a challenging two-week campus tour.

Palestinian Dina Jaber and her Israeli colleague Beata Krants faced the challenge of convincing some of the most vocal advocates from both sides that a peaceful conclusion is achievable.