London meeting of Muslim and Jewish leaders hailed as 'really special'

By Sandy Rashty, March 26, 2014

An Iraqi-Muslim academic today described a meeting of religious leaders from Israel, Iran and Iraq as “a really special event”.

The religious leaders flew to the UK in a groundbreaking bid to forge ties and resolve the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.


Muslim-Jewish group’s secret recipe for true friendship

By Rosa Doherty, March 7, 2014

Jews and Muslims in Manchester have created a shining example of communal co-operation. The Muslim Jewish Forum has spent a decade cementing ties between the two groups in the city. Such are its achievements that it was recently recognised with a national award.

But ask its members what the secret of its success is, and the answer is very simple — “Don’t mention the Middle East”.


Nuns celebrate return of convent’s megillah

By Simon Rocker, March 6, 2014

An antique megillah restored by a London scribe was returned this week to its owner — a convent of nuns in the West End.

The Tyburn Nuns, who belong to a Benedictine order, received the scroll of Esther as a gift from an American supporter of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

The heroine of the Megillah, which will be read by Jews at Purim in a few days time, has resonance for the nuns.


Government's £3 million boost for interfaith projects

By Marcus Dysch, March 5, 2014

The Near Neighbours programme supports grassroots groups which work with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist organisations.

Funding announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government will help the initiative extend its work in areas with large Jewish communities, including north-west London, Leeds and Bury, Lancashire.


Mixed-faith couples discuss the challenges they face

By Charlotte Oliver, February 13, 2014

Reform Judaism's senior rabbi has urged recognition and celebration of the fact that mixed-faith couples were "fundamentally integrated into Jewish life".

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner highlighted the need to embrace diversity at the annual "I'm Jewish, My Partner Isn't" seminar, held on Sunday at Finchley's Sternberg Centre.

Liberal and Reform rabbis and counsellors joined couples for the eve


Saudi Interfaith Forum: ‘The world has never looked more malleable’

By Orlando Radice, November 28, 2013

When it was founded in 2011, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (Kaiciid) appeared to the world as an incongruous outfit.

The idea that Saudi Arabia was creating a hub for interreligious education looked like a PR stunt from what is seen as one of the world’s most repressive governments.


As Archbishop of Canterbury, I'm a Mitzvah Day fan

By Justin Welby, November 15, 2013

Recently, I hosted a reception at Lambeth Palace for leaders of various faith traditions. We heard from the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, the story of how, in 1756, Bishop Trevor, then Bishop of Durham, had bought a collection of paintings of Jacob and his sons by Francisco de Zurbaran.


I'm not sorry for faith schools

By Sandy Rashty, September 25, 2013

A spirited debate quickly descended into a table-thumping row as a close friend and I discussed the effect of faith schools after the experience was played out in last week’s JC.

He regurgitated the conventional misgivings: a Jewish school promotes insularity, ignorance and a fear of mingling with the non-Jewish world from university to the workplace.


Succah built in Brent Cross in show of interfaith

By Sandy Rashty, September 23, 2013

Brent Cross was the location for an example of festive inter-faith co-operation this week, as Jews and Somalis came together to build a succah in the shopping centre.

The booth was erected by members of the Finchley Reform (FRS) and New North London synagogues with the Muslim Bravanese community.


The man who wanted to destroy the Talmud

By Dr Harry Freedman, August 25, 2013

Many of us were amused, and perhaps a little flattered, to hear that the Archbishop of Canterbury had a Jewish father. But our ability to treat the archbishop’s ancestry in a light-hearted manner is a testament to the quality of contemporary interfaith relations.