Berakah Arts is an innovative organisation dedicated to crossing boundaries of race, religion and culture through the arts. The core aim in our strategy is to build bridges, promote dialogue and increase understanding between people of different faiths. Music can often build bridges that other methods can not, especially if there is a powerful and positive message in the music itself. The work of Berakah Arts (‘Berakah’ means Grace or Blessing in hebrew and Arabic) serves to promote this message perfectly.
The Muslim, Christian and Jewish Faiths remain the soft focus of the work we do, as they originate from the same historical roots (indeed according to accepted theological history they share the same founder, Abraham) and because the current political situation has led to an anti-Islamic undercurrent in certain sections of British society. Furthermore, the Palestinian- Israeli conflict has created both anti Semitic and anti Muslim feelings. However, all our work is open to people of any faith, or none, and we welcome people of every nation, faith, identity or culture.
We also believe that if Britain is to overcome the very real challenges of integration and understanding, then on a smaller scale we should be working on a local community level to increase awareness and cooperation. In the current post 9/11 environment, with attacks on both mosques and Muslims, synagogues and Jews, there is a palpable atmosphere of suspicion and hostility, often bought about by fears of religiously incited terrorism or civil unrest. Against this backdrop, building bridges within the community and showing publicly that not all members of faith groups are divisive and dogmatic, is vital.
Music is recognised as a unique way to build bridges and heal, as well as a powerful motivator in social change. Tellingly, although there are various Inter Faith organisations and forums, and many multi-cultural bands, there are no projects of this particular type, working within the arts and music specifically. Berakah’s board and group contain members of the following faiths: Jewish, Christian and Muslim, all of whom have provided input in the ethos, aims and planning of this project and are committed to the work therein. Berakah has built up a network of contacts from all faiths who are committed to promoting respect, acceptance of differences and explorations of common or shared origins, and at a time when so called Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are prevalent both in the media and on the street it’s imperative that the silent majority of peace loving people from all communities are given a chance to come together and enjoy events that promote the concept of mutual respect and co-existence.