Synagogue offers help and support to victims of tower block blaze

Holland Park synagogue, located near the fire in Kensington, on stand-by, as Chief Rabbi say his prayers are with affected residents and fire fighters


A synagogue situated a few streets from the tower block which caught fire in London early this morning has offered its support to the rescue operation.

After hearing the news about the huge blaze at Grenfell Towers in North Kensington, staff at Holland Park Synagogue contacted the local council to see what they could do to help.

At least six people have died after flames engulfed the 27-storey building in west London overnight, though that number is expected to rise. The emergency services have declared the blaze a “major incident” and 50 people are currently being treated in hospital.

Forty fire engines and around 200 firefighters were called to the emergency at just before 1am.

Expressing sympathy with the victims, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis tweeted: “Images of #GrenfellTower are truly harrowing. My prayers today are with all affected & with the heroes running towards danger to save lives.”

Upon hearing the news of the fire, Laurence Julius, honorary treasurer of Holland Park Synagogue, contacted officials at Kensington and Chelsea council.

He wrote: “We have just heard of the news and as part of the local community we would like to offer to help. Please let us know what we can do.”

Though the synagogue has not yet been called upon to act, it is on stand-by to do what it can. Around a third of the Sephardi synagogue’s members live in the area, but none are believed to reside in the tower block.

In a separate email to members, Mr Julius wrote: “We express our horror at the tragic event. The people who lived in the tower have lost everything. Anything you can do to help will be much appreciated.”

He informed members of the “demand” for clothes and toiletries and said that a collection will take place on Sunday. Members have also been asked to donate to an online fundraising page at

Staff at New West End Synagogue, which is also located near the site of the fire, has forwarded the email appeal issued by Holland Park to their members. 

Notting Hill Chabad said it was distributing food and clothing and providing support to those affected by the fire.

A  collection has been set up by Borehamwood Synagogue. People keen to help are being urged to bring clothes, shoes, toiletries, toys, bedding and more to the synagogue in Croxdale Road between 6pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday. 

Hatzola, the Jewish medical emergency service, today tweeted: "Incredible bravery and lifesaving work by our city's great emergency services. Thoughts with all affected. #GrenfellTower fire."

Liberal Judaism updated its Facebook page to redirect anyone wishing to make a donation of money to The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation, while clothes and other goods were being directed to The Westway Centre and Kensington Town Hall.

Reform Judaism retweeted a message from David Lammy MP with details of where to donate, together with the words: "Wishing strength and consolation to all those affected by the dreadful #GrenfellTower fire."


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