The Board of Deputies has announced the first series of events – involving leading journalist Jonathan Freedland – in its highly anticipated partnership with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. The “Invest in Peace” initiative, the first of its kind at a national level, invites Christian and Jewish communities in Britain to come together in support of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding projects.
Three events will take place on the 9th and 10th May in London, each being locally led by a church and synagogue partnership. Christians, Jews and others will sit alongside one another to hear from two bereaved parents, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who promote reconciliation as an alternative to revenge. Speakers Robi Damelin and Bassam Aramin, members of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, will be travelling to London especially for the three events. A further series of events will take place outside of London in the coming months.
Board of Deputies Vice-President Marie Van der Zyl said: “While geopolitics shouldn’t define the relationship between Britain’s different religious groups, we often find faith communities at loggerheads on the Middle East and taking stances which cause division between us. Invest in Peace presents an opportunity for Christian and Jewish communities to export peace rather than importing the conflict. A yearning for peace is integral to both our faith traditions, and so we are delighted to be leading this with our partners in the churches.”
The Revd Peter Colwell, Deputy General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland said: “With so much violence, hatred and suspicion in the world, there is a critical need for different faith groups to come together. This is no less true that in relation to Israel-Palestine, where Jews and Christians often disagree, and cause each other pain in that disagreement. This approach aims to build bridges and create a sense of hope. The Parents Circle is a demonstration of the courage and bravery of people in the region whose pain and grief could easily lead them in a different direction. It is therefore a privilege for CTBI to be working in partnership with the Jewish community on this important initiative.”
Tickets for all events are free, but registration is essential through the links below:
West Hampstead, 9 May 7pm: hampstead.eventbrite.co.uk
Central London (with Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian), 10 May 12:15pm: hindestreet.eventbrite.co.uk
Muswell Hill, 10 May 7pm: muswellhillevent.eventbrite.co.uk
For further information, please contact Interfaith and Social Action Officer Anthony Silkoff, on email@example.com