Faith groups attack usury

By Simon Rocker, July 23, 2009

A campaign against excessive interest rates was launched with interfaith backing at Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks, in the heart of the City of London on Wednesday.

Christian and Muslim representatives joined Rabbi Natan Asmoucha at the synagogue before setting off for a rally at Spitalfields, organised by the charity London Citizens.

Rabbi Asmoucha explained that the protest was not against lending as such but against “high interest rates which keep people from ever getting out of debt”.


MP urges teenage dialogue with Muslims

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 16, 2009

Muslims and Jews as young as 13 should be mixing on a regular basis according to Ivan Lewis, the Foreign Office Minister and Bury South MP.


Young ParliaMentors make interfaith gains

By Simon Rocker, June 25, 2009

The Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, has saluted a “tremendously innovative” scheme to promote contacts between young Jews, Muslims and Christians.

She hosted a House of Lords reception for the second group of graduates of the Three Faiths Forum’s “ParliaMentors” programme, in which teams of students from the three religions undertake projects under the tutelage of an MP.

“The worse the global situation, the more important it is that individuals don’t retreat into nihilism and believe they can’t do anything,” Baroness Hayman said.


Welcome visit

May 27, 2009

The Pope’s visit to Israel was “a great contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations”, Rabbi David Rosen, of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, told the Council of Christians and Jews.


Board of Deputies: 'Time to link up with Sikhs and Buddhists'

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

Jews in Britain should expand interfaith contacts beyond Christians and Muslims to include members of other religions, according to a new report.

While 71 per cent of interfaith events involving Jews included Christians, and 52 per cent Muslims, only 10 per cent involved Hindus and nine per cent Sikhs.

“There is considerable scope to expand the contacts with Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Baha’is and other religions in interfaith activities,” writes Dr Keith Kahn-Harris in Communities in Conversation.


Blears praises shuls for interfaith work

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

More than three-quarters of mainstream synagogues do some kind of interfaith work, according to a survey to be published next week by the Board of Deputies.

The results “show what some may think of as a surprising degree of engagement in interfaith activity by the broad swathe of our community,” said Board chief executive Jon Benjamin. “But this confirms what many of us already know — that the Jewish community is keen to play its part in wider society and to share its experience of successfully integrating into British society.”


Students join Blair interfaith project

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2009

Two Jewish students have been selected to take part in a Tony Blair Faith Foundation leadership programme tackling malaria.

Natasha Steele, from Edgware, and Stanmore-based Zac Newman will join eight other Faiths Act Fellows from Britain on the 10-month scheme.

They will undergo training in Africa and the United States with fellows from Canada and the US, before returning to the UK where they will work in interfaith pairs educating religious communities about the dangers of the disease.


Ethnic communities vow to ease interfaith tensions

By Simon Rocker, April 2, 2009

A new interfaith group has been launched to try to prevent foreign conflicts causing tensions between religious communities in London.

Called United London Stands, it has emerged out of contacts between the London Jewish Forum and the City Circle, an independent group of young British Muslims.


Tony Blair urges faiths to make difference

April 2, 2009

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken passionately about the importance of all faiths uniting to make a difference to global poverty and conflict.

He made his comments at a central London fundraising breakfast in which the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) joined with World Jewish Relief for the first time to raise awareness of and funds for both organisations’ vital work in Africa.


Play performed by Jews and Muslims is celebrated in Lords

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2009

On Sunday night, London’s Tricycle Theatre staged a play with a difference about the recent Gaza war — it was performed by a group of young local Muslims and Jews.

Homecoming was the latest project of Muju, the Muslim-Jewish arts group founded four years ago.

“People had warned us against doing it because it’s such an emotive issue,” said Georgina Bednar, who co-chairs Muju with Salman Siddiqui. “But we wanted to face the elephant in the room — which we did to a sell-out audience.”