Official Visit by New North London Synagogue to the Regents Park Mosque

Following the highly successful official visit by the delegation from the Regents Park Mosque to New North London Synagogue during the festival of Hanukah, organised by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, a reciprocal visit was arranged in March 2008.

Forty members of the synagogue accompanied by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg paid an official visit to the mosque. The purpose of the visit was to continue and develop the link between the two places of worship as part of their interfaith activities.

Imam Khalifah and Imam Shahid welcomed the group in the Board Room Imam Khalifah and Imam Shahid welcomed the group in the Board Room

The group was welcomed in the Boardroom by Imam Shahid Hussain, the Imam in charge of interfaith relations at the mosque, Imam Khalifah, the Al-Azhar Imam of the mosque and Mrs Siddika Talukdar, the representative of the Women's group at the mosque.

Some members of the group with Imam Shahid and Siddika Talukdar in the Board Room Some members of the group with Imam Shahid and Siddika Talukdar in the Board Room

The group visited the library where they had refreshments and participated in a questions and answers session by Imam Shahid and Rabbi Wittenberg, facilitated by Mehri Niknam of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation.

Mehri Niknam, Imam Shahid and Rabbi Wittenberg during Q&A at the library Mehri Niknam, Imam Shahid and Rabbi Wittenberg during Q&A at the library

At the time of the evening prayer, the men were allowed to be present in the main prayer hall of the mosque and the women went to the women's prayer hall. This was a groundbreaking event, since this was the first time that permission had been given for the presence of such a large number of non-Muslims in the main prayer hall.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Imam Shahid discussing continued co-operation Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Imam Shahid discussing continued co-operation

It was acknowledged by all that it had been a very welcoming and important experience. It was agreed by the Imam and the Rabbi that there will be future visits to the mosque and further interfaith programmes between the two communities will be organised by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation.