RECENTLY, I was at the Shree Hindu Community Centre in Birmingham.

I wasn’t exactly invited as a Jew, to strengthen interfaith relations, yet that’s what happened, unexpectedly.

They held a day of talks and presentations to celebrate 100 years of women’s enfranchisement, highlighting the empowerment of women past and present.

I was to give a potted history of the Suffragette Movement.

The organiser (a man) picked up on my interest in that subject from my website, as portrayed in one of my novels.

So, after a bit of extra homework, and equipped with quotes from those times, I gave my presentation, using the words of the brave women — it wasn’t about Judaism.

I also I told them about the Indian Princess-Suffragette, goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

She was Sikh, not Hindu, but — no matter!

Then, I told my Suffragette grandmother’s story. Thus the audience realised we were both Jewish and that she, the Suffragette was also an immigrant, at the turn of the 20th century.

All present could relate to the immigrant experience.

After-talk chats were as much about that as the Suffragettes.

Their committee freshly prepared a veggie/vegan lunch for the 200 people present.

I so enjoyed it, knowing there was nothing I couldn’t eat! In the break, religious food laws were a talking point, too, strengthening further our interfaith connections.

Charlotte Gringras

Altrincham Interfaith Group