Souped-up Mitzvah Day for Parliamentary candidates at JW3

Labour, Tory and Lib Dem hopefuls join interfaith crowd at programme of events


The JW3 premises in Finchley Road were a hive of Mitzvah Day activity with an interfaith cooking workshop providing meals for the homeless at Pond Square Chapel night shelter in Highgate.

Volunteers prepared a kosher and halal-friendly menu of lentil soup, chickpea curry, cumin-infused rice and apple crumble.

Candidates for the Hampstead and Kilburn Parliamentary constituency were among those taking part in JW3 events, including Tulip Siddiq, who is campaigning to retain the seat for Labour, Tory Johnny Luk and Liberal Democrat Matt Sanders.

“I come every year to interfaith cooking because, even though I’m a bad cook, I do like the fact that it’s all the communities working together,” Ms Siddiq told the JC. “And that’s the best of Hampstead and Kilburn.

“It’s a good thing to do but it’s also really fun. My family are from a Muslim background and I found that growing up in the heart of the Jewish community, there’s so much similarity between the communities - so much so that my mother who lived in Hampstead has now moved to Golders Green.”

Ms Siddiq added that a member of her staff had met his wife at a Mitzvah Day event, a fact she highlighted in her speech at their wedding.

Other participants included Johanna from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who said: “I think it’s just about getting together, putting aside our differences to work towards a greater good.”

Liz Arif-Fear, founder and director of Voice of Salam – an interfaith human rights awareness campaign – said Mitzvah Day meant a lot to her.

“With all the negative stereotypes that are out there, especially with all the geopolitical conflict, I think it’s really important to show people that Jews and Muslims can work together. We’re friends, we love each other.”

John Bond, who works with Initiatives for Change, said: “In all our faiths we have a commitment – a command – to serve the poor.”


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