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.
When exam week finishes at Cambridge University, there is usually a week of celebrations called ‘May Week’. With the pandemic cancelling this iconic week, George created a coalition of the May Week Alternative, RAG and all of the May Ball committees to create a virtual celebration. George’s strong vision and leadership has brought the Cambridge community together to celebrate the end of term whilst raising money for two charities, one which is tackling the current crisis and one to prevent future ones. The evening will feature contributions from over 300 students and alumni as well as featuring the heroes of Cambridge to celebrate the incredible people who have gone above and beyond for other people during lockdown.
For details to join the event and to donate, click here.
Sadly, the challenges of the pandemic meant that many special schools had to close. Gesher has been one of the few SEN schools and the only one in the Jewish community that has remained open throughout the pandemic. At this critical time, the Gesher School staff and teachers have kept the school accessible and fully operational. They have come to school every day with braves smiles on their faces and shown relentless commitment and care. Every single one of them has gone above and beyond, despite their personal circumstances to ensure that no child or family has been left to face this crisis alone.
Rebettzen Aidele Rose has gone above and beyond to ensure the community is supported during this time. She has given online classes as well as providing constant encouragement and motivation to all. Helped by her team of volunteers, she has overseen food deliveries to community members in need. Despite having a busy family life, she is tireless in her efforts to the community and to all Jews in Cardiff. She has arranged for fruit and cakes to be delivered to the NHS workers and other front line staff. She truly is an exceptional women.
Debbie has helped members of the Birmingham Progressive Jewish community stay in touch with each other right from the start of the lockdown. She volunteered to manage the Synagogue email account whilst steps were taken to get the Synagogue administrator set up to work from home. Debbie ensured that the Synagogue weekly email reached all members of the community so congregants could access assistance and online community events.
The Board of Deputies was fortunate to receive a donation of face masks. David immediately volunteered to drive to London to pick them up and then helped organise for them to be delivered to Jewish communities and charities in need from around the country.
Emmy and Miriam have made it a focus of this period to bring joy to members of their local community. They have previously organised a door-step street party and their latest venture has seen them setting up the Eastcote branch of the ‘The Little Local Book Hub‘. Outside their house, local residents are encouraged to donate unwanted books and to pick up a new book allowing people to get free access to reading materials during lockdown.