International development charity Tzedek has been awarded a £50,000 grant by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to fund two non-Jewish Faith Fellow interns.
Oxford theology graduate Charlotte Flowers, 21 - a Christian from Dudley - and Manchester Muslim youth worker Maryam Duale, 24, will join the charity for a year as part of the Faith Act Fellowship. They are two of 30 fellows in Tzedek's youth leadership programme this year. Starting next month, they will be involved in interfaith projects for the charity.
"Tzedek does great work making presentations on poverty in Jewish schools and we'd like to expand that, moving into other faith groups and schools," Ms Flowers explained. "We're going to be fundraising for one of Tzedek's partner organisations in India and we're working on a theatre project, to be performed for secondary school children."
Originally from Somalia, Ms Duale, a former president of Young Muslims UK, said the two had received basic Jewish studies tuition from Tzedek staff.
"As part of the TBFF training, we spent last Friday night at New North London Synagogue, with the 28 other faith fellows. We all went to Shabbat dinner at the home of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg. Many of us were fasting because of Ramadan and we broke the fast there. We were praying outside in the garden just as they lit the candles and said the blessings for Shabbat. It was an amazing experience."
Tzedek director Dan Berelowitz said it "tackles complex issues of poverty. Hosting a Christian and a Muslim fellow in an organisation founded on Jewish values sends a powerful message that the only hope of solving these problems is if people of different faiths and backgrounds work together."