Meet the Team
Rabbi Natan Levy
Rabbi Natan is also a lecturer at Leo Baeck College in Rabbinical Literature. He was the environmental liaison to the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, the former interfaith consultant to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and a University Chaplain to Bristol University.
Natan is the co-author of “Sharing Eden: Green Teachings from Jews, Christians and Muslims.” He is pursuing a doctorate in environmental theology at Bristol University.
Mustafa Field OBE
Mustafa Field OBE has been the Director of Faith Forum for London since 2013, he was awarded an MBE in 2012 for his efforts in strengthening integration and social cohesion and awarded an OBE in 2019. He is a Fellow for the John Smith Trust and is involved in strengthening the rule of law and countering sectarianism. He has good knowledge of faith and the different communities and practices with particular concerns around community relations in the UK.
Aya Bdaiwi leads the Communications of Strengthening Faith Institutions, this includes managing the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. She also manages a bespoke Customer Relationship Management System which is our centralised database for the networks, places of worship and people we work with nationally.
Since February 2016 Naka has managed the Strengthening Faith Institutions financial budget, organised the stand together campaign and managed the annual accounts. Naka has a BA in Media and Sociology and am Master in Research Politics.
Jeeves is one of the London Regional Coordinators, he has recently been working with Places of Worship to carry carry out Covid-19 risk assessments to ensure that places of worship are compliant with the latest Government guidelines.
He is also the Chair of Faiths United Youth Network, a consortium of younger representatives between the ages of 18-30 from all faiths and beliefs, working on campaigns that focus on issues of social injustice that matter to the youth.
Maurice Ostro OBE KFO
Maurice Samuel Ostro, OBE, KFO is a British entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is Vice Chair of the Council of Christians and Jews, Founding Patron of Faiths Forum for London and served on the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission. His foundation supports economic development and interfaith initiatives internationally, with SFI being the tentpole of this work in England.
His wider philanthropic interests include supporting entrepreneurs to be more successful and purposeful. Besides being chairman of his gemstone business, his business interests have included media distribution, property, frozen yogurt and airline catering.
In response to COVID-19, he established Faiths United – a UK-wide interfaith coalition; The Business Action Council – a coalition of business representative organisations; and Smile for our Carers – a campaign to use joyful face-coverings to encourage their use.
Farooq Mulla is a UK based trained Hafiz and Imam and has developed himself by understanding and working with different cultures. He was appointed as a Chaplain since 1995 in the Rampton hospital and is a consultant advisor for a number of organisations on issues related to Muslim community in the UK and abroad.
Currently Farooq is actively involved in developing materials and training of Muslim supplementary school teachers.
Muzahid has had extensive experience in the public sector working in Regeneration, Housing, Social Services. After leaving the public sector he has gained experience working the third sector as a programme director of Involve Yorkshire & Humber the regional body for the third sector.
In the recent past, Muzahid has been called by Government to be a Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor and also task force member of the preventing violent extremism together. He was the chair of Oldham Interfaith forum and still serves on the board as well as serving on the board of the Oldham Mosques Council.
He was awarded by:
- HM Queen Elizabeth II (1998) recognised as an young achiever and;
- British Prime Minister (2000) for his outstanding contribution to the community
Fakrul Choudhury MBE
Fakrul has held several posts in a range of diverse employment sectors. He has over 20 years’ experience working with young people from different socio-economical, ethnic, religious and ability backgrounds and also has extensive experience working within local authorities (in Equality Policy Development) as well as the third sector.
He is an experienced trainer and has expertise in equality, diversity and community and cultural activity development. He also has post graduate qualifications in Equality and Islamic Studies.
He was an awarded an MBE in 2018.
Sarvat has a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies and a PGCert in Islamic Education. Her research has led her to be involved with Muslim supplementary schools commonly known as ‘Madrasahs’ in the capacity of a teacher and course coordinator. Sarvat has been trained as a trainer by the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE) to teach the ‘Effective Teaching Skills’ course and has successfully trained over 150 Madrasah teachers.
A media commentator, blogger, teacher of Islamic Studies, inter-faith advisor, humanitarian and community activist. He has been serving at Al-Hira Cultural and Educational Centre, Luton since 2011 as the Head of Educational and Youth Services. He has hosted and presented a series of programmes for Islam Channel and British Muslim TV such as iGeneration and Living The Life amongst others.
He continues to work strenuously with both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities across different faiths and cultures. Through his initiative at Al Hira Centre the organisation has received many awards for its outreach work and for planning initiatives that actively engage with youth, women and different community groups.
Shakil Ahmad Khan
Born and bred in Pakistan, Shakil started his working life as a lecturer, moving on to community development and youth work later in Scotland. A self-confessed factotum, Shakil has been a manager, school governor, commissioner, volunteer driver and editor, among other things. Working now as a linguist, he is married with three grown-up children and is now a doting granddad too. He enjoys cycling, reading and volunteering for community projects in and outside Birmingham.
Dr. Javed Bashir
Javed Bashir is the Founder and CEO of the Professional Muslims Institute, Safeguarding Consultant for the Strengthening Faith Institution and has played a pivotal role in promoting better understanding, integration and community cohesion in the City for many years.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Javed teamed up with different faith communities to set up the Volunteering Interfaith Partnership in collaboration with Age UK Bradford & District and SFI. Together they responded to the urgent needs of elderly, vulnerable and isolated people by providing hot meals, welfare packs, help with shopping and collecting prescriptions and provided food to the NHS working on the frontline.
Javed Bashir was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford for his service to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic and his unstinting support to the University of Bradford.
More recently, Javed was included in Hall of Fame by the Telegraph and Argus for his commitment to promoting a positive image of Bradford, British Pakistanis and Muslims in the UK at an international level and was awarded the Unsung Hero award by Keighley MP Robbie Moore for his innovative work in helping and supporting elderly, vulnerable and isolated people during difficult times of Covid-19.
A diverse advisory team ensures that Strengthening Faith Institutions is guided by experts in faith, business, law, and third sector governance.
Jasvir Singh OBE is Vice Chair of the Faiths Forum for London and the Chair of City Sikhs, a national representative body for progressive Sikhs. He is a regular contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. He is also a family law barrister.
Leonie Lewis FRSA, is Director of the Jewish Volunteering Network. She has a Masters in Sociology of Education and has an MBA in Educational Leadership. She is particularly interested in faith, young people and community development issues and holds several voluntary positions including, co Vice Chair of the Faiths Forum for London,
Trustee of the Faith Based Regeneration Network (FBRN), Vice President of the United Synagogue, and Advisor to the Children’s Aid Committee.
Leonie is newly appointed to the Queens Award for Voluntary Service Assessment Committee.