gathering_brussels_01206_-_1_-_michaelthaidigsmannOn December 6, Rabbi Soetendorp participated in a high-level gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Brussels organized by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding as well as the Jewish World Congress (JWC) that brought together some 50 leaders of Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.

The group discussed a common statement which calls for closer cooperation between the two communities in Europe and steps “to ensure that Jews and Muslims are able to practice our respective faiths fully and unimpeded by intrusive, discriminatory and unfair governmental regulations.” It urges “cooperative projects to succor the poor and homeless of all backgrounds, to help protect new immigrants who are threatened by hatred and xenophobia, and to heal the environment, bringing together Muslim and Jewish youth for joint programming.”

The one day event included a meeting with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, as well as a working lunch with representatives of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Rabbi Soetendorp co-chaired a session on the priorities of Jewish-Muslim collaboration in 2011 where he stressed the need for forging alliances between Jewish and Muslim youth and strengthening collaboration between the two communities on the local level.

Please find a longer report, videos and photos of the event here

Picture credits: Michael Thaidigsmann 

The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands