On 18th April 2018, Nisa-Nashim, initiated the sending of a letter by some of the most prominent Jewish British women,   to local councillors across the UK, demanding action in tackling gendered Islamophobia. This was timed to influence the local elections taking place in May. A copy of the letter is below. 

Wednesday 18thApril 2018

Dear Local Council Candidate,

As Jewish and Muslim women, we both firmly believe that no-one should fear for their safety because of who they are, how they pray, what they wear, or their gender. How we treat each other is a testament to our core values and we are all diminished when we allow fear and ignorance, which often lead to bigotry and violence, to come between us and go unchecked.

Tell MAMA www.tellmamauk.org, the only national campaign that monitors, records and supports victims of anti-Muslim hatred, highlighted in their annual report, a range of social impacts caused by anti-Muslim hatred within the United Kingdom. The greatest impact was felt by women, who are visibly Muslim; more than half of victims of in-person or street-based incidents were female. Every day spaces like trains, buses or the streets often feel unsafe for Muslim women, and they are too often worried that they, and their children, will face verbal abuse or even physical violence.

As Jewish women, standing shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim cousins, and as mothers, sisters, and crucially as friends, we call upon every candidate in the local elections in May, to commit to addressing violence against Muslim Women, or Gendered Islamophobia.

We call upon you, as potential local councillors, firstly to publicly and immediately commit to a clear strategy to protect Muslim women on our streets in our towns and villages, and secondly, to work with Nisa-Nashim(the Jewish/Muslim women’s network in 30 locations nationally) to develop a local policy, to address this issue longer term.

We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible


Signed by:

Laura Marks OBE: Co-Founder of Nisa-Nashim

Luciana Berger MP, Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree

Ruth Smeeth MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove

The Baroness Altmann CBE

Dame Helen Hyde DBE

Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, Facebook Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Gillian Merron, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi of Reform Judaism

Hilda Worth, Co-Chair of Jewish Women’s Aid, Trustee of Jewish Leadership Council

Leonie Lewis, Vice President of the United Synagogue and Director of JVN

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Director of Strategy and Partnerships for Liberal Judaism

Marie van der Zyl, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Judy Silkoff, Chief Operating Officer for the Federation of Synagogues

Hannah Rose, President Elect of the Union of Jewish Students

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Deborah Nathan, Co-Chair of the Association of Jewish Women & their Organisations

Dr Tamra Wright, Director of Academic Studies and Educator Development at the London School of Jewish Studies

Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal of Leo Baeck College

Abigail Morris, Chief Executive of Jewish Museum London

Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick, Convener of the Reform Judaism Beit Din

Doreen Samuels, Trustee of the United Synagogue

Bev Jacobson, Chief Executive of Kisharon

Rabbi Leah Jordan, Liberal Judaism Student Chaplain

Lady Daniela Pears, Interfaith Chair of Mitzvah Day

Debbie Fox, Vice Chair of Jewish Care

Rebecca Filer, Campaigns Officer for the Union of Jewish Students

Nicky Goldman, Executive Director of Lead (Jewish Leadership Council)

Lauren Hamburger, Director of PJ Library in the UK

Hannah Weisfeld, Director of Yachad

Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of Rene Cassin

And many more supportive Jewish women from all around the UK.