Dear Friends, celebrating Ramadan as it draws to a close I usually wait till the eid to extend my greetings. This year I would like to write to all of you towards the end of the month, because of a special announcement and message I would like to share. The message is one that is appropriate for this holy month and I hope you will receive it as a gift for Ramadan and share it with your friends in that spirit. Yesterday, the Elijah Interfaith Instituted, in London, launched a global appeal of world religious leaders calling for people of different faiths to make friends across religions. On the Muslim side, we had Grand Mufti Shawki Allam of Egypt, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Dr. Adamou Ndam Njoya and two important Shi’a clerics, Ayatollahs Milani and Al-Qazwini. Non-Muslim leaders included Pope Francis, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar and many more. It is a wonderful message to call people to friendship. It is actually not an obvious message, inasmuch as all too often friendship is kept to the in-group. Extending friendship to those outside our traditions is something of a novelty, especially when it is preached jointly by leaders of different religions. A novel teaching and a novel context are signs of the power of good religious teaching to overcome obstacles and to show humanity the way forward. You may see the common appeal at The appeal was launched at a press conference, where experts discussed the problems in society and where social research was presented indicating that people of different traditions are actually open to friendship. I, for my part, spoke of the novelty and importance of the initiative. Please find here a short version of the leaders’ appeal, along with the main elements of the press conference at The project consists of personal interviews with all participating leaders. The project trailer takes phrases out of these interviews and combines them into a collective message. The individual interviews are treasures in and of themselves. All these materials are available in Arabic on The campaign trailer is available in 14 languages including Arabic, Persian, Hindi and more. For me, it is a great gift that I have been able to complete this project after 2 years. It comes out just during Ramadan, and in fact, this was part of our planning. Please do make this part of your Ramadan teaching and message. Please use Ramadan and upcoming eid to also practice friendship across religions. And finally, please visit where toolkits for practicing friendship have been created for your use. Separate toolkits have been created for ‘everyone” and for “religious leaders’. There is much teaching and instruction on the next steps of how to put into action the wonderful teachings and vision that is spelled out by the world’s premier religious leaders. Please share this broadly; please follow the example, Wishing you a blessed end of Ramadan In friendship, Rabbi Alon