The Yeshurun Synagogue hosted a special Interfaith event as part of a ‘Season of Twinning’ project.
The event in partnership with Faith Network 4 Manchester (FN4M) and ‘We Stand Together’ was linked to the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s (FFEU) and attended by twenty Muslim and Jewish women from Cheadle and Manchester mosques and the Yeshurun and Menorah synagogues.
It was organised by Qaisra Shahraz, a novelist, and Co-Chair of both the Faith Network 4 Manchester & We Stand Together and hosted by Marilyn Berg, Vice- Chair of the Yeshurun Synagogue and former teacher.
The event celebrated and promoted friendship, unity and the common elements of both faiths, Islam and Judaism.
Muslim women learnt about Hanukkah, and Jewish religious rituals during the tour of the synagogue.
They admired the gorgeous and colourful, hand-made embroidered tapestries hanging in the main hall.
A peace poem was read by Sue Stern, a local Jewish author, and Marilyn Berg delighted the guests with funny stories and jokes including about Greggs the bakers.
Qaisra Shahraz organiser said, ‘I am delighted that this twinning event of Jewish and Muslim women from two Mosques and two synagogues went exceedingly well.
“We could not stop talking, smiling, hugging and sharing our stories-and happily posing with ‘We Stand Together’ & ‘Spread Hummus Not Hate’ peace banners.
Marilyn Berg the host from the Yeshurun Synagogue said, ‘We are delighted to host this twinning event. It was full of laughter, friendship and helped to break down any barriers. We found out more about what united us than divided us. And we respected our differences.’
Rubbiah Hamanyu from Cheadle Mosque said, ‘This event reminded us beautifully that as people of faith, we have much In common.
“It is important therefore that our common values of neighbourliness , justice and love for humankind always shine through.’
Vicki Garson of the Menorah Synagogue said, ‘The genuine warmth of this event was inspiring…it was a pleasure to chat and discover how much we all had in common. I would like to thank our hosts for looking after us so well and the organisers for making it happen.’
Rifat Mirza of Cheadle Mosque added, ‘It was lovely to be able to share stories through dialogue- Muslim and Jewish women and such dialogue is so important in bringing people together like this twinning interfaith event.’
Sue Stern from the Yeshurun Synagogue said, ‘We all got on so well, everyone wished that the world could be like that. A great beginning to the coming year.’
June Rosen of the Yeshurun Synagogue said, ‘It was such a warm relaxed gathering, making new friends and renewing friendships with others, everyone intent to do whatever they could to make the word a better place for our children and future generations.’
Dudia Zilic of Didsbury Mosque said, ‘It was an excellent event. We need more like this to bring people of different faiths together.
“Talking is so important. And in building bridges between the two communities.
“This was my first visit to a synagogue and I learnt alot, including about Hannukah. We have so much in common. The host ladies were lovely and looked after us so well.’
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