Finchley synagogues help homeless

By Jessica Elgot, October 27, 2011
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Two Finchley synagogues will provide emergency shelters for the homeless this winter.

Once a week, from January to March, Finchley Reform and Finchley Progressive will offer a bed, hot dinner and breakfast to around 15 homeless people.

The synagogues are following in the footsteps of a group of Barnet churches that have opened their doors to people sleeping rough in the borough for the past nine years.

Adrian Sieff and Holly Kal-Weiss are organising the Reform project. Mrs Kal-Weiss observed that local churches “have worked tirelessly over the last few years to establish the Barnet Winter Shelter Scheme. But they really need more space.

“It’s the right thing to do. People just don’t realise that there are homeless people in Barnet. I have volunteered for Crisis and it was a real eye-opener.

“Both Adrian and I were struck by how the people who came to the shelter there were just like us. It was hard to tell who were the volunteers and who was using the shelters. Any of us could end up being homeless and we would hope that someone would be there for us if we were.”

At Finchley Progressive, Rabbi Rebecca Qassim-Birk said: “We thought it was a great opportunity to put our commitment to social action into practice.”

Last updated: 10:32am, October 27 2011