Constructing cohesion: Sukkah built at mosque as communities come together


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TOGETHER: Rabbi Baruch Levin and Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE stand with the newly constructed Sukkah

TOGETHER: Rabbi Baruch Levin and Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE stand with the newly constructed Sukkah

Religions have been uniting in the North West of London this past week as Muslim and Jewish communities came together to observe one of the faith’s holy festivals.

The Al-Khoei Foundation Mosque hosted the Brondesbury Park United Synagogue’s Sukkah as a sign of unity between the two faiths.

The sukkah, a hut used to commemorate the festival, was built by volunteers from both the Mosque and the Synagogue and spent a week at the Al-Khoei Mosque, which is open to all.

This unprecedented partnership between a British mosque and synagogue was inspired by a concern in both communities about the reported increase in hate crimes across Britain and Europe in recent months.

The local Imam and Rabbi, in partnership with Faiths Forum for London and the Strengthening Faith Institutions Programme, decided to make a tangible symbol that would fortify the relationships between communities.

Rabbi Baruch Levine, Rabbi of the Brondesbury Park Synagogue, said: “The Sukkah invites us to reflect on the importance of the structures we build in our lives, both physical and perhaps more importantly, the interpersonal and inter-communal structures which underpin a civil society.  

“This makes Sukkot an ideal time to strengthen ties with our neighbouring communities.”

The week’s events culminated in an interfaith breakfast showcasing the unified bond and positive action taken by the neighbouring communities.

Mustafa Field MBE, Director of the Faiths Forum for London, reiterated the importance of a cohesive society.

He said: “What looks like a simple project represents a pronounced willingness on the part of both communities to stand united against all forms of hate and bigotry.   

“It showcases, more than anything, the power of neighbouring cohesion, and how it can be harnessed by religious communities.  Food, people and a hut with no doors where everyone is invited inside... is a great combination.”  

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