Voice of the Jewish News: Dragons’ castle

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Voice of the Jewish News: Dragons’ castle

We have long championed interfaith interaction, which is why the JN brought together the Church Times, British Muslim TV and Coexist House to celebrate 21 young interfaith leaders

Participants and supporters of the project gather outside Windsor Castle
Participants and supporters of the project gather outside Windsor Castle

Interfaith activity, designed to bridge gaps and boost understanding of ‘the other’, can itself be a thorny topic. Who are acceptable partners for dialogue? What if a potential partner was once linked to someone whose views many would find abhorrent? And, at the same time, what is going to be achieved by focusing only on partners with whom you largely agree?

Then there is the issue of how deep and fast you go once you are around the table. Cynical observers refer to some interfaith activity as ‘tea and samosas’, suggesting that unless you get into the trickier topics then it is not doing what it needs to long-term. However, much good work is going on in this country, particularly around social action.

Jewish News has long championed interfaith interaction at all levels, believing in helping  to fill the vacuum in which misconceptions take hold. That was why  this paper brought together the Church Times, British Muslim TV and Coexist House to identify and celebrate 21 young interfaith leaders in Britain today.

This week’s Jewish News

Last week, at Windsor Castle, the project moved way beyond these pages. The ideas proposed by our 21 leaders – from mental health first aid to greater joined-up thinking in schools on Israel-Palestine to a book to shatter stereotypes – are important and practical.  Our generous dragons, Muddassar Ahmed, Christopher Kenna and Dr Neil Hanbury, pledged more than we dreamed of to make a real difference. We give huge thanks to them, to sponsor Kaiciid and to Michael Wakelin for leading this part of the project, along with the indefatigable Rabbi Alex Goldberg and Andrew Gilbert.

Just as our community is strongest when we act with one voice, so too are faith communities strongest when they come together to help each other and to help wider society. Now onto the next project…

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