One Sunday morning in 1941 in Nazi Occupied Netherlands a mysterious character rode up on his bicycle and entered the Calvinist Church. He ascended the podium and read aloud the story of the midwives who saved the Hebrew babies and defied Pharaoh's policy of genocide.
"Who is today's Pharaoh?" he asked. "HItler" the congregation replied.
"Who are today's Hebrew babies?" "The Jews" the again replied.
"Who will be today's midwives? He left the church leaving his question hanging in the air.
Seven families from this little church hid Jews and other resisters from the Nazis.
The West London Synagogue hosted 'Midwives of Freedom' an interfaith storytelling event on Sunday 4 September. Jumana Moon (Muslim) and Adele Moss (Jewish) combined both their traditions to tell the story of the woman of Exodus. Highlighted was the integrity and spiritual strength of the Egyptian midwives defying Pharroh that saved many Jewish male babies, including Moses.
The story was brilliantly portrayed by the duo interweaving both their traditions of the story, making dramatic use of style, language and imagery. Jumana and Adele have been performing together more than 10 years, bringing their Jewish-Muslim collaborative storytelling to communities with the aim of encouraging greater understanding and appreciation of their common heritage.
The audience included representatives from different Christian denominations, Muslims and Jews. The event started with a traditional 'Afternoon Tea' and ended with a tour of West London Synagogue led by Rabbi Helen Freeman.
The celebration was part of European Heritage Days, where the synagogue is open to the public with the aim of educating non-Jews about Jewish culture and heritage so as to create greater trust and understanding between religions.
If you are interested in any similar events, please contact Alex Cameron, Neighbourhood Community Worker (Nehemiah Foundation)33 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5AU Tel: 07952 531166