Green boosts rabbi’s recession-relief plan

By Leon Symons and Simon Rocker, November 27, 2008
To the rescue: Sir Philip Green has given £15,000 to help those in need

To the rescue: Sir Philip Green has given £15,000 to help those in need

Rabbis up and down the country are mobilising to help congregants hit by the recession.

Mill Hill United Synagogue Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet launched an initiative to offer help to victims of the credit crunch. His project was given a boost with a donation from BHS chairman Sir Philip Green, who has given £15,000 to a kosher supermarket in North-West London to help families in need.

Rabbi Schochet used his Shabbat sermon to highlight the problems facing families and has set up a committee which can offer legal, financial, employment and counselling skills.

"Within an hour of making that sermon, I was approached with the names of a few members who would pool money each week to cover costs for anyone in need. I have since received a stream of emails from people with skills that could be of benefit to those going through hard times," he said.

Meanwhile, Liberal rabbis have agreed to donate at least one per cent of their salaries to set up a fund to help victims of the credit crunch. Called the "Peah" fund, it alludes to the biblical injunction to leave part of a field unreaped for the poor and the stranger.

An initial £3,000 was raised at a whip-round at the movement's annual retreat for rabbis earlier this month.

Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism said, "We want to send out a message of hope at this time and to emphasise that those who are still in work and who have resources need to be even more vigilant and committed to tzedakah than ever."

Last updated: 3:11pm, November 27 2008