In­ter­faith peace group strikes chord

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

Thebri­tish­sup­port­group­for­grass­roots Is­raeli-pales­tinian peace move­ment One Voice is be­gin­ning to make head­way in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

Since the launch of its out­reach pro­gram­me­last­may,ithasvis­itedanum­ber of mosques, the Is­lamia Girls School London and or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Mus­lim Voices UK and the City Cir­cle.

“One Voice has worked with a lot of uni­ver­si­ties since 2008,” said Sharon Al­soodani, the Ara­bic-speak­ing out­reach di­rec­tor who spent six years in the Mid­dle East and worked for the Bri­tish Em­bassy in Jor­dan.

“In schools, I run a work­shop which in­volves di­rect grass-roots en­coun­ters with youth lead­ers from the re­gion. I bring them over three to four times a year. I also use Skype, set­ting up live we­blinks to the re­gion,” Ms Al­soodani ex­plained. “The work­shops are fo­cused on un­der­stand­ing the needs and in­ter­ests of the peo­ple on the ground. “

One Voice has also helped foster in­ter­faith con­tact, par­tic­u­larly when the Mid­dle East has proved a stum­bling block. “We are still in the fledg­ling stages but we are get­ting in­vi­ta­tions,” said Ms Al­soodani.

“The Birm­ing­ham Cen­tral Mosque want to do a fol­low-up with us in con­junc­tion with the Jewish and Methodist com­mu­ni­ties. I also have an in­vi­ta­tion to a Mus­lim-jewish di­a­logue group in Not­ting­ham.”

Ms Al­soodani was at the Na­tional Union of Teach­ers con­fer­ence over the bank hol­i­day week­end to pro­mote the group’s ac­tiv­i­ties. “There is go­ing to be a big push for the next aca­demic year.”

She also re­vealed that, “I have had a lot more suc­cess with Mus­lim schools than Jewish schools so far.”

Amid ten­sions sur­round­ing the 30th an­niver­sary of the Falk­lands war, an ORT Ar­gentina alumna is build­ing bridges with an ex­hi­bi­tion of Ar­gen­tinian art (ex­am­ple, left) at The Gallery in Red­church Street, London E2. Romy Ki­vatinetz grad­u­ated from the ORT high school in 2000 and stud­ied at Univer­sity of Buenos Aires film school. She worked for TV pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies at home and in Los An­ge­les and as­sisted Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor, Kathryn Bigelow. The new show, which opens on May 1, also fea­tures work by Romy’s mother, Rox­ana Herz.

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