Jews And Muslims Work Together At Salaam Shalom Kitchen To Serve Nottingham's Needy

06/08/2015 05:50 pm ET

Muslims and Jews in the United Kingdom have teamed up to work toward a common goal -- eradicating hunger in their city of Nottingham.

The Salaam Shalom Kitchen, or SaSh, is a project of the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Himmah, an Islamic social justice group. Members of the two worship centers are joining forces on Wednesdays to serve meals to the city’s needy.

The pop-up kitchen runs out of The Bridge Centre, a community center located in the basement of the Boulevard United Reformed Church in Hyson Green. It’s a free community cafe open to anyone in need of a hot meal or a good conversation, and both adults and children volunteer there.

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Salaam Shalom volunteers.

According to Karen Worth, social action lead for the synagogue, the project has fed about 70 people over the Wednesdays since its May 20 launch. She said the Jewish community’s bonds with Himmah have been growing stronger.

“So far we are already making friends between the [two] groups and this can only get better,” Worth told the Huffington Post in an email. “Doing practical tasks and eating together are really good ways to connect and get to know people.”

According to the country’s Office for National Statistics, Nottingham had the highest unemployment rate in the U.K. in 2013. About 30 percent of households with adults of working age had members with no paid employment.

salaam shalom

Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich of the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Sajid Mohammed, co-founder of Himmah.

Himmah’s co-founder Sajid Mohammed said Salaam Shalom is also meant to address a rise in both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism he’s seen over the past year.

“Nottingham for the most part has been quite sheltered but we felt that now is the right moment to give hope and demonstrate our communities' values of compassion, dignity and care to others,” Mohammed told The Nottingham Post.

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