‘Our faiths are more united than divided’

Sadaqa Day and Mitzvah Day join forces


Sadaqa Day — the Muslim Mitzvah Day equivalent — featured some two dozen Jewish-Muslim social action projects.

Sadaqa Day founder Julie Siddiqi and Mitzvah Day creator Laura Marks were among ten women involved in the flagship activity, transporting goods to the Women’s Refugee Centre in Dunkirk.

As well as delivering items ranging from tents to colouring books, the Muslim, Jewish and Christian group stayed for two days, getting to know the refugees and their children.

“Little by little, more Jews and Muslims are working together through social action,” Ms Marks noted. “We have seen trust grow, prejudices disappear and firm friendships form.

“Mitzvah Day will celebrate its tenth anniversary in November and we will be joined by our Muslim friends and neighbours around the country as we prove once more that what unites our faiths is much greater than what divides us.”

In other activities, Barnet Mayor, Councillor Brian Salinger and Mitzvah Day executive director, Dan Rickman, joined Norwood service users, Jewish Volunteering Network members and Hendon Mosque congregants to pack items for the Sufra NW London Food Bank.

Participants included Justin Copitch, a doctor from Willesden Green, who observed: “I was sceptical about the difference interfaith social action can make until a friend dragged me along to Mitzvah Day in November.

“I had a really good time meeting and cooking with Muslims in a local mosque and realising how much we have in common. I made some good friends that day and when they invited me back to do Sadaqa Day I jumped at the chance, especially as I got to see some of the work Norwood does at first hand.”

Muslim Aid director Zac Hussain, Rabbi Mark Goldsmith of Alyth Synagogue and Ahmed Al Kazemi and Razi Kadeh from the Centre for Islamic Enlightening at the former Golders Green Hippodrome were among those cooking at JW3 for the homeless shelter run by Sha’arei Tsedek Synagogue in Barnet.

Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community and the local Masjid Khadijah Islamic Centre teamed up for projects including blood donation, litter-picking and planting seeds.

Volunteers from the East London Mosque and the New Stoke Newington (Masorti) shul visited care homes and cleared ice on local roads.

Manchester’s Friendship Circle — assisting Jews with special needs — teamed up with North Manchester Jamia Mosque and the Cheetham Churches Group on a tidying mission.

“It is so easy and beneficial to work together and create more of the harmony and tolerance that is much needed in today’s world,” explained the friendship circle’s Esty Bruck.

Members of Glasgow University Jewish Society and the Scottish Police Muslim Association were involved in a drive to donate items to the Glasgow SW Food Bank.


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