In response to the real difficulties being faced during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish community has responded with great tenacity, creativity and resilience. One of the core commandments of Judaism is to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ – and we are seeing evidence of this teaching being actualised throughout the country.
In addition to expressing our gratitude to key workers every Thursday evening, we want to show our appreciation to those who have responded to the call to help their local communities through volunteering. Each Thursday, we will be highlighting a few individuals who have taken on the pioneering and caring Jewish spirit, so we can say ‘Thank You’ for their work on behalf of the entire UK Jewish Community and from all those who are benefiting from their efforts.
If you would like to recommend someone to be featured in upcoming weeks, please email our Community Engagement Officer, Lauren Keiles, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each week, Marlene is voluntarily making 100 meals to deliver to Northwick Park hospital so that the hardworking staff can enjoy some homemade, hot meals during their lunch break.
Asha, a student at Cardiff University is working in a team of volunteers for an organisation called ‘Compassion London’. They are helping make about 2000 meals a day for NHS, support workers and vulnerable people. Asha is working in the kitchen to prepare the food.
Hannah has set up a group of social media champions for a small charity called ‘Goods for Good UK’ which is supplying vital toiletries, hygiene essentials and food items to NHS staff, food banks, asylum seekers, refugees, vulnerable families and the homeless during this COVID-19 crisis. Hannah has mobilised a dedicated group of young people to volunteer their time to launch a campaign to help raise significant funds to enable to the charity to help more vulnerable people.
Lauren created a WhatsApp group for residents on her road covering well in excess of 100 dwellings, Jewish and non-Jewish, with a high proportion of elderly and vulnerable residents. These residents have since had deliveries by non-isolating neighbours of Pesach orders, grocery shops, pharmacy prescriptions, Shabbat food and the loan of gardening equipment.
Julia has organised a Kosher supermarket to put together Pesach boxes and orders for the community. Julia then organised a team of volunteers to distribute the delivery. Rachel and Joel have worked tirelessly to organise all of the volunteers to care for community members through shopping, making regular phone call and organising for children to write to isolated members in lockdown. Jacqui has been doing a ‘challah run’ each week, ordering, collecting and delivering to those who are unable to go to the shops. The community has really benefited from all this work.
Ethne and Joe have founded a volunteer organisation called ‘Pulling Together’. Over fifty people are now delivering food, medicine and other essentials to the elderly and those unable to go out. They are also organising phone support to those who are housebound or lonely. Their work has brought out out the best in the Scottish Jewish Community and have positively helped to unite this community at a time of great difficulty.