Pos­i­tive di­a­logue with Mus­lims

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JESSICA ELGOT

JEWISH AND Mus­lim en­trepreneurs dis­cussed Zion­ism, Is­lamism and busi­ness ethics at a Cam­bridge Univer­sity con­fer­ence aimed at im­prov­ing re­la­tions be­tween the re­li­gions.

Un­der the aegis of the Ari­ane de Rothschild Fel­low­ship pro­gramme, 24 Bri­tish, Amer­i­can and French so­cial en­trepreneurs spent two weeks at Cam­bridge’s Judge Busi­ness School.

They in­cluded char­ity heads, artists and cam­paign­ers for hu­man rights and the en­vi­ron­ment. Tzedek di­rec­tor Dan Berelowitz and Alice Wood, di­rec­tor of the UK Task Force on is­sues fac­ing Arab cit­i­zens of Is­rael, were among Bri­tish par­tic­i­pants.

Ms Wood felt “in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged to have been given the op­por­tu­nity to be among such in­spir­ing peo­ple, all of whom want to work to­gether to build a fairer and more co­he­sive soci- ety. The fel­low­ship is a unique model, help­ing so­cial en­trepreneurs re­fine their busi­ness skills whilst cre­at­ing cross-com­mu­nity di­a­logue. It was one of the best ex­pe­ri­ences of my life and I hope to be in­volved with the net­work for many years to come.”

Mr Berelowitz said he had been among “an ex­cep­tional group of peo­ple. This is the start of life­long friend­ships and some se­ri­ously in­no­va­tive world chang­ing projects.”

The fel­low­ship pro­gramme is run by the Ed­mond de Rothschild Foun­da­tion, whose ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Firoz Ladak said: “We wanted to strengthen long-term Mus­lim-Jewish re­la­tions, but re­alised that re­li­gion is of­ten not the di­vi­sive fac­tor.

“As such, we moved away from con­ven­tional dis­course on faith and opted to start from an area of nat­u­ral col­lab­o­ra­tion — the meet­ing of the hu­man­i­ties with so­cial en­trepreneur­ship.”

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