I couldn’t let this week’s blog go pass without mentioning Interfaith Week.
Running from the 20th (this year’s Mitzvah Day which I am sure many of you took part in!) to 26th November, the week is about strengthening good interfaith relations, celebrating the contribution that faith communities make to the UK and increasing understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs. All of which we at JVN are thoroughly behind as you might well imagine! To mark the event we welcomed Baroness Warsi to the JHub, talking to her about our current and future interfaith work…very exciting indeed!
On a personal level, I feel that there is just so much good that can be done by people of faith working together on social action – making the world a better place. As a result, I’ve been involved in interfaith activity for over 15 years, being a founder Trustee of the Faith-Based Regeneration Network, a committee member for the Faith Forum for London to mention to just two and I’ve brought this focus into the work we do at JVN.
As a result, we’ve work with some fantastic interfaith organisations on some great initiatives. Two years ago we brought together the Three Faiths Forum and Inter-Act to develop a Leadership programme for young people, earlier this year we worked on an a wonderful interfaith volunteering project across university campuses with the Coexistence Trust to find volunteering opportunities that students of different backgrounds could work on together. And of course we blogged about it!
And we have some very exciting plans afoot with the same interfaith charities, NUS and Jewish student groups to use our expertise in helping people connect and collaborate to do something even bigger and better and interfaith for next year’s National Student Volunteering Week in February. And we – with just a little bit of JVN chutzpah – asked Baroness Warsi to endorse it, watch this space indeed!!
We also have lots of interfaith opportunities on the JVN website including internships with the Coexistence Trust and The Abraham Fund and many regular opportunities for the organisations I’ve mentioned, so get searching!
But back to this week. My own community together with other faith communities in the Pinner area hosted a festival of foods on the 23rd Nov (the boiled gefilte fish was a knockout!), there is an open Shabbat on the 26th and there are really are just quite staggering numbers of local events taking place across London and the rest of UK, so do check out the website for what’s on near you. In troubling times, both economically and politically, it is truly heartening to see how people really do share common values and faith in an equitable and cohesive society.