A perennial complaint within our community is that we exist in a bubble — the phrase used by the Chief Rabbi last year when launching his Ben Azzai programme, which took young Jewish men and women to India.
That programme was itself a response to the problem — and now, in its second year, it will be taking 16 “engaged and outward-facing Jews” to Africa in December. But, although the issue is real, we sometimes overdo the angst.
Visit most Jewish schools and you will see projects that focus far beyond our community. And this week alone we report on two examples of how deeply involved we are beyond the bubble. This summer, 16 FZY members travelled to Ghana to run a camp for 115 local children on a trip arranged with Tzedek UK — an organisation that does superb work and exemplifies the ways in which we focus on the wider world.
And World Jewish Relief, whose work the JC consistently highlights, is now expanding its operations by setting up a dedicated team of volunteers to enable it to react even more speedily to disasters.
In the past 15 years, WJR has provided aid in the aftermath of 21 natural and man-made disasters. It is, of course, entirely dependent on donations, and our community never fails to deliver the hard cash that enables WJR to do its work. That is no bubble.
Baking for glory
Stacey Hart has survived into episode two of Bake Off — just — with the cry of “I could do better than that” echoing among Jewish bakers up and down the land.
Now, her challenge is to turn those cries into: “Wow — how did she do that?”