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Students to visit Africa on Chief’s social action scheme

    Ghana is to be the destination for the second Ben Azzai programme, the Chief Rabbi’s initiative to encourage social responsibility among Jewish students.

    The inaugural trip last winter took 16 young men and women to India to witness social action projects and development work in the slums of Mumbai.

    Applications are now open to join the week-long tour to Africa in December.

    A spokesman for the Office of the Chief Rabbi said: “Participants will be taken to the city of Tamale in the northern region of Ghana.

    “The city is mainly Muslim and one of the fastest growing in West Africa but it is also one of Ghana’s most vulnerable areas and is blighted by extreme poverty.

    “Since many of the local inhabitants work seven days a week but still do not earn enough to be able to afford a decent living standard, the visit will provide participants with a much more nuanced understanding of extreme poverty, its causes and its context.”

    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis highlighted social responsibility as one of his priorities when he came into office four years ago.

    The scheme is intended to produce “engaged and outward-facing Jews” and raise awareness of international development.

    It is run in conjunction with the charity Tzedek, which is active in India and Ghana, and Olam, an international Jewish volunteer network, and supported by the Pears Foundation.

    Applications can be made here: chiefrabbi.org/ben-azzai/

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