Earlier today, our Chair, Stewart Spivack, and Nick Young (Community Development Manager) attended a virtual meeting hosted by Redbridge Borough Council including a number of leaders of the Jewish community from around Redbridge.
The meeting included updates on a number of projects; one of which is a census due in March, which can be completed both online or on paper. This will provide essential information as to where the areas of need are in the borough and how best to allocate local resources. It really will be important that as many of us as possible participate to build up the most accurate picture.
Crime statistics were also shared, including some good news to have come out of lockdown, that burglary and theft are 20-30% down on earlier years with more people indoors. On the other hand, they emphasised that not only has domestic violence increased by one third, but it continues to be under-reported. The message was that if anyone is in need of support, that help is provided by Refuge on 0808 2000 247. Organisations such as Womens Aid (supported by our Kol Nidre Appeal) and Jewish Womens Aid also do excellent work in this area.
Finally, Council Leader Jas Athwal spoke, thanking the local Jewish community for their response to the pandemic in moving quickly to close buildings as we enter what is being widely reported as the most critical period before the vaccine takes effect. Of course our building has been closed by necessity since March, but he noted that 95% of all faith communities in the borough are no longer opening their doors in the interests of safety.
The borough plan to hold more of these meetings regularly and are looking forward to working and collaborating closely with all of our different faith groups in an area that we know is all the richer for its diversity! For our part at ELELS, we look forward to playing our part in providing a voice for our community.
Speaking of diversity, today’s weekly email gives more than a flavour of the diverse events and activities that we are offering as 2021 gets under way. You can read more on that lower down the email which also contains a message from Council regarding annual membership subscription letters which are always issued in January and you have probably already received.
If you have any questions or thoughts on anything that you read here, or suggestions, please contact either of us at the email addresses set out below.
Best wishes, and stay healthy.
Stewart Spivack (Chair- firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Nick Young (Community Development Manager- email@example.com)