Islam and Judaism are closer to each other than any other two religions. However many Muslims and Jews grow up in Britain knowing little about the other community. In 2004 a group of us decided that, even if we couldn’t change the world, we could do something to bring the two communities together locally, and set up the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.
“3. The objects for which the Forum is established are to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester; to educate members of the Muslim and Jewish Communities in relation to their shared values and common Abrahamic tradition, heritage, history and culture; and to promote better understanding within the wider community of the interests and values that are common to the Muslim and Jewish Communities.”
There are two main reasons for doing this
Muslims and Jews have many common interests which are better pursued if we act together. Some are listed below.
Learning more about each other, and making new friendships, enriches us as individuals as well as making our city a better place.
Some common interests of Muslims and Jews
The right to hold religious beliefs
The right to manifest religious practices
The retention of religious humane methods of animal slaughter for food in the United Kingdom
Campaigning for faith schools
The retention of male circumcision
The right to have religious observances respected by public bodies and the wider community
The provision of acceptable methods of post mortem examinations
Some of the things we have done
We engage in practical activities to increase mutual understanding which participants enjoy. These are often educational, but whatever we do needs to be enjoyable, as otherwise people won’t come! Some examples are:
Visiting mosques and synagogues
Holding celebrations for religious festivals like Eid and Chanukah
Group visits to Krakow, Auschwitz, Granada and Cordoba, Marrakech, Dubrovnik, Paris, Brussels and Lisbon.
Several of us went on a study tour of Israel and the West Bank organised by the Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine.
Informal dinners, which allow time for unstructured conversation
Talks on matters such as our respective approaches to finance, marriage and divorce, funeral arrangements etc
Monthly faith dialogues in partnership with the Faith Network 4 Manchester
Faith awareness sessions in schools and youth groups
Bringing women together to celebrate International Women’s Day
Our annual accounts, give full details of the events organised in each year.
Becoming a member
We welcome new members. You can download a membership form from the "Join us" page.
The principles of the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion are :
We believe in an inclusive society where people of different faiths and beliefs have strong and positive relations. We believe that intolerance has no place in our communities or workplaces, and that diversity adds value to our society.
By connecting people of different faiths and beliefs, we can create a society which is fair to people of all backgrounds – religious and non-religious. We encourage people to engage more across differences and learn to understand each other better.
We recognise the need to create a more open conversation about faith and belief in our communities and in all of the UK. We will have these conversations in a spirit of mutual respect and curiosity, and be open to different perspectives.
Signatories of the Charter commit to working together in a spirit of partnership to promote good relations between people of different beliefs in our communities, workplaces and wider society.