Muslims were welcomed to a London shul over the weekend to break their fast for the festival of Ramadan.
More than 200 people from Islamic, Christian and Jewish communities came together on Saturday night for ‘the Big Iftar’ at West London Synagogue.
The annual initiative marks the evening ‘Iftar’ meal, which Muslims hold to end their daily fast during the month of Ramadan.
Guests enjoyed a vegetarian buffet and cake to celebrate Shavuot and the Queen’s 90th birthday, which coincided with the event.
The project, now in its second year, was set up by interfaith activist Julie Siddiqui to improve community understanding and relations.
WLS’s senior rabbi, Baroness Julia Neuberger praised Siddiqi, who also founded Sadaqa Day, the Muslim community’s equivalent of Mitzvah Day.
Neuberger said: “I am proud that my community has embraced so wholeheartedly Julie’s inspired idea of The Big Iftar, combining it this year with Shavuot and Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, in celebration of the wonderful diversity of the United Kingdom.”
This year, organisers renamed the event ‘The Big Royal Iftar’ in recognition of Jewish community’s celebration of the ‘Royal Shabbat’ for Shavuot.
Speeches were made Rabbi Helen Freeman and Islamic teacher and scholar Rakin Fertuga Cisse at the event, both of whom spoke about fostering dialogue and breaking down barriers between communities.
The Big Iftar is part of an interfaith programme which tries to foster positive relations between faiths, including through projects to overcome food poverty and interfaith youth and women’s groups.