At a time when both the Jewish and Muslim communities are reeling from the impact of the horrific attacks in Paris, the positive and supportive relationship between Bradford’s Jews and Muslims has grown another step closer. Long-term ally and member of Bradford Synagogue’s ‘Friends’ scheme, Jani Rashid, has been co-opted onto the Synagogue Council- the ruling body which runs the synagogue- as a representative of the ‘Friends’.
Jani, who is Head of Diversity and Cohesion at Bradford Council’s Children’s Services, has been a significant supporter of the synagogue for some years now, as part of an increasingly large group of local Muslims who have supported it in many ways, including with significant financial help.
The suggestion came from Synagogue Chair, Rudi Leavor, whose contribution to Muslim-Jewish relations in Bradford, has been significant and inspirational. The suggestion was passed unanimously by the Synagogue Council and Jani Rashid kindly accepted.
This marks another chapter in the strikingly close relationship between the two communities in Bradford. Over the last few years, as the synagogue has increasingly suffered from financial difficulties, the local Muslim community has been an unfailing partner in the fight to keep the building open and flourishing. The synagogue has recently received emails from members of the community offering support in the wake of recent reports about rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Jani Rashid, Head of Diversity and Cohesion at Bradford Council, said: “I am delighted to take up this kind offer to sit on the Synagogue Council as a representative of the ‘Friends’.
“I am a firm believer in openness within and between communities. This helps us to respect one another’s diversity and, just as importantly, to share in our common beliefs of decency, respect and compassion for our fellow human beings.
“I already work with other faith communities across the Bradford District through our support for supplementary schools as well in promoting community cohesion. This will complement my various other activities in promoting links across and within all communities.”