NLS and The Wider Community
Inter Faith Council
Nottingham Liberal Synagogue is a member of the Nottingham Inter Faith Council, a local charitable organisation which aims to overcome prejudice and promote social harmony by encouraging local people to get to know each other, in and beyond their communities. This is done through meetings, training seminars, visits to places of worship, social events and healthy discussion.
The Nottingham Jewish Muslim Dialogue
In Nottingham, Jews and Muslims have been meeting together in a dialogue group for several years. The purpose of our group is not so much about having cosy discussions about our respective traditions and religions, interesting though that may be, but about confronting some of the more difficult issues which divide us politically and culturally. The subject of one of our first meetings was: "Why bother talking? We hate each other anyway." We have found that although, or even because, we have not shirked contentious issues, such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, there has developed a strong friendship and respect between us. We have had fun as well – the price of entry for one event was the telling of a Muslim or Jewish joke. We have also held very popular comedy nights where we were entertained by a Jewish and a Muslim comedian.
The Jewish Muslim Dialogue group exists to:
- Promote understanding between the two communities
- Tackle misconceptions
- Work for peace and prevent the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians causing a rift between the two local communities
Our synagogue is affiliated with Nottingham Citizens, which is a network of 42 different faith communities, schools, unions and charities which work together in shared social action. This enables us to undertake social action in partnership with other faith and wider organisations, and to work visibly in the local community. It also offers us opportunities to learn new ways to develop our own community.
Members have been involved in several of the actions undertaken by Nottingham Citizens including The Living Wage campaign, and meeting with prospective Police Commissioners prior to elections. Our Rabbi is an active member of the executive, and several of our members are becoming increasingly involved, having undertaken the first part of Citizens Training in Community Organisation. We have recently undertaken a Listening Campaign with the congregation to ascertain people’s views on what needs changing both within our community and in wider Nottingham.