T4P’s been supporting various dialogue processes between Jewish and Muslim people in Leeds since 2005.
Initially the focus was on the Israel-Palestine situation, but since 2010 there’s been a regular series of meetings focused upon a range of issues (still including Palestine-Israel) and based upon developing relationships here in Leeds.
Mike and T4P associates Linda Mitchell and Tariq Bashir have hosted sessions on subjects such as identity, diversity, humour, belonging, and (occasionally) specific faith issues. 35-40 people in all (ages ranging from 16 to 70+) have been involved, with the regular group meetings being 12-15 people.
The initial invitation to take part was to explore the idea of a learning journey to Israel-Palestine, but it soon became apparent that most people were more concerned about relationships here in Leeds. Real friendships have developed, and with them a high degree of trust.
Over the years, the group have generated a range of initiatives:
- Learning Journey: A shared ‘learning journey’ to Israel-Palestine by 10 of the group took place in April 2013.
- Inter-Active: Keith Ackerman and Mahboob Nazir are part of the team of ‘Inter-Active’, a full-fledged inter-faith sports project.
- Two artists – Imen and Gillian – have collaborated in calligraphy workshops for children and adults.
- And other ideas in development include linking with Manchester’s Muslim Jewish Forum, a film series, and sharing a ‘day in the life’ of ‘the other’.
This process is built on earlier efforts including T4P initiatives such as Many Voices (2007), and St George’sChurch’s Leeds Israel-Palestine Forum (2005-7). We are grateful for funding from the Leeds City Council Prevent team for facilitating the early part of the process.