Muslim worshippers from the contentious new mosque in Golders Green scooped one of the Jewish community’s top awards honouring good deeds this week, after they took part in an interfaith blood drive in November.
Members of the new Islamic centre in the old Golders Green Hippodrome were recognised for taking part in an interfaith blood drive in November, even after their arrival was met with angry petitions from local Jews.
Acknowledging the joint blood drive as “a great vehicle to demonstrate the power of people of faith coming together,” Golders Green Synagogue and Interfaith Matters were recognised at Tuesday night’s Mitzvah Day awards.
Elsewhere, Jewish cross-denominational school JCoSS and an Islamic Girls’ School in Hounslow jointly won an award for best youth achievement at this year’s Mitzvah Day Awards.
Children from the two secondary schools came together to make apple crumbles for the homeless and volunteered together at Sufra food bank in Brent, which provides a life-line for families living in severe poverty.
“As well as being a great educational project, with children learning first-hand about the work of food banks, it brought the two schools closer together,” said award presenter Neil Martin, chief executive of JLGB.
Also recognised in the youth category was BBYO, for organising social action across the UK and Ireland, from toy drives to care home visits, as well as Habonim Dror and Baha’I Youth, for working on Kentish Town farm together to create links between the two communities.
Other winners were based in Belarus, where wives of Ghetto survivors in the capital Minsk baked challah at home, made up care packages and visited the sick and house-bound, with one lady visiting a 93-year-old Muslim Righteous Gentile, who had saved Jews from the Ghetto in 1941.
From the UK, Nottingham’s Liberal Jewish community jointly won an award with Himmah, a food parcel initiative launched in 2010 after a Muslim man called Ahmed was found rummaging for food in the city’s bins.
The two groups founded the Salaam Shalom Kitchen for those in need, offering a hot meal and company in a café atmosphere every Wednesday throughout the year, with volunteers from Muslim and Jewish communities.