Wax works for Ne­shama Shul and mosquein di­a­logue

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOHN FISHER BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

WITH THE ex­pe­ri­ence of years spent bat­tling de­pres­sion, Ruby Wax told Leeds Jewish Wel­fare Board sup­port­ers that so­ci­ety needed to end the stigma of men­tal health.

Ms Wax — whose Sane New World show­is­base­donher­book­about­neu­ro­science — ad­dressed LJWB’s gala ap­peal din­ner, which raised £100,000 for its Ne­shama men­tal health project.

In­for­ma­tion over­load was a prob­lem in to­day’s world, she said. “I want to wave a white flag and say ‘please, that’s enough, I can’t take it’. I can just about take in the weather then I’m ex­hausted.” She added that “as far as un­der­stand­ing how our minds work, we are in the dark ages. Our brain is driv­ing us, we are not driv­ing it.”

Ne­shama helps those with men­tal health prob­lems to re-es­tab­lish con­trol of their lives.

BRON­DES­BURY PARK Syn­a­gogue mem­bers shared de­tails of Jewish life in an ex­change pro­gramme with Mus­lims from a neigh­bour­ing mosque.

The shul-go­ers were told how the Imam Khoei Cen­tre in north-west Lon­don had been con­verted into a mosque in the 1980s af­ter be­ing used for syn­a­gogue ser­vices a decade ear­lier.

A Mus­lim cal­lig­ra­pher wrote the Jewish vis­i­tors’ names in tra­di­tional Is­lamic styles dur­ing the ses­sion, which was fol­lowed by mem­bers of the Al Khoei com­mu­nity mak­ing a re­cip­ro­cal visit to the shul.

Rabbi Baruch Levin said: “Events of this kind are hugely im­por­tant as they break down per­ceived bar­ri­ers be­tween faith com­mu­ni­ties at a lo­cal level, thereby en­rich­ing the sense of so­cial co­he­sion and high­light­ing the range of com­mon in­ter­ests we share.”

PHOTO: JOHN FISHER

Ruby Wax with LJWB’s Jonathan Straight

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