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23 FEBRUATY 2017


A hand full of charity

Just one little thing to help others in need Edited by Brigit Grant



Jewish News 23 February 2017

Charity / Luxury shopping All Aboard. It would be easier to name the charities that are not All Aboard recipients than list the 60 which are, but with that many relying on their donations, it needs to sell as many clothes as any high street retailer. To get anywhere near those sorts of numbers, the charity needs stock. Lots of it. And with 18 shops and a new huge warehouse in Watford, there is unlimited space for good quality clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery and bric-a-brac – and the charity constantly needs more. As the trend for second-hand bargainhunting continues, All Aboard intends to make the most of it, hence the call out to anyone who is spring cleaning, decluttering or moving house. “Pre-loved items will be loved again by our customers,” says marketing and collections manager Evelyn Andresier. “We believe there’s still life in previously-owned belongings and they should never be gathering dust or, worse, put into landfill.” and Hobbs spring dress are If your clear-out pile is too also at odds with the rest of big to carry, All Aboard will the worthy content – only send a collection van (of which they’re not. Everything they have three) and you can on display here is for sale, book a free pick-up from your but the sum raised for each home (now six days a week, item will be donated to the Sun-Fri). You can also drop off many charities supported by goods at any of its shops or at its Watford warehouse. “We also have eBay for the more unique items we are skilled at spotting, and those are auctioned on our page to maximize the value of the donation,” explains Evelyn. “Our customer base is truly global – with Japan and Germany our biggest markets.” Those who like to browse up close before they buy will get the chance to do just that on a grand scale when All Aboard opens its pop-up shop at the Kings Cross Vintage Fair in April. The charity’s appearance there last year defied expectation and it is hoping the stock it takes this year will prove as appealing. Of course, its success depends on you, so if that old Chanel has lost its appeal or you want to put your picnic hamper out to grass, why not take them to an All Aboard shop for someone else to buy and enjoy? And if you feel like volunteering, it will be appreciated as the charity always needs extra pairs of hands in its stores.



Dolce & Gabbana skirt, topshop denim jacket & vintage necklace.

Below: Hobbs dress, Paule K A mac & 18 kt gold butterfly necklace

All Aboard has big shelves to fill... and it needs your help


he opportunity to buy a Chanel necklace is not what you expect to see on the first page of a charity supplement. A Mulberry handbag, Dolce & Gabbana skirt

British Emunah:


 Visit allaboardshops.com or call 020 8381 1717 Emunah is the largest provider of therapeutic residential care for children in Israel

We support families with parenting skills classes, counselling and day-care centres

We provide educational support for at risk children and those with special needs at our homes and high schools

Please support our vital work in Israel by donating at emunah.org.uk or calling 020 8203 6066. www.emunah.org.uk

Follow British Emunah

British Emunah Fund - Registered charity number 215398

Above: Dolce & Gabbana jeans, Burberry shirt and Barbour jacket

Jean Paul Gautier top, Prada trousers, Dior bag and vintage pearls

23 February 2107 Jewish News



Doggedly determined / Charity

EXPANDING THE VISION The Israel Guide Dog Centre tells Brigit Grant of its plans for the future THREE MONTHS AGO, on a very rainy day in Tel Aviv, I took a cab to Beit Oved. It’s off the beaten track, but it is space not location that matters when training dogs which improve the quality of life for blind and visually-impaired people. At the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind (IGDCB), wet weather isn’t an issue for the dogs or their trainers who were putting two adorable young labradors through their paces in a courtyard. Surrounding the courtyard were other labradors who were happy to be petted by my daughter. The work taking place at this centre is monumental and a dream come true for the founder and director Noach Braun, a former paratrooper who at the age of 26 decided to make it his life’s mission to create a guide dog school in Israel. Maintaining that dream is all-consuming for Noach and his amazing team, which includes affable American Dennis Allon who, as director of fundraising and resource development, showed us a film celebrating the success of the centre. One cannot fail to be moved by the image of a blind person regaining their self-confidence and mobility with a dog at their side. As Dennis tells us: “Since the film was made, another 600 guide dog partnerships have been created and a total of 1,300 wonderful dogs have been raised since the founding of the centre.” But the team doesn’t rest on its laurels. Expanding puppy development and training capabilities is critical for the IGDCB to grow and respond to the increasing numbers of blind and visually-impaired Israelis applying for a guide dog. During 2014/15, plans were completed for constructing new kennels, whelping facilities and training grounds in the eastern section of the IGDCB campus. They have since obtained all the necessary authorisations and permits and, even in heavy rain, it was possible to see the very beginnings of construction on the site. The laying of a ‘cornerstone’ was certainly a cause for celebration, but now the serious fundraising begins. “There will be a special facility for whelping, weaning and early puppy raising,” explains Dennis. “The new training yards will increase the dog’s level of confidence and problemsolving abilities and the simulation training areas will focus on specific tasks encountered by guide dogs in real life.” As we left, Dennis pointed to a building where six-week old puppies were being nursed by their mother. On tiptoes we could only just see them but, within the year, they will be changing blind people’s lives, which really will be worth seeing.

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Charity Reg No. 802559

C4 Jewish News


23 February 2017

Charity/ Good things


TO GIVE It’s fantastic to hand over a big cheque but, as Louisa Walters and Debbie Collins discovered, there are other ways to be charitable

If you were suddenly asked to drop hours and minutes instead of bank notes into a charity bucket, would you be as keen to contribute? Leading busy lives often drowns out our best intentions, but there are some who manage to do good deeds alongside their day jobs. Whether this philanthropy is full-time or just a single act of kindness squeezed into a week (see page 6), hopefully the rest of us will be encouraged to tailor our time to support those in need.

Boys Town Jerusalem provides exceptional education and pastoral care to those who need it most. T: 020 8090 8421 E: office@boystownjerusalem.co.uk W: www.boystownjerusalem.org.uk

Reg. Charity number: 1100332

CHARLOTTE POSNER is the Pop Doll queen. You may have seen her iconic designs in art galleries, online and even on the wall of your friends’ houses. She has collaborated with major brands such as Magnum, Disney and Wall’s and worked with fashion bloggers for London Fashion Week, plus interior designers and hotels. So Charlotte is a busy woman but, when her friend Natasha was diagnosed with leukaemia and prescribed a long and gruelling course of chemo, she stood by her side as much as possible. For World Cancer Day, Macmillan released a campaign to raise awareness of how to be a friend to someone who has cancer, and the charity asked Natasha if she and Charlotte would feature in a promotional video. “So many people don’t know what to do when their friend has cancer, so they run away or hide,” says Charlotte. “This is a time when you really need your friends, and I’m so pleased to have been able to help Macmillan get the message across. “Natasha is a fighter and, as her friend, I was determined to fight with her,” she continues. “We became a team and we did it together.

We turned the whole thing into a fun game, even giving Natasha’s portable chemo drip a nickname – Looee, because he had to be attached to her at all times, even when she took a trip to the ladies!” Natasha was just 27 when she was diagnosed. At the time, she was focused on her career at Uber Technology. “Charlotte has literally been with me every step of the way,” says Natasha. “There were times when I didn’t want

Charlotte Posner’s Pop Dolls

23 February 2107 Jewish News



Good things/ Charity to talk and she respected that, too.” Through her journey, Natasha has developed a passion for a more holistic career and has become a self-taught candle maker. The video was recorded in a studio in Haggerston by a production team who all gave their time to the charity. Charlotte and Natasha had their hair and make-up done and it was a great day. This spring, the friends are both turning 30 and are going to New York for some girly fun and to celebrate life and their devoted friendship. Once JANE DIMSON’S twin daughters had done the rounds of batmitzvahs, she was left with a wardrobe full of beautiful but defunct party dresses. “As they are twins, there was no ability to pass down dresses,” she says. “Recently, I was clearing out their wardrobes and they had about 10 dresses between them which they have grown out of – both physically and because what was ‘cool’ to wear at 11 and 12 is no longer cool at 14.” It dawned on her that there must be many other mums in the same position and she had a brainwave. “My girls may no longer want their dresses, but there must be lots of others out there who would love them,” she says. “Selling them would not only provide an affordable dress-buying option for others, but could also raise some money for charity.” Jane put out some feelers on social media to see if there was any interest in people selling their daughter’s dresses and shoes for charity and, when she got a positive response, contacted Jewish Care. “There are many charities that pull on people’s heartstrings – sick children, war and famine – but there are many vulnerable and


GILLIAN ROSE heard through her synagogue

Talia and Katie in the dresses up for sale

poor elderly people who are not well-cared for,” she says. “As a doctor in a busy London hospital, I see the problems with social care and social isolation. “Jewish Care is the largest health and social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London and the south-east and runs 70 centres, plus a host of services to support the elderly and give them a lifeline. We will all get old (hopefully) and we must look after our elderly as they once looked after us.” Jane says the charity has been incredibly supportive and excited by the idea of the dress sale, which is scheduled for this Sunday (26 February), at its headquarters, at 221 Golders Green Road. Meanwhile, Jane has been busy marketing and collecting dresses and recruited a team to work at the sale on the day. “I’m a busy working mum, so I have to fit this in around work. The days running up to the sale will be manic as we check all the labels and make sure everything is organised in size order.” Jane’s daughters have been very involved, too. “They both think it’s a great idea. One designed the flyer and they have both have advertised it at school. They are very excited about helping out on the day and doing their bit for charity.”

Jane Dimson and her twin daughters will be at the Jewish Care charity sale on Sunday

about an organisation called Refugees at Home, which places asylum seekers and refugees with families on a temporary basis. With her eldest daughter at university overseas, and her teenage boys becoming increasingly independent, Gillian (pictured, right) realised she had the space, both physically and metaphorically, to give to someone. “I wanted to offer someone safety from the world storm,” she says. “This is something I hope others would do for me in a time of crisis.” Gillian contacted the organisation, which began a screening process. “I was anxious about taking a stranger into my home, but any worries I had dissipated once I met Abdullah.” Abdullah, 31, was born in Syria and left 18 months ago to study in the UK. His family have all fled and are living in Turkey and Jordan. “I’ve learnt all about the difficulties his family is facing and how strong they are,” says Gillian. “It’s been so easy to have him here. He is kind, warm and helpful. This is the first time he has been exposed to Jewish culture and he has embraced Shabbat dinners and even contributed some typical Syrian dishes, as he enjoys cooking.” “I found Refugees at Home through googling ‘accommodation for refugees’,” says Abdullah. “They responded immediately to my email and worked hard to find a good fit.

Despite the differences in our culture, I feel really comfortable in Gillian’s home and it’s so nice to be in a family atmosphere. I love having people around me, especially the family’s two dogs!” “This has been a really positive experience for us all,” says Gillian. “My boys (aged 18 and 13) have learnt so much about the refugee crisis and the importance of generosity to others. They also appreciate Abdullah’s wisdom and his company. “The refugee crisis is bigger than any of us, but if you can make a difference for one life, it can have positive reverberations. Having taken this step, I now realise how straightforward and mutually fulfilling it is and others should do it, too.”

C6 Jewish News


23 February 2017

Charity / What could you do?


About three times a week, Tracie successfully combines her dog-walking business ‘Waggingtons’ with taking autistic young adults on her walks. The National Autistic Society originally approached Tracie to ask if she would be willing to have company and she now walks up to 15 dogs at a time with regular faces from the society. “Before we head out, I encourage youngsters to help with getting the dogs ready. It gives them a great sense of responsibility and the dogs react to them so well. It’s a joy to watch, especially when you see progress in the person’s trust and communication skills.”


With more 50 years’ involvement with The London Taxi drivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children, Gerry has been awarded an MBE for his charitable work, which included regular drives to Romania with supplies. “It definitely puts things into perspective and makes you appreciate what you’ve got,” he explains. Always looking to do more, Gerry got involved with Meals on Wheels, which was looking for volunteers and he now delivers for the company two or three times a week. “It’s just an hour out of your time, but means so much to people to have a proper meal and a bit of company.” Gerry even ended up tracking down a gentleman’s estranged son for him. “I love hearing their stories – it keeps them going. And me!”


Each month for the past three years, Noga offers up the spare bedroom in her family home to Nightstop UK, an organisation that provides emergency accommodation for young homeless

people aged 16 to 24 years. “It’s not a permanent solution, but it’s better than the streets or a crowded hostel. Just to be able to give them a safe, warm environment for the night means a great deal to me.” Noga has young children of her own who are now used to having regular house guests. “I want my children to appreciate things like a clean bed, a cooked meal, a shower – things we perhaps take for granted.”


Volunteering for Jewish Care over 16 years, Malcolm’s main activity is as a bus driver, clocking up nearly 400 hours volunteering for the charity, as well as driving for other charities such as Norwood’s Buckets and Spades. At 81, he is the oldest driver on the ‘books’ and takes residents with their carers to activities such as the theatre, parks, talks and galleries, saying it means a lot to him to be able to transport people somewhere exciting. Semi-joking, he says: “I do it to avoid spending all day in my pyjamas and prevent the onset of senility. So far it seems to be working! While I am still able, I like to help those who are not.”


When Michael’s mother passed away, he continued to visit the Lady Sarah Cohen Jewish Care home in Friern Barnet where she had lived for three years. Fifteen years on and he is still a big part of the Shabbat service, helping to bring down residents in their wheelchairs and making sure they are on the right page of the service. “There’s a sense of camaraderie here that makes you feel like you are part of a family. Being able to help residents enjoy the service is a great feeling.” Michael’s efforts also inspired his wife Carolyn to get involved – she now provides support in the kitchen and assists with breakfasts a few times a month.


Ilana has been working with Crisis for four years, which stemmed from her volunteering with the homeless shelter in Finchley. “I wanted to help and the atmosphere at Crisis is really supportive and the other volunteers are so enthusiastic.” This year, Ilana was ‘promoted’ to kitchen co-ordinator for the five days she helped over the Christmas period. Her other volunteering work includes providing food for the Destitute Asylum Seekers service. “They are so grateful to eat, especially when it’s something they can’t really obtain. It’s wonderful to see their faces light up when they see strawberries in mid-winter!”


If you happen to drop by the Princess Alexandra care home in Stanmore, you’d be forgiven for mistaking 92-year-old Doris for one of the residents. Doris began volunteering many years ago for the League of Jewish Women and continued with her voluntary work around Kenton and Harrow. These days, aside from being busy with her family and doing keep fit, she regularly visits the care home to work in the shop, refusing to let her age stop her. “It keeps me going and I enjoy chatting with the residents. I’m the last one standing from my original group of volunteers – I only wish I had time to do more.”


Nicola became involved with the British Friends of Reuth charity after her mother passed away from lung cancer three years ago. Reuth is a rehabilitation hospital in Israel offering complementary therapies such as music, gardening, art and drama. “Reuth treats the

‘whole person’ and Mum responded really well to this approach – it gave her such a boost. I wanted other patients to benefit from this type of treatment,” she says. Nicola is now a trustee of the charity and sets up engaging fundraising activities, such as a successful knitting circle. “A group activity can help anyone to switch off and give a sense of well-being. I feel it’s so important to do things for others, to give back and to hopefully set a good example to my children.”


Even with the loss of part of a lung and being a fulltime carer for his partner, Stanley still wanted to do more to raise awareness of those lost in the First World War. In 2013, he came up with a clever way to visually raise awareness – by planting poppy seeds. Armed with some self-bought packets of seeds, he approached schools and a radio station to spread the word. When Unwins Seeds heard of his mission, it supplied seeds to every school in Yorkshire and, with Stanley’s help, have since managed to plant more than 200 million poppy seeds. “We mustn’t forget – that’s my motto. The kids are the ones we need to inform, and planting poppies seemed a great way to get them involved and asking questions.”


Previously a teacher, Mish noted the daily lunchtime food waste and decided to do something about it. “Precise amounts were ordered daily, but with fussy children or absences, there was always food left over and thrown away. It made me sad as so many families are struggling to survive.” Through clever planning, Mish co-ordinates the quantities, recipients, allotted pick-up points and has even moved on to the collection of surplus wedding/simcha food. All this while surviving on little sleep owing to her work as a night nurse. “I donate my time, petrol and silver foils, fitting it in around my babycare.”

23 February 2017 Jewish News



Boys Town / Charity

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS Nearly 70 years on and Jerusalem’s most remarkable school still does vital work Since it was established in 1948, the British Jewish community has been a proud supporter of Boys Town Jerusalem, and this generosity for the school has been pivotal in ensuring it is there for Israel’s most vulnerable young people. The evidence of the community’s generosity and partnership with Boys Town Jerusalem can be found in every corner of its campus in Bayit Vegan. It also manifests itself in the more than 7,000 graduates of the school, who have lived positive lives and contributed to Israel in all areas, including medicine, business, law, engineering, education, technology and in their service in the Israel Defense Forces.

Registered charity number 1027996

The first pupils who attended Boys Town Jerusalem came to the Jewish homeland from post-Holocaust Europe. They were followed, in subsequent decades, by those who immigrated to Israel from North Africa and, subsequently, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. Many arrived with just the clothes on their backs, without their families and were taken in by Boys Town Jerusalem and given the support, education and skills to make a living and a positive contribution to the fledgling state of Israel. Today’s 950 pupils differ from the generations that proceeded them in that most are born in Israel, but all face their own chal-

lenges, mainly stemming from financial hardship, family breakdown and emotional and physical abuse. Regrettably, the need for the unique combination of physical care, emotional support and an exceptional education that Boys Town Jerusalem provides is as great as it has ever been. Thanks to its supporters, Boys Town Jerusalem is there for them just as it was for the first pupils nearly 70 years ago, providing a great education but, critically, given their backgrounds, with so much more. Unlike other schools, Boys Town Jerusalem provides its pupils with three hot meals a day, a dedicated counselling service and a rich and varied extracurricular programme, offering everything from robotics and Thai boxing to dog training. Uniquely, the school also offers pupils the opportunity to live on campus and is home to nearly 400 boys. The school does receive funding from

the Ministry of Education for the central curriculum, but relies on the generosity of its supporters to fund the vital additional elements that make it so unique. This charitable element also ensures that every child receives whatever support they need, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. As they approach Israel’s and Boys Town Jerusalem’s 70th birthday in 2018, the charity is appealing to the community to renew its commitment to Boys Town Jerusalem and, it says, “to continue the proud legacy of our parents and grandparents in giving to ‘Jerusalem’s most remarkable school’’’.

 Get in touch with Ian in the UK office by calling 020 8090 8421 or emailing office@boystownjerusalem.co.uk to share any memories of your own or your family’s connection to Boys Town Jerusalem over its first 70 years

Please help us to train the 36 new guide dogs we need this year for our blind and visually-impaired clients in Israel. £10 per month will help pay towards the first year of a guide dog puppy’s life. Donate now at israelguidedog.org.uk/donate.html Thank you. Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind 020 8090 3455-info@bfigdcb.org-israelguidedog.org.uk

C8 Jewish News


23 February 2017

Charity / Running mates


READY, STEADY Jewish Care can help you get super fit and focused on fundraising


f you promised yourself that you would exercise more this year, but haven’t found the motivation or time, then setting yourself a goal could be just what you need. Whether it’s pounding the streets, climbing up mountains or cycling across the city, there are challenges for people of all ages and fitness levels to help raise money for Jewish Care. No challenge is too big or small, taking on a 10k, half-marathon, marathon or bike rides are a great way to get fitter while supporting your favourite charity. Jewish Care will support you all the way to the finish line with a dedicated member of the team to help you with your fundraising and training to get you ready for the challenge. Samantha Mire from Edgware, who ran the Royal Parks Half-Marathon last year, said: “In a moment of madness I signed up and I thought I’d never, ever run again, but I really enjoyed it.” For people like Richard Pearlman, taking on a challenge can be a meaningful way to remember a loved one or support a close

relative cared for at one of Jewish Care’s community centres or residential homes. Richard agrees that this definitely helped when the going got tough on the Prudential London 100 Mile Bike Ride. “One hundred miles was way beyond my comfort zone,” he says, “but it was good to know that that the pain was helping to raise funds for a fantastic cause. “Jewish Care was there when we needed them and offered great support, helping to make my Mum’s last year or two much more comfortable. Fundraising is my way of thanking them for the fantastic help they provided, not only to my mum, but to so many others.” Josh Domb, who is 27, will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon this April.

Josh Domb will be running for Jewish Care in this year’s Virgin London Marathon

Josh Wynne proudly shows his medal after finishing last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for Jewish Care

Jewish Care’s Caroline Kossoff greets Sam Mire after her Royal Parks Half-Marathon

He says: “When my grandma, Diane, went to live at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff home last year, I was very keen to find a way to show my appreciation for everything the team at Jewish Care has done for her. I’d always thought about running a marathon and this was a great opportunity to do it for an excellent charity, whose work has benefited my whole family. “I’ve been on brilliant training runs from Richmond across London and have also used some of my holiday time to get in some training abroad. There are many miles yet to run, but the opportunity to raise money for such a great cause is really keeping me going!” In case you needed any more reasons to take part, the atmosphere during a challenge event is a unique experience that you just can’t beat, says Josh Wynne, who ran the Virgin London Marathon for Jewish Care last year. “Running through London’s streets and having strangers shout my name and cheer me on will stick with me forever,” he says. “I urge everyone reading this to get up and challenge themselves by taking on something like this. The sense of achievement at the end makes it all worth it. So stop thinking about it, just sign up and do it – you won’t regret it!”  To find out more about taking part in a challenge event for Jewish Care, contact the events team on 020 8922 2834 or email events@jcare.org

MAN ON A BIKE’S IAN GREEN GIVES UP HIS EARNINGS FIVE YEARS AGO, I was wondering how to mark the 10th anniversary of my Man on a Bike IT consultancy. Giving my clients cake was impractical, as I travelled around London by motorbike. So I took inspiration from the numerous B’nei Mitzvah I’ve witnessed, who give a proportion of their gift money to a worthy cause. I decided that all fees earned on the anniversary would go directly to a charity. Clients make out their cheques directly to that charity or I collected and donated the money myself. It became a talking point with my clients and raised the profile of the charity. For the first year, it was the baby charity Tommy’s and then a different one each year. This year, I will be donating to Chai Cancer Care, a charity that has proved invaluable during my father’s journey with cancer.

More businesses should look outside of themselves to see where they can make a difference. Just one day’s takings each year really can change lives, and it leaves just as good a taste as cake!

23 February 2017 Jewish News


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020 3397 9837 | info@shabatonlmenucha.org Registered charity number: 1155729




Jewish News 23 February 2017

Charity / Make the call


MY SOCKS” A cry for help takes many forms. Identifying it is the key. Debra Barnes spoke to Jewish Helpline young single mother committed suicide. “When I speak about the Helpline at a group, the number of calls we receive invariably goes up,” Tamara says. “These days, it is probably more that people don’t know about us and the services we provide, rather than not wanting to ask for help.” This Jewish crisis line is very modest. Obviously the need for complete confidentiality means that publicity is not encouraged but, even so, the people who run it are very humble. “A small charity with a big heart, totally run Often the most difficult thing to do is to by volunteers operating out of a small room ask for help. Orthodox mothers with large with a few phones on tables,” is how Tamara families are expected to be able to cope. describes the Jewish Helpline, and yet there are Good Jews are not supposed to be attracted many examples of how volunteers have helped to people of the same sex. Successful business people won’t risk their reputation with people in need. Sometimes a kind voice at the end of the telephone is enough. the stigma of mental health illness. One such person in need was an Orthodox “People are getting better at asking for help,” explains Tamara Zenios, chairman of the Jewish woman who, during a call stated she ‘didn’t go on Tuesday’. The volunteer picked up on the Helpline, a charity set up more than 30 years 14-047-AW Jewish Helpline General Flyer_Layout 1 copy 2 04/02/2014 10:39 Page 1 comment and asked where the caller hadn’t gone. ago by a group of concerned Jewish women, Eventually, who were saddened when a lonely, desperate 14-047-AW Jewish Helpline General Flyer_Layout 1 copy 2 04/02/2014 10:39 Page 1the lady said that she had not gone to

the mikvah, which meant intimate relations with her husband could not be resumed. It transpired the caller had been subject to marital rape. “We receive calls from a broad spectrum of the community. Many of our calls are from those with general medical and mental health issues, family problems, religious identity, loneliness and bereavement,” says Tamara. “We cover many issues, including people who feel they have been let down by or fallen through the cracks within social services, those who have no family or a support network within easy reach, individuals wishing to leave the religious lifestyle into which they were born, or the flip side being those wishing to identify with the Jewish community.” There are no paid members of staff at Jewish Helpline and new volunteers are always welcomed. “They must be empathetic and offer a genuine listening ear – that means they must hear what the caller is saying, and process the information in a way that the caller will feel they

are being acknowledged and their feelings validated.” During the weekly sessions of basic training for new volunteers, topics covered include suicide, loneliness, grief, family dynamics and basic Jewish customs and terminology. “There are also ongoing training sessions for all volunteers throughout the year. We teach them to listen and try to empower and help callers find their own way rather than telling them what to do. Most of our volunteers join to give assistance, in a practical way. “Our greatest success is when a caller acknowledges that they don’t need to call us anymore. This outcome is also positive for the volunteer, who feels a real sense of achievement.,” Tamara explains. “This was the case for a regular caller, who stated: ‘I don’t know how to dry my socks.’ By following through with many calls, it transpired the caller had lived with his mother, who had recently died. He had never done his own laundry. The substance of his calls were his feelings of loss and loneliness. “Through many years of calls, he worked through his grief, became independent and his calls became less frequent until he finally stopped ringing.” Tamara concludes: “Our plan is to keep going and to strive for excellence in providing a service for all callers.”  Jewish Helpline is open from noon to midnight every day (except Shabbat and Yom Tovim) on 0800 652 9249 or 020 3096 2875. Email: jewishhl@live.co.uk

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Registered Charity Number. 1101612 www.jewishhelpline.co.uk Registered Charity Number. 1101612


23 February 2107 Jewish News



Reducing the load / Charity

A WEIGHT OFF YOUR MIND Volunteer caseworker Susan Adleman explains why her skills can sort out your problems THE PAPERWEIGHT TRUST provides free practical guidance and support to members of the Jewish community who are unable to manage their domestic affairs because of a crisis in their lives. I joined this amazing organisation in 2012, just two years after its inception. Our clients come to us from across London. They often feel alone and bewildered. We aim to meet with clients within a week to ease their anxiety, and fully understand their position so

Susan Adleman is pleased to be of help

we can then assist them practically until they are ready to manage independently. We now have a new low-cost service – Paperlite – which provides on-going support to those who are unable to cope alone once the original crisis has been managed. The charity has helped more than 600 clients since it started. We now have 120 volunteer case workers and a panel of professional specialists in areas relevant to clients’ needs. With the Chief Rabbi as the charity’s patron, Paperweight received the London Borough of Barnet Annual Civic Award last year in recognition of its service within the borough. Having recently retired, being a volunteer caseworker for Paperweight has allowed me to exercise skills I used when working and to develop others. The organisation of the charity, from its Hendon headquarters, is supportive and professional, providing regular training to enhance caseworkers’ knowledge . Seeing the relief on a client’s face after the first meeting, having told them I will deal with their post, is a reward in itself, but working with clients and other volunteers has also widened my horizons at a time when they could be shrinking.

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Volunteers vary widely in age and background. They are united in a determination to get the best for their clients and advocate for them when bureaucracy proves obstructive. Typically, clients call the office in desperation after a bereavement, progressive illness, separation or divorce and can be referred by community organisations, doctors, and social workers. Mr and Mrs J called when the council asked them to repay housing benefit, which they had claimed for in error and could not afford to repay. The wife suffered from a debilitating condition and her husband was suffering from depression as a result of their situation. As often happens, when I met them, there

were several other issues they were worrying about, including their security of tenure in their accommodation. When we closed the case, a repayment plan that was financially manageable had been agreed with the council. The money for this was found by helping them move their utility accounts to cheaper providers. They were also referred to other welfare organisations that could help with their concerns about housing and caring for each other. All in all, Paperweight has helped to save lives and I feel privileged to play a small part.  Contact Paperweight via info@paperweighttrust.com or call 020 8455 4996



Jewish News 23 February 2017

Charity/ Give to the future


OF TOMOROW This Sunday you can support the leaders of the future, says Joe Boxer at Bnei Akiva


ommitting to a single charity when there are so many others isn’t easy. Should one support welfare and give to those facing economic strife? Ecology? Provide health care provisions? Or provide for the future? While there’s no denying all charities are a noble cause and in need of support, the ‘future’ is a cause that is frequently forgotten. Look at the picture above and you will see smiling children. This freeze frame is only capturing half the story. These are also children who are engaged in ideological discussion, who are comfortable with their Zionism and their Jewish identity and are able to harmonise those two tenets with the modern world. These are children who will, one day in the not too distant future, become madrichim – youth leaders, empowered young

adults who see an area where they can make a change in the world. These future leaders need nurturing. When working with youth, money is tight. Families are being financially squeezed and students, beginning their journeys towards financial independence, do not have a disposable income. We are currently the largest Jewish youth movement in the UK, but we cannot rest on our laurels. If we want to ensure the leaders of tomorrow have sufficient training and education and that their imaginations are not limited by financial constraints. we must invest now. We need to work with a new generation of youths who are technologically dependent and driven by academic pressures, to ensure they continue to engage with their ideologies. Bnei Akiva in the UK is joining with World

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Bnei Akiva for a day of intense fundraising. The campaign is simple; if we do not reach our target, we receive nothing. We have three matchers involved, two based in Israel and one in the UK. We therefore have this challenge, to raise £25,000 in one intense day of fundraising. This means that if you kindly donate to us on Sunday, that amount will be quadrupled by the matchers. On the World Bnei Akiva side, that money will go to our gap year schemes in Israel, our Shlichim and other Israel-related programming. In the UK, we are raising money to bring Bnei Akiva into the 21st century. We want to launch a technological revolution, renewing our style of education to make our ideology relevant to children of the modern era. Further to this, we need to invest in our

leadership training. The next generation of Anglo-Jewry’s leaders need a platform to start their journey. In practical terms, this starts with youth work and other early positions of responsibility. Our engagement with students on campus is paramount. We want to be able to support them more than we currently are able to and help them by bringing them education linked to Israel and to Zionism. On Sunday, when your phone rings, answer it, dig into your pockets and see this as an opportunity to support some incredible youth initiatives. And if your phone doesn’t ring, don’t feel excluded; go online at and support the future.  charidy.com/bauk

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23 February 2107 Jewish News



Understanding Emunah / Charity

MAKING ISRAEL STRONGER Women more used to en-suite bathrooms and room service on tap got a wonderful wake-up call when they travelled to Israel as new leaders at Emunah “I usually stay in hotels when I go there, so spending a night in a dormitory at our children’s home in Afula was a new experience,” said Michelle Plainer, who will chair the British Emunah gala dinner in London in November. “A group of us spent Shabbat in Afula, which marked my first time at the British Emunah home. Touring the projects showed me a different side of Israel where families are living with hardship and uncertainty. “Being with the children and watching how staff care for them 24/7 has increased my determination to spread awareness of the charity’s outstanding work and to help them in every way that I can.” Joining the UK delegation to the 10th Emunah convention and leadership mission to Israel is a chance for staff to meet leaders from around the world and witness the incredible work done by the organisation. “It is a life-changer for 12,000 vulnerable and ‘at risk’ children in Israel, including those who have been orphaned or suffered abuse,” said Michelle, who started at Emunah as an office volunteer helping with its eBay site.

British Emunah vice chairs Sharon Dewinter and Sara Greenfield

Leadership participants with Chairman Hilary Pearlman

Now in a much more involved capacity, she was in Israel alongside other first-time delegates to assess what improvements need to be made to the homes. “Updating and modernising facilities at the teenagers’ block in Afula is a priority, but there is much that needs to be done across all of Emunah’s projects,” she said. “I now understand the importance of supporting the projects and why raising more money is essential.” Lucy Cowland, another first-timer, agreed. “I was surprised by the contrast in standards in the children’s living accommodation,” she explained. “The teenagers’ house is in urgent need of refurbishment, although I know the kids are loved, safe, and well-cared for. It has inspired me to make others aware that Emunah needs more financial support and manpower.” The demands of looking after children of all ages in communal buildings is always an issue

for British Emunah director Deborah Nathan, who is well aware of what is needed. “Take Beit Rothschild,” said Deborah. “The oldest building in the Afula centre is 70 years old and is home to teenage boys who are ‘at risk’ and are seriously tough on their surroundings. The provision has communal bathrooms, which is also not ideal, as they can only be used by one boy at a time. The truth is that the whole floor needs to be reconfigured.” To motivate the visitors in their fundraising initiatives, David Hadari, the CEO of Israel Emunah – which employs 3,000 staff and runs more than 200 welfare projects – announced he has secured an offer of £100,000 in match funding towards refurbishment, if British Emunah can raise the same amount. The call to compete did not trouble the new executives, though as Deborah points out: “It is time limited – and we’ll probably need at least

another £100,000 on top of that.” Nothing brings the importance of Emunah’s work to light more than the sight of a teenage boy saying Kaddish for his brother after losing both his parents in recent years. “When you hear the tragic stories that have brought these children into our care – you want to give them everything, be it through financial means, or support and care,” said co-vice chair Sharon DeWinter. “I feel that, here in England, we live such privileged lives, while they, through no fault of their own, are dependant on our help.” Co-vice chair Sara Greenfield said: “Just watching the lunch queue made me realise the children are eating the food we’ve paid for.” Meanwhile, Michelle, who hosted children from the Afula home when they came to London, said: “This week has taught me a lot about Israeli society. The numbers of dysfunctional families and the poverty are things I think many British people won’t know about. “It has strengthened my commitment and my involvement in Emunah’s incredible work helping the vulnerable people who need us most.” Affirmation and affection for the efforts of these first-time vistors came as they watched the boys from Emunah’s Neve Landy children’s village perform at the convention dinner and saw the pride in the eyes of the staff and leaders. “It is very exciting to see a new generation of leaders coming forward and sharing our projects through fresh eyes,” said Deborah. “They also learned about the full scope of our work in areas such as supporting women’s rights, helping families and older people in the community. “Emunah reaches out to the most vulnerable across the religious spectrum and regardless of their nationality or background. We are helping to make Israeli society stronger.”  emunah.org.uk

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Jewish News 23 February 2017

Charity / Personal histories

HEAR THE VOICES Celebrating the positive stories of refugees rebuilding their lives is the theme of a fascinating new AJR project “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HEAR MY LIFE STORY?” asked the Kindertransport refugee who had been separated from her parents aged 14 and sent to England to escape the Nazis. “I haven’t done anything special,” said the Holocaust survivor, who lived through the death camps before coming to the UK. These are typical reactions from members of The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) when approached about participating in a new project, called My Voice. “The objective of the project is to record the positive stories of those who survived and rebuilt their lives from nothing in their adopted homeland,” explains Hila Kaye, who ran a pilot project in Manchester in conjunction with Manchester Jewish social care charity, The Fed (Federation of Jewish Services). More than 10 books were published during the pilot, all of which have been very well received by the members and their families. Yvonne Forbes, the daughter of Lotte Tryger, who is one of the subjects of a book, said: “It is amazing they have managed to so accurately portray my mum’s life, including the high and low points over the years, and have done so with sincerity, clarity and humour.” The AJR, a charitable organisation which

celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, was founded by Jewish refugees from Central Europe and is the leading national body exclusively delivering social and welfare services, including financial assistance, to Jewish victims of Nazi oppression living in Great Britain. The AJR has 2,000 members, of whom 1,600 are first generation and many don’t feel they have achieved anything exceptional in their lives – something with which the charity disagrees. “They married, raised families, built businesses and contributed to our communities. My Voice acknowledges this triumph and gives hope to today’s survivors of genocide and conflict. “But by its very nature, our work is incredibly urgent. We are listening to the treasured memories of people of extremely advanced years, many of whom are not in good health,” explains Hila. My Voice is now being launched in London and the South East and will be run by Debra Barnes. “We have already identified a number of AJR members who are keen to tell their story,” says Debra. “Some have previously recorded a verbal testimony while others have been reticent to talk in the past but are now ready to do so. “It’s a really exciting project; we don’t only write about what happened during the war, but

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what people achieved after arriving in the UK.” AJR chief executive Michael Newman says: “Remembering the Holocaust and documenting the stories of those who escaped and survived is more important today than ever. “With growing instances of anti-Semitism, and also in support of modern day refugees, our work has never been more relevant.” This is not the AJR’s first foray into recording Holocaust testimonies. Refugee Voices is a groundbreaking collection of 150 filmed interviews with survivors and refugees from Nazism who rebuilt their lives in Great Britain, providing an academic resource of more than 450 hours of catalogued evidence. My Voice, however, is a much more personal approach to telling life stories and is as much about the process as it is about the end result. An interesting feature of this initiative is that

the work will be carried out by volunteers. “Part of my job will be putting the members and volunteers together,” explains Debra. “The volunteer will need to visit the member several times during the process and we want it to be a positive and life-affirming experience for both parties. “We’ll also need transcribers, editors, photographers and designers to get involved. “We know that the benefits of volunteering include being good for mental and physical health and increasing social circles and career opportunities but, apart from all that, My Voice is just a really fulfilling project to volunteer for!”  For information on My Voice, contact Debra on Debra@ajr.org.uk or on 020 8385 3093. For more information about the AJR, see ajr.org.uk

23 February 2107 Jewish News



Freedom pass / Charity

GIVING THE GIFT OF INDEPENDENCE A disability doesn’t have to dictate how to live your life – thanks to one special charity


It is a worrying fact that one out of every five people in the UK is affected by physical disability or impaired vision. The majority of these are not born with their disability; instead, at some point in their lives, they face a diagnosis that will have a significant impact on them from that time forward. Suddenly, simply making a cup of tea can become a momentous undertaking; while other everyday tasks, which had previously been done without thought, now depend on having to ask someone else to help. Whether you are the individual who is suddenly facing this shocking and often unexpected diagnosis, or the parent of someone born with a disability, the future can often seem very bleak. However, with the right facilities and support, a disability does not have to dictate how you live your life. And it most certainly does not have to mean a loss of vital independence and self-worth. Most of us know someone in this position – whether an accident victim or someone with a condition such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease or Huntington’s disease, among many others; or a parent or loved one whose body is giving out on them while their mind and spirit are still young and agile. And we know how their condition affects not just them, but their families and friends too, who also live with their suffering. Jewish Blind & Disabled is the only Jewish charity dedicated to ensuring that neither physical disability nor impaired vision is allowed to become a barrier to maintaining one’s independence and dignity. They alone in the Jewish community provide developments of mobility apartments specially designed to

and activity sessions,” he says. “Meanwhile their families take this rare opportunity for vital respite and relaxation.” Witnessing first-hand the many challenges that are faced daily by those who suffer with chronic pain and ongoing difficulties such as Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, emotional issues and autism is why those who run Shabaton L’Menucha want their charity to succeed. “We can improve an individual’s quality of life with our out-of -school-activities and recreational events,” adds Menachem. “We also do residential trips, including summer and winter sleep-away camps run


16th March Poker Night at Allianz Park: a win/win situation if you play your cards right! 30th April Freefall Abseil: are you brave enough to take the leap from the top of the UK’s tallest sculpture? 7th May Marathon Walk: pounding the streets to raise money for those who often struggle to walk a single step To find out more about the charity, visit jbd.org, or call Gemma Mishon on 020 8371 6611 ext 608.


Children facing huge challenges are getting the chance to have fun SHABATON L’MENUCHA is a UKbased charity supporting the lives of children and young adults with physical and learning disabilities and their families. “It’s an incredible organisation,” explains Menachem Liberman, who is keen to spread the word in the community and show how this charity aims to give those with a range of disabilities better chances in life. “We do this by running regular weekend retreats for the beneficiaries several times a year, as well as local events such as concerts, sports

enable people to do the everyday tasks that are key to living independently, but which would otherwise be insurmountable for people whose mobility, dexterity or sight has been damaged. They also provide essential on-site round-theclock support from their own resident house managers, 365 days a year. Their tenants range from being in their early twenties to more than 100 years old, and between them, they encompass a wide spectrum of disabilities. The one thing they all have in common is that, thanks to the unique facilities, they can live life as they choose, and not as their disability may otherwise dictate. As an independent charity that does not receive any government funding, Jewish Blind & Disabled is grateful for the community’s support, be it through donations, volunteering, attending events or undertaking challenges. One of the ways one can help give the gift of independence to people who have no other organisation to whom they can turn, is to take part in one or more of their exciting forthcoming events:

by trained professionals and serving gourmet food, which are in addition to the regular respite weekends. It is then that we see our clients experiencing real joy and happiness. “We have a devoted and willing team of energetic and caring volunteers running all of this, but through shared experience, their lives are enriched.” Knowing their children are having a fantastic weekend means parents get that desperately-needed break and support in their challenging caring roles. “We aim to provide essential support not only to the special needs child of each family, but also to the siblings, whose anxiety, loneliness and confusion can be extremely overwhelming and sometimes overlooked,” notes Menachem. “Our philosophy is that the most effective way to help a disabled child is to improve things for the whole family. “Our mission is to ensure that no such child or adult anywhere in the UK has to suffer without us.”  For more information, email info@shabatonlmenucha.org, or call 020 3397 9837


Jewish News 23 February 2017


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