Jewish and Muslim women advance bridge-building partnership


Three dozen Jewish and Muslim women from all over the UK attended a workshop in Camden to discuss building trust and long-term relationships.

The workshop was run by Nisa-Nashim, which brings Jewish and Muslim women together to work to combat hatred by challenging misconceptions.

It is claimed to be the fastest-growing initiative involving the two faiths in Europe.

Participants in the Camden event included representatives from most of the 28 Nisa-Nashim groups around the country, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

On the night before the workshop, the women gathered at Al Manaar mosque, in the shadow of Grenfell Tower, to chat over vegetarian curry and kosher cake.

The main event was held at Ort House. A key element was in-depth discussion of the impact on women of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Nisa-Nisham co-founder Laura Marks said it had been “moving to see women who traditionally don’t meet laughing, eating, planning, learning and, above all, listening to each other’s hopes and fears in total rejection of the climate of mistrust”.

Fellow co-founder Julie Siddiqi added: “New friendships were formed and, importantly, we talked about some of the challenging issues affecting both communities and looked for ways to approach those better together.”

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