Page 3 Profile: Jani Rashid, Synagogue council member

 

This looks amicable.

While relations between Jews and Muslims may be tense in other corners of the world, Bradford’s Synagogue Council has just appointed Jani Rashid as its first Muslim member.

Most heart-warming. 

The appointment strengthens well-established bonds between the two communities in the city. In 2013, the Bradford Council for Mosques came to the rescue of the Grade II-listed synagogue, making a donation that helped save it when dwindling funds put its future in danger. “The local Muslim community has been an unfailing partner in the fight to keep the building open and flourishing,” said a spokesman.

Where did the idea come from?

The top, no less. Rudi Leavor (left), the synagogue’s chairman, suggested Mr Rashid be added to the board – a proposal that was “passed unanimously” by the council.

A lesson to be learned.                

Certainly. “At a time when both the Jewish and Muslim communities are reeling from the impact of the horrific attacks in Paris,” the spokesman said, “the positive and supportive relationship between Bradford’s Jews and Muslims has grown another step closer.”

Onward and upward, eh?

Mr Rashid, who is also head of diversity and cohesion at Bradford Council’s children’s services, said: “This helps us to respect one  another’s diversity and, just as importantly, to share in our common beliefs of decency, respect, and compassion for our fellow human beings.”

What’s the history?

More frequently thought of for its Muslim population, Bradford has been home to a Jewish community since the early 19th century. Over time, its numbers have fallen. But with a little help from the likes of Mr Rashid, its future looks bright. “The Jewish community is a small and ageing one in Bradford, and we are a large community, so supporting each other in this way can only be a positive thing,” he said.

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