Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch from BBC Radio 4 features the inspiring story of interfaith cooperation in Bradford with Rudi Leavor, Bradford Synagogue Chair.
While the news is dominated by stories of conflict between Muslims and Jews, Hardeep travels to Bradford to tell the story of a heart-warming and inspiring friendship across the religious divide. The city’s Muslim community has not only raised money to save Bradford’s last remaining synagogue from closure, but as the ties have grown and trust and friendship blossomed, a Muslim is now on the synagogue’s ruling council and another Muslim has been invited to preach there.
Hardeep meets Rudi Leavor who has been the synagogue Chair for the past 40 years and finds out how, in spite of global politics, the relationship between Jews and Muslims in this part of Bradford is getting stronger. Rudi introduces Hardeep to two of his biggest Muslim supporters; Jani Rashid who recently became a member of the synagogue’s ruling council and Zulfi Karim, a local businessman who raised money for repairs and is now not only Rudi’s personal friend, but who has also preached in the synagogue.
Now the urgent repairs have been completed, the work to secure a future for the synagogue in the city is just the beginning. Zulfi Karim found it a tough decision to begin working with his Jewish neighbours and thought deeply before offering his assistance – he wondered if he would be betraying his religion but realised that he had a duty to his community, regardless of race or creed. Jani took his position on the Synagogue Council at the start of this year. He says he looks at people of different faiths around the world, struggling to live side by side and says, “Bradford can buck that trend by its acts of friendship”.