The first kosher iftar was held at Alyth (North-Western Reform Synagogue) on Monday 6 July. Alyth members welcomed Muslim friends and neighbours and joined them in breaking their Ramadan fast with an evening of food, sharing and learning. This event is part of the ongoing interfaith work done by Alyth in the local community. It was organised in conjunction with the Muslim community’s launch of The Big Iftar.
Rabbi Maurice Michaels and the Alyth Interfaith Group hosted the evening.
Listen to a report on the event on BBC Radio 5 live.
Stephen Williams MP (Lib Dem Bristol West), Julie Sididiqi (Director of the Big Iftar), Mustafa Field (of the Faith Forum for London), Laura Marks (Senior Vice-President of the Board of Deputies) and Rabbi Maurice Michaels showed support for the event in a short panel discussion and jointly expressed their hope that there would be more events like this one going forward.
Julie Siddiqi said “Such an amazing atmosphere which cannot be forced and only comes about through having good people together. This is a fantastic way to show that it is important that Jews and Muslims can and must work together in Britain despite the horrors we are seeing coming from abroad”.
As well as having an opportunity to meet and eat, both communities learnt about what it meant to fast for each of them and how it provides a time for reflection and renewal. Rabbi Maurice showed an enthusiastic group a Torah scroll and explained its symbolism and use across the Jewish world.
Rabbi Maurice said “being able to eat and learn together in our communities is a unique opportunity to create long lasting friendships and understanding. We are sure that this is the first of many occasions at which we can come together as Jews and Muslims to come together over food and talk about the challenges facing our communities and our hopes and dreams for the future for our communities both in the UK and across the world.”