Tony Blair reaches out to ‘Jewish values’ at Succot

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, today lauds the work done by Jewish organisations to alleviate poverty around the world, and calls upon the community to join other faith groups in fighting hunger and deprivation.

Writing in this week's Jewish Chronicle, Mr Blair says that the current festival of Succot "gives rise to the virtues of charity and solidarity, core covenantal values expressed in the work of the community's NGOs - World Jewish Relief and Tzedek, among others".

Mr Blair launched his own Faith Foundation in May this year, with the object of getting religious organisations to realise the United Nations' Millennium Goals on development and fighting poverty around the world.

He writes that the objectives "reflect two great forces in Judaism: its prophetic tradition, the cry to bring people out of poverty and suffering; and a set of steps that indicate the right path in which to go, a shared way based on charity and solidarity, tikkun olam [healing the world] for a global partnership against poverty."

Mr Blair's Faith Foundation has created Faiths Acts Fellowships, for young people from the UK and North America who will work in interfaith pairs in countries around the world, towards achieving the Millenium Goals.

"They will need... Jewish... values of service and charity," writes Mr Blair.

Last updated: 10:26am, October 16 2008