Interfaith relations were boosted this week, with the first meeting of the fledgling Jewish-Muslim Women’s Network.
Nearly 100 prominent women attended, to support the new network seeking to create projects and events for Jewish and Muslim women.
Among those attending were Daniela Pears, Mayoress of Camden and Inter faith Chair of Mitzvah Day, Debbie Fox, trustee of the Jewish Leadership Council, and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner.
Organisers Laura Marks and Julie Siddiqi established the project to encourage women of the two faiths into driving social action and leadership.
The network will focus on four ‘streams’: social action, culture, business and sport and well being – each project being set up by women, together.
Marks told Jewish News: “Never before has a group of such prominent, interesting and determined Muslim and Jewish women been gathered here in Britain.
“The good that will come out of this project, in a world which desperately needs it, just might change our communities forever.”
Siddiqi added: “Muslim women tend to be less visible leaders but as we saw here, we are blessed with some exceptional, strong and inspirational leaders. This network will form the basis for a new way of setting the agenda in society.”
Communities Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “Throughout history women have always been powerful drivers of positive social change and the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network will help equip women from Britain’s diverse faith communities with the skills they need to follow on in that fine tradition.”
The project is supported by the Board of Deputies, and will be formally launched with the Department for Communities and Local Government in autumn.
The workshop coincided with the anniversary of the death of Emily Davison – a suffragette, who ran in front of a horse at Epsom race course over 100 years ago to publicise women’s demand for suffrage. Ros Currie, curator of the Jewish Museum’s Suffragette exhibition, said this was a fitting context to encourage more Jewish and Muslim women into leadership roles.
The event took place last Thursday.