‘How good and pleasant it is, for brothers to sit together.’ Psalm 133
Yesterday evening Blake photographed a beautiful event, as the Chief Rabbi hosted an Iftar feast at St. John’s Wood Synagogue, for dignitaries from the London Central Mosque. We find ourselves in the midsts of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, with fasting observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad.
In a time of rising anti-semitism and rising Islamophobia, with unprecedented political shifts in the UK threatening the creation of deeper social rifts. The Chief Rabbi is encouraging Jewish communities across the UK to open their doors to local Muslim communities, hosting Iftar feasts throughout Ramadan – encouraging understanding and an appreciation that these two peoples share far more similarities than they do differences. With daylight hours being particularly abundant at this time of year, the fasting day is a long one. A beautiful meal was provided by St. John’s Wood Synagogue, preceded by a series of brief speeches, by Dayan Ivan Binstock (Senior Rabbi of St. John’s Wood Synagogue), Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat (Chief Imam at London Central Mosque), and Dr Ahmad Al-Dubyan (Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London).
Questions were asked, answers given. Food was shared, laughter was abundant. This was truly a beautiful evening, and one which can be replicated across the UK as a show of unity and co-existence. A few words from Chairman of the Synagogue, Charles Lossos, brought the evening to a close and everyone departed as friends, having been well fed and shared flowing conversation.
Here are a few of our favourite images…