Interfaith Week 2015: Building relationships with other faiths

17 Nov 2015

Inter Faith means talking, sharing, learning and laughing with near neighbours who may seem different but with whom we share so much (Princes Road Shul, Twitter)

Sonia says :

This week is Interfaith Week which sets out to build good relationships and working partnerships between people of different faiths and beliefs.  The week is a culmination of work that goes on all year round and helps us learn about each other and celebrates both the differences and similarities that exist between different faiths.

With the news full of ‘religious extremism’ it can be made difficult by the media sometimes to see the positives that exist every day between different faith communities.

At Jewish Care however we can see this every minute of every day.  A faith based organisation, providing services that are sensitive to the needs of Jewish people across the religious spectrum but provided by a paid staff group that is, in the main, made up of all religions, supported by volunteers who are predominantly Jewish.

The relationships that exist between this multi-faith community of Jewish Care should be an example to the wider community of how we can co-exist and work together for a purpose that brings meaning to the lives of so many people who are often on the margins of their own community.

We see people often drawing on the similarities of their faith to create relationships that are supportive and deeply fulfilling. 

When we induct new staff and talk about the Jewish way of life, those of us who deliver these sessions learn each time about the similarities that exist not only in our teachings but in the commitment to people in general and the strong ethics in how we support each other.

At a time when the news is set to divide us, we should feel grateful for the experiences we share in Jewish Care, and the Jewish community should be shouting from the roof tops about all those from other religious backgrounds who show such love and consideration to those they care for within our community.

Sonia Douek is Head of volunteering and community development at Jewish Care and has developed a strategy for the organisation that has seen the growth of volunteers in the organisation reach 3,000 people.

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