On Sunday, November 26th, the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester organized an event at Salford Civic Centre in Swinton, UK. This was to mark the 10’th Annual Global Season of Twinning between Muslims and Jews, an initiative of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding in New York. Approximately 30 people of all faiths and no faith attended the event.
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Forum Co-Chair and Councillor for Swinton South Ward, Heather Fletcher welcomed the guests.
The speakers were: Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long Bailey; Salford Statutory Deputy City Mayor, Cllr Paula Boshell; Cllr Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Rabbi at the Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogue; Imam Irfan Chishti MBE, Imam of the Manchester Central Mosque in Victoria Park; Mohammed Amin MBE, Muslim Jewish Forum Co-Chair.
All the speakers stressed the importance of mixing with people outside one’s own faith and culture, and the need to spread unity and peace especially following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May.
Before the formal proceedings, the current Co-Chairs, Mohammed Amin and Cllr Heather Fletcher, presented former Co-Chair Jonny Wineberg with a crystal trophy for eleven years sterling service on the Executive. At the recent AGM, he had stood down from the Executive due to the pressure of his other commitments.
After the speeches, Forum Executive member Jackie Harrison gave the vote of thanks.
Louise Brook, who is Jewish, stated, “It was an enjoyable and informative evening. There were good speeches in a warm friendly atmosphere. I know that the Forum has been awarded 2 national Awards for the wonderful interfaith work it does.”
Guy Otten, who is a Humanist, said, “It was a useful evening in terms of strengthening friendship ties across beliefs and communities.”
Susan Mottram, who is a Christian, stated, “Attending MJF events is invaluable to me as a practising Christian, as when I have the opportunity to socialize with people of other faiths, I clearly see that what we share outweighs the differences. The way to the Father is by demonstrating love to all people we meet on our journey through life.”
Cllr Ahmed Ali, who is a Muslim, stated “God says that mankind is not only destined to exist as diverse peoples but that we as humans should welcome this and actively try to understand people who are different from ourselves.”
The Forum’s next event is in February 2018 when they will have their annual kosher meal at JS Restaurant in Prestwich. The Forum will show solidarity with the newly refurbished JS following an antisemitic arson attack on the restaurant in the summer.