BRADFORD – Extending their hands to their Jewish neighbors to save their worship place, Muslims in the northern British city of Bradford are rallying efforts to raise funds for preserving the last remaining synagogue in the city.
“In Bradford we are working hard to bring people of different faiths together, and to support one another as good neighbors,” Zulfi Karim, secretary of Bradford Council for Mosques, told Telegraph & Argus.
The umbrella group said it would raise funds for local authorities to help renovate the Bradford Reform Synagogue, the last remaining Jewish worship place in the city.
“We are delighted by the way people have rallied to save the Bradford Synagogue, which is not only a work of art in itself, but represents so much in the way of Bradford’s heritage, faith and culture,” said Karim.
Built in 1880, the Jewish synagogue stands as an example of Moorish Victorian Architecture.
The synagogue is still used for Shabbat and major festivals although the community is small and has been in decline for years.
The Muslim help has won praise from Jewish leaders in Bradford.
“The contribution of immigrants to this region has been outstanding, and the current wave has followed in that tradition of mutual help, communal involvement and harmony,” said Rudi Leavor, chair of the Bradford Synagogue.
“We are all working together to save the synagogue with the help of the local authority.”
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.
The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.