On 15 May, Alyth held its sixth annual Iftar, hosting over 180 people, including Muslim friends and neighbours.
The community was joined by friends from the Muslim community to break their fast during Ramadan. These included guests from local Muslim centres, including from the Ismaili and Albanian communities, as well as local friends and neighbours, and from Islamic Relief.
The evening began with the opportunity to study text together with each of Alyth’s rabbis teaching with a Muslim guest, exploring similarities and differences in our teaching. Rabbi Hannah Kingston taught with Muslim commentator Remona Aly, looking especially at texts about the role of women and the impact of these texts on future generations of women. Other sessions looked at texts that we have in common, and the approach of the Reform Jewish and Ismaili communities to modernity.
After the call to prayer, which once again took place from Alyth’s bimah, Muslim and Jewish guests enjoyed parallel maghrib and ma’ariv services.
A particular highlight of this year’s Iftar was the food, which was cooked by Ahmad of the Aleppo Supper Club. Ahmad is a refugee from Syria. As well as catering, he also shared his story of being tortured, fleeing Syria, and building a life in London through his food.
Sultan Ahmed from Islamic Relief said “It is a pleasure to again be together with members of Alyth and people from Muslim communities across London to learn together and share all that we have in common”.
Rabbi Josh Levy said, “Our community is delighted to welcome so many members of the Muslim community again during the holy month of Ramadan. Sharing our traditions, our prayer and our food is a beautiful way to come together. We are delighted to have this opportunity each year during Ramadan, and to take those relationships into the rest of the year”