Hundreds get coronavirus jabs at interfaith vaccination drives
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Hundreds get coronavirus jabs at interfaith vaccination drives

Golders Green’s Islamic centre hosts event for over 45s, while Jewish doctor in Kilburn opens up her surgery to help debunk myths around the vaccine

Interfaith leaders at the Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami Islamic centre in Golders Green, promoting vaccinations
Interfaith leaders at the Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami Islamic centre in Golders Green, promoting vaccinations

Golders Green Islamic Centre was the setting for an interfaith vaccination campaign, which has seen hundreds get the jab in the last month.

The Community Champions Project included initiatives in Kilburn and at the Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami Islamic centre, formerly known as the hippodrome.

In a display of interfaith collaboration, the Islamic centre opened up its doors for those aged 45 and over, with more than 60 people given the jab at an event on 29 April.

The initiative was welcomed by Leonie Lewis, a trustee of Faiths Forum for London and a Covid Community Champion, who said it “was much about being vaccinated as it is about inter and multi-faith collaboration. It truly demonstrates the importance of meaningful partnerships where there is a will there’s a way.”

Es Rosen, President of Barnet Multi Faith Forum said it “stands in solidarity with all those heroes seeking to ensure our safety and security both from the Covid19 pandemic and the virus of those seeking to divide communities for their own misguided purposes.”

This comes after doctor Tamara Joffe has been opening up the Granville Centre clinic in South Kilburn since mid-March, with hundreds of people getting a vaccine. The initiative will continue throughout May on Mondays and Thursdays.

Rabbi Levin from Brondesbury park chatting with Leonie Lewis at the Kilburn centre

The project is led by the Ostro Fayre Share Foundation alongside local authorities and groups. Dr Joffe welcomed the initiative, saying: “Getting vaccinated within this area was a logistical struggle” before the campaign was launched, “with remote mass vaccination sites and for many a confusing booking system.”

Supported by Faiths Forum for London in partnership with the Al-Khoei Foundation, food was provided to interfaith leaders in Kilburn to mark the end of the day’s fast for the Muslim festival of Ramadan. Neda Mousavi and Mohammed Al Rekabi, volunteers for Al Khoei Foundation said they were “honoured” to give a meal.

“This was a small gesture of good will towards the local community, and as we continue with the month of Ramadan, we hope to engage with more people of different backgrounds and faiths by coming together for a socially distanced meal again.”

Rabbi Baruch Levin of Brondesbury Park Synagogue said: “If nothing else, the pandemic has been a great leveller and an interfaith vaccination event underscores the importance of coming.”

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