Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, Dr Anna Less and David Less made presentations across London

In October 2016, Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, Dr Anna Less and David Less made presentations across London (including for students of Kings College, London) and at Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. They spoke to over four hundred pupils at the prestigious the Camden School For Girls’ sixth formers, hosted two interfaith Sukkot events (one with old friend of the AR, Rabbi Mordechai Zeller, recently moved to the UK), and held a beautiful interfaith evening at St Ethelburga’s Centre For Peace & Reconciliation.

Photos by Jonathan Tait of Tait Films

Interfaith Sukkot Celebration in Cambridge, UK, with Rabbi Mordechai Zeller

Interfaith Sukkot Celebration in London

2016 UK Meetings with Syrian Refugees: Blogs from Dr. Anna Less

Blog Dinner in Alaa’s Home

Last night we were invited to Alaa’s home for an Iftar dinner.

Alaa and his family are Syrian refugees from Aleppo that we met at Rabbi Wittenberg’s party.

Before we leave for Alaa’s home we go to the Syrian market around the corner and Ghassan helps me pick out the special sweets that are made for Ramadan and we prepare a gift to bring. We call an Uber and take off for the Finchley district of London. Along the way we see traditionally dressed Jewish families walking to shul for Shavuot services.

Shavuot is a major Jewish holiday celebrated fifty days after the second day of Passover for two reasons. 1. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in the Land of Israel and 2. It commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai.

In other words Shavout for the Jews correlates to Ramadan for the Muslims.

It is interesting to me that the British government has chosen this neighbourhood as a place to settle Syrian refugees. I make a mental note to ask Alaa about this later in the evening.

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