Jewish and Muslim women in Yorkshire took advantage of some rare northern sun this weekend, as they set up stall for an interfaith picnic – the latest event in a growing communal friendship.

After gathering at Roundhay Park in Leeds on Sunday, organisers of the event described “enormous overlaps” being discovered in the early stages of the new relationship.

The group met under the guise of new Jewish and Muslim women’s network Nisa Nashim, the name of which derives from the Arabic and Hebrew words for ‘woman’.

In an interview with Yorkshire Evening Post, co-organiser Hilary Curwen said: “It was a chance to catch up and make new friends. There was loads of food and a good chat.”

It is the second time Jewish and Muslim women in Yorkshire have held a picnic together, and tributes about the wonderful atmosphere soon flowed in from all sides.

Jewish and Muslim women get stuck into the picnic, as they forge new friendships (photo credit: Yorkshire Evening Post)

Jewish and Muslim women get stuck into the picnic, as they forge new friendships
(photo credit: Yorkshire Evening Post)

“We hope to do it again next year,” said Curwen. “We are slowly getting to know each other, building together and sharing family stories. The similarities and overlaps are enormous, for example in food and practices and customs.”

Next on the agenda for the pioneering Yorkshire group is a plan to establish a support section for young mothers from both communities, as well as sessions dedicated to exploring the similarities between them.

It capped a good week for Nisa Nashim, whose co-chair Laura Marks also founded Mitzvah Day, after the network learned that women in Exeter had come forward to express an interest in setting up a south-west group.

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Jewish and Muslim children play together, after enjoying an afternoon in the sun (photo credit: Yorkshire Evening Post)