Mayor meets faith leaders to strengthen social ties with Chicago

17 September 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today met hundreds of young people of different faiths and backgrounds at Chicago’s oldest synagogue to discuss how communities around the world can come together to promote greater social integration and tolerance.


At Temple Sholom, the Mayor heard from faith leaders as well as The Inter-Faith Youth Core about the organisation’s mission to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. The Mayor used the meeting to reinforce his plans to do all he can to build true social integration in London and to reiterate his message that London is open to people of all faiths and backgrounds from across the globe.


This is the first in a number of community events the Mayor will take part in over the course of his five day visit to Chicago, New York and Montreal. Earlier today, he accompanied Rahm Emanuel to a service at the Chicago Mayor’s own synagogue, Anshe Sholom. In New York, he will attend an Evangelical church service in Queens, as well as an interfaith reception being hosted by the American Muslim Community.


From the outset of his trip, the Mayor made it clear that he would use this time not only to create business links, but to strengthen social ties and to share ideas around what big global cities can do to instil cohesion and prosperity across all communities.


Sadiq Khan said: “London is an incredibly diverse and tolerant city, but improving social integration is still one of the big challenges we face. That’s why I’m keen to hear from people of many different faiths here in the US to learn from their experiences and to share ideas on how we can bring communities together and strengthen the social fabric that underpins any successful city. I also want to tell everyone around the world, loud and clear, that London is open to people of all faiths and backgrounds.”


Last week, the Mayor appointed Matthew Ryder as his Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement. Sadiq has asked Matthew, a leading QC, to help ensure Londoners from different faiths, ethnicities, backgrounds and social classes are better integrated in a city that is the most diverse in the country, where the population is at record levels and where more than 100 languages are spoken. Matthew’s task will be to ensure Londoners of every gender, ethnicity, faith, culture, age, sexuality and socio-economic background don’t just live side by side, but live truly interconnected lives.


In his first major international visit as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is taking the message direct to New York, Chicago and Montreal that London is open for business and is a key destination for North American investment and tourism. Over five days (14-19 September), he will make a wide range of visits and meet senior politicians, officials and business leaders of world class cities which face similar issues, to discuss how to tackle his top priorities of regeneration, housing, social integration and growing the tech and cultural industries.


Notes to editors

About Temple Shalom

Temple Sholom is a Reform Jewish congregation. Founded in 1867, it is one of the oldest synagogues in Chicago. Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism) is a major Jewish denomination which emphasizes the evolving nature of the religion, It is characterized by a lesser stress on ritual and personal observance, regarding Jewish religious law as of basically non-binding nature, and great openness to external influences and progressive values. The origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principles were formulated by Abraham Geiger and his associates. Its greatest centre today is in North America.

2.      About IFYC

A non-profit founded in 2002 by Eboo Patel. The organization’s stated mission is to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Today it operates with approximately 30 full-time staff and a $4-million budget. It has worked on five continents and with over 200 college campuses domestically.