Julia Babette Sarah Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger, DBE (Patron)

Baroness Julia Babette Sarah Neuberger

Baroness Neuberger is a graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge, Leo Baeck College, London, and is former Chief Executive of the Kings Fund, an independent charitable foundation aiming to improve health, especially in London. Previously she has been Chair of Camden and Islington CHS NHS Trust ('93-'97), Visiting Fellow, Harkness Fellowship Harvard Medical School ('91-'92), Visiting Fellow, Kings Fund Institute ('89-'91) and Rabbi, South London Liberal Synagogue ('77-'89). She has been Chair of the Patients' Association, and holds Trusteeships of the British Council, Imperial War Museum and formerly Runnymede Trust. She is also a Vice President of the United Nations Association and is Patron of the North London Hospice, Patron of the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund and Patron of the Memorial Arts Charity.

Baroness Neuberger speaks on Health for the Liberal Democrats at the House of Lords.

Judge Khurshid Drabu, CBE (Trustee)

Judge Khurshid Drabu

Born in Srinagar, Kashmir, Khurshid Drabu came to the United Kingdom in 1971 following distinguished achievements as a student in Humanities and Law in India. He was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1977.

In the eighties he became well known for his expertise in Immigration Law and in 1986 he became the Deputy Director of UK Immigrants Advisory Service (The UKIAS) - govt aided voluntary body with remit to advise and represent immigrants with rights of appeal under the Immigration Acts.

In 1990 he joined the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) as its first Deputy Legal Director. Amongst his responsibilities was carrying out a review of the Race Relations Act 1976 and it was under his watch that the CRE brought attention to the glaring inadequacy of protection for followers of faiths from unfair discrimination.

In 1996 he was appointed to the Immigration Judiciary. He became the Vice President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal in 2000 and served as Senior Immigration Judge until 2007 when he took early retirement. He now works as a Fee Paid Judge at the Upper Tribunal in the Asylum and Immigration Chamber.

Khurshid Drabu has extensive judicial experience in other jurisdictions – 13 years as a Justice of the Peace and 12 years as President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

One of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest national Muslim umbrella body working for the common good, Khurshid served it for fifteen years as its Advisor on Legal and Constitutional Affairs as well as its Election Commissioner.

In 2007 together with a small group of people he developed and gave shape to Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) for promoting good governance in mosques through a scheme of self- regulation. It is a national non- sectarian advisory body with no role in matters of theology but committed to promoting community cohesion. He continues to serve MINAB as its Special Advisor.

He is the Muslim Advisor to the Ministry of Defence, having first been appointed in 2002.

He is a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Middlesex, London.

Khurshid Drabu is one of the most influential and senior Muslim activists with an excellent record in Inter faith work. “In bringing communities together”, Khurshid was awarded the honour of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010 by HM the Queen.

Robert Chandler (Patron)

Robert Chandler

Robert Chandler is a leading literary translator, working mainly from Russian. He is best known for his translations of Andrey Platonov and Vasily Grossman - including Grossman's long novel Life and Fate. His translations of Platonov and of Hamid Ismailov’s Central-Asian novel The Railway have won prizes both in the UK and in the USA. Among other writers he has translated are Sappho, Pushkin and Apollinaire. He is currently compiling an anthology of Russian poetry in English translation, a companion volume to the two anthologies he has already published with Penguin Classics, of Russian short stories and Russian magic tales.

He has a passion for languages and other cultures and has some knowledge of Persian and Armenian as well as of several European languages and classical Latin and Greek. He lectures at Queen Mary, University of London and also works as a mentor on a new scheme for young translators.

Robert Chandler believes that the aims of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, which he has staunchly supported since its inception, are similar to that of a translator: to enter into other ways of feeling and thinking; to understand and respect cultural differences, neither denying their existence nor trying to eradicate them.

Lord Stone of Blackheath (Patron)

Lord Stone

Lord Stone of Blackheath tired from his position as joint Managing Director of Marks & Spencer in 1999 and now focuses on projects that interest him, including the promotion of cooperation and enterprise in the Middle East.

Lord Stone also has a deep interest in Arts and Science and 'spirituality'. He is President of the DIPEx Charity, which helps patients gain information on how to make the right choices. He is a Life Member of the Board of the Weizmann Institute in Israel and is involved in a project in the West Bank helping to develop a sustainable livelihood for vulnerable Palestinian farmers through building links between them and UK Markets.

Mr Sheida Moussavi (Patron)

S-Moussavi.JPG

Sheida Moussavi was born and educated in Iran. He built a successful international business in Iran but had to leave everything behind when he left the country in 1980 soon after the 1979 revolution.

He has been residing in England since 1980. Through his professional business know-how and hard work he has been able to build a successful business in the UK, where he is the Chairman of a major international company.

Sheida Moussavi is a committed humanitarian with a great sense of religious altruism. He has a particular interest in the mystical Sufi poetry of Iran and is an enthusiast of non-religious culture of that county.

He is married to Janet, the greatest love of his life, and together they have 2 sons and four grandchildren

Sir David Michels (Trustee)

Sir David Michels

Sir David Michels is currently Senior Independent Director at Strategic Hotels and Resorts and EasyJet as well as Deputy Chairman of Marks & Spencer. He is also on the board of Jumeirah Hotels and is President of the British Hotels Association.

Having spent 40 years in the hotel and gaming business he retired last year having sold Hilton International (where he was Group Chief Executive) to Hilton Hotels Corporation for £4 billion and launched Ladbrokes as a separate part of the company.

Prior to Hilton he was Chief Executive of Stakis PLC, when joining it in 1990 it was a good company in serious trouble with a market cap of £23 million which was subsequently sold in 1999 to Ladbrokes PLC for £1.2 billion.

Sir David’s previous experiences included Worldwide Marketing Director for Hilton International and Grand Metropolitan Hotels where he started his career subsequent to hotel school.

In 2006 he was knighted for services to the hotel and catering industry.

Mehri Niknam MA, MBE (Founder & Executive Director)

Mehri Niknam

She has been working officially in Muslim-Jewish relations for over two decades and has been a consultant in Muslim-Jewish relations since 1995. She considers her work as her vocation.

In 2008 she won the Fulbright scholarship in Interfaith and Community Action.

She was a member of the Imams and Rabbis Committee and the Roundtable of Academics and Theologians at the Department of Communities from 2005-6.

Mehri Niknam’s contributions to Muslim-Jewish relations were recognised nationally in 2005 when she was awarded the MBE.

MBE

In the same year she was made Honorary Fellow at Leo Baeck College, Reform Rabbinic Seminary, for her achievements in Jewish-Muslim interfaith relations.

Her academic field is “Comparative Judaism and Islam in the Middle Ages”. She also studied Classical Persian Literature and has lectured at various universities, including Birkbeck College, London, the University of Sussex and Parkes Institute, University of Southampton.

Publications include article on Maimonides in “Medieval Islamic Encyclopaedia”, Routledge; The Desert, “Forms of Prayer: Pilgrim Festivals”, Reform Judaism; Commentary on “Words of Paradise: the Poems of Rumi”, Frances Lincoln

Ikram El-Hoque (Project Co-ordinator)

Ikram is studying Social Anthropology at a London university. He has been in Islamic Theological Studies since the age of eleven and graduated as an ‘Alim and Imam in 2014.

Sarah Levy (Project Coordinator, Council of Muslim and Jewish Physicians)

Sarah Levy is currently studying Medicine at the University of Glasgow, having recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Medicine from the University of St Andrews. Academically, Sarah is particularly interested in paediatric care, as well as medical ethics.

Sarah is involved in her local Jewish community and university Jewish Society. She has had an interest in interfaith work for several years, and has been inspired by the St Andrews Coexistence Initiative and its events which she has attended in recent years.

Sarah is excited to become involved with the Joseph Interfaith Foundation as the project coordinator of the Council of Muslim and Jewish Physicians, and believes that interfaith dialogue in this field is the key to promoting excellent patient care for all and optimising relationships between healthcare professionals of different faiths.

Nabil Hawa (Advisor on Student Projects)

Nabil initially joined the Foundation as Projects Coordinator while reading Politics and International Relations at the University of London. After graduating he embarked on a career in Project Management.

Through friendship and work with faith societies and college Chaplains, he gained hands-on experience in interfaith work. And at the Foundation, he found an appreciation for his role in “strengthening an understanding that based on principles of the two respective faiths, followers have more reason to unite than divide.”

In maintaining a wide professional interest in Higher Education, Nabil now offers support to his alma mater as a Muslim Chaplain. He continues his cooperation with the Foundation as an Advisor on Student Projects.

Ataul Munim (Volunteer; IT professional)

Ataul Munim is a graduate of Computer Science, now working as a software developer for mobile.

Ataul was the Project Coordinator for the Joseph Interfaith Foundation during 2007-2010. This was his first official encounter with the world of interfaith, though coming from a Muslim family, he is no doubt familiar with other Abrahamic faiths and is instinctively at ease with interfaith interactions.

Following his positive and enjoyable experiences in interfaith work during his time at the Foundation, Ataul has decided to continue his contributions to the projects of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation as well promoting its values and ethos by remaining a volunteer with the Foundation.