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Rabbis join faith leaders in protest against London violence and murders

“It is very easy to think gun and knife crime only affects certain people," says Rabbi Herschel Gluck

    Because We Care March
    Because We Care March

    Rabbis joined Muslim and Christian faith leaders in a march demonstrating against the increase in violence among young people in London.

    Leaders from the Jewish community walked in solidarity with the family and friends of those who have lost their lives in attacks in the past month in the capital.

    Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of North-East London Shomrim, was one of the organisers of the Because We Care vigil, which took place on Monday.

    “It is very easy to think gun and knife crime only affects certain people, but we believe that when one person is hurt then we are all hurt. Hackney is a strong community and we stand by each other especially in difficult times.”

    Over the bank holiday weekend two teenagers were stabbed, and a 13-year-old boy was injured by shotgun pellets. Three men suffered life threatening injuries in a suspected acid attack.

    The total number of murder victims so far this year in London reached 56 by Sunday.

    Rabbi Roni Tabick, of New Stoke Newington Shul, said he was alarmed by the rising rates of violence in the area.

    “About a month ago, the street next to where my daughter goes to nursery was closed off after a man was stabbed in broad daylight. It really brought home to me how much this is a huge problem.

    “It’s important to me to show that knife crime is not an issue that just affects some groups, but that it is an issue that affects us all. We stand together to show the world that we all care.”

    Rabbi Tabick said faith communities had a role to play in combating violence.

    “Churches are opening their doors so people looking for a safe space to sit or talk have somewhere to go.

    “My synagogue does not have a building, and we’re a relatively small group, but I think we can wield some pressure to help our local politicians come up with solutions.”

    Cathy Bird, a Methodist minister in Hackney, said faith leaders were “united in our outrage at what is happening in this and other parts of the UK.

    “The deaths of young people in violent circumstances are an affront to us all and we want to join our voices together to say, we do not want this to continue.”

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