Richmond's Mitzvah Day 2015
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Thursday 26th November 2015

On Sunday the 1st November 2015, a group of 37 ladies and children of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community visited a synagogue in Lichfield Gardens in Richmond. The Richmond Synagogue is an orthodox Jewish synagogue where 300 families are registered. It was established in 1989 and celebrated therefore its 25th anniversary last year.

The purpose of the visit was to create interfaith relations between Muslim and Jewish communities in order to achieve peace and harmony.

During the visit it became very clear that the Jewish community share a lot of similarities to Islam. For example, the word “Shalom and Salam” for greetings, has same meaning of peace. Similarly due to modesty, there are two separate entrances for men and ladies for the main hall, where the religious service is conducted. Furthermore men and ladies sit separately during the service in order to stay focused on the prayers.     

After the guided tour ladies were offered tea, coffee and Jewish bread called “Challah.” The prayers and traditions of Sabbath were also demonstrated. Ahmadi Muslim ladies and children asked many relevant questions about their traditions and the Torah’s teaching. The speaker also asked questions about Islam and was surprised that about how many similarities existed. They agreed that through the visit and meeting of the two communities, it helped them learn new things and create harmony between each other.

The synagogue was presented the Holy Quran with English translation and a book “Introduction to the study of the Holy Quran”.

The synagogue has also been invited to the forthcoming Ahmadiyya Muslim women association’s Seminar in Baitul Wahid mosque, Hanworth Park, Feltham.