Join our email list

The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester
Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish communities of Greater Manchester

Search this site

Tap here for MENU

Online dialogue event: Muslims, Jews and keeping healthy during the COVID-19 Crisis

26 April 2020

While COVID-19 strikes down both the healthy and the unhealthy, from the beginning of the outbreak in China it has been clear that those with underlying health conditions are far more seriously at risk.

As discussed at our first COVID-19 related event on 12 April, Britain’s Jews and Muslims appear to be suffering from more deaths than their share of the population would lead one to expect.

Accordingly, on Sunday 26 April we organised our second online event, using Zoom, to discuss keeping healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, looking at healthy eating and exercise.

This event was the idea of our former Executive Committee member Dr Jackie Lewis, who is a doctor and a retired GP. She is also the co-author of the book “To Life! Healthy Jewish Food” written jointly with her cousin Judi Rose, who is the daughter of the legendary Jewish food writer Evelyn Rose. (Jackie writes under her professional name of Jackie Rose.)

Our former Co-Chair, Jonny Wineberg, facilitated the Zoom aspects of the event. The event was opened by Co-Chair Cllr Heather Fletcher who introduced the speaker.

Dr Jackie Lewis then used PowerPoint to explain the key principles of healthy eating, with many practical examples of food substitution to reduce the intake of harmful sugars and starches.

The Co-Chair's introduction and the presentation were recorded and can now be watched below:

Jackie has also made her slides available for download.

After the presentation, Co-Chair Mohammed Amin led the discussion session which covered both healthy eating and practical advice about exercise to keep heart and lungs healthy.

One important point discussed was fasting during Ramadan. Mohammed Amin explained that a key principle in Islam is every person’s individual accountability to God, so each Muslim needs to assess for themselves whether it is safe for them to fast taking into account all of their responsibilities.

Jackie Lewis shared the advice of the British Islamic Medical Association Ramadan Health Factsheet which reads: “Exempt from the fast includes: healthcare staff required to provide care to Covid-19 patients at real risk of dehydration and making clinical errors due to wearing PPE and long shifts.

There were 20 participants who included the Forum’s Co-Founder Afzal Khan CBE MP, presently Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, and several elected councillors from different parts of Greater Manchester.

Stockport Councillor Dena Ryness stated "Thank you to the MJF for another great Zoom event. Dr Jackie talked about how and why some people may have a greater propensity towards Type 2 diabetes. Eating the right diet can greatly reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and can help to keep a strong immune system which we all need at this moment. Drawing on her vast years of  experience both as a doctor and a cook, Dr Jackie talked us through the subject very well."

Dr Musharraf Hussain, Consultant Family Doctor, said “It was a pleasure to join the online event and I am grateful to Dr Jackie Lewis for the kind invitation. Her presentation was excellent and very informative indeed. I do believe United we stand, divided we fall.”

Avril Erlich said "This was an interesting session and I learned a lot. I believe in small portions and everything in moderation. I think there is nothing wrong with the occasional piece of chocolate especially in lockdown when we need little treats. I also think exercise is important and we should move for at least an hour a day."

Exercise video

There are many videos available with home exercise advice. We were particularly struck by the one below, made by Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham.

Event publicity

We are grateful to Jonny for the event publicity poster. This event was supported by:



Follow @MJF_Manchester

The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester
Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester

Tap for top of page