How did Nisa-Nashim start?
Nisa-Nashim evolved from a 2014 International Women’s Day event, the feedback from which was very positive with women particularly interested in doing not just talking, in issues of shared concern and in seeing how women specifically can make a difference in a variety of ways.
Nisa-Nashim was awarded funding by the Department of Communities and Local Government and was launched in June 2015 with two well-attended and inspiring events at the Jewish Museum and Islamia Girls’ School, both in London. It is also supported by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and has received a grant from David Dangoor.
Why a focus on just the Muslim and Jewish faiths?
Nisa-Nashim recognises the importance, in the current climate, of bringing Jews and Muslims together. It is not intended to exclude men or women from other faith groups but, rather, is focused on these two.
What about the Middle East situation?
Nisa-Nashim’s aim is to develop meaningful and impactful relationships between Jewish and Muslim British women, to nurture them as leaders, and to benefit wider society. While the political situation in the Middle East is of deep concern to both communities, a greater sense of trust and understanding between us is so important before any progress can be made regarding meaningful dialogue on this difficult subject. Experience has shown that this is usually best avoided at an early stage while relationships and friendships are crucially being developed and then carefully nurtured.
How does Nisa-Nashim work with existing interfaith initiatives?
The UK has countless wonderful local and national networks and groups. Nisa-Nashim celebrates the work they do and seeks to complement their output with our primary focus on women and the Jewish and Muslim faiths. There is so much work to be done in these areas and we feel privileged to contribute to the mix, which can only benefit from a variety of different providers.
Nisa-Nashim is about action – and so if you think you could set up a local group in your area, or a special interest group, we’d love to hear from you. Equally if you would just like to come along to some events, that’s fine too.