Communities Secretary Eric Pickles heard pupils from six Jewish schools discuss their good deeds at the 2012 Yoni Jesner Awards ceremony at the Camden Centre on Monday.
Hasmonean, Immanuel College, JFS, JCoSS, King Solomon High and Yavneh College pupils received awards for volunteering in memory of a young Glaswegian killed in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing in 2002. JCoSS took the Jubilee Award for Innovation in Volunteering offered by the Jewish Voluntary Network, which organised the evening.
Mr Pickles praised the caring ethos of British Jewry and described Israel as “a bastion of democracy in the modern world”.
Marsha Jesner, Yoni’s mother, thanked the pupils for keeping his spirit alive through their acts of kindness and Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Israeli envoy Daniel Taub also addressed the audience of 300 students and parents.