Over a dozen rabbis have declared that they will live off £1 a day for five days as part of a co-ordinated action across the Jewish community to raise awareness of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty.
A mixture of seven Reform, two Liberal and four Orthodox rabbis have signed up to the end of April challenge to support the Live Below the Line campaign and raise funds for projects in Africa and India (pictured, below right).
Speaking about the eye-opening levels of poverty in the world, Rabbi Ari Shainfield of St John’s Wood Synagogue said: “The figures really are staggering.”
The £1-a-day challenge is being coordinated by Jewish charity Tzedek and the commitment was reinforced with an open letter from JSAF to the country’s leaders, signed by over 30 rabbis, calling for political action on food insecurity in the UK.
“As we approach Passover,” it reads, “our tables are not broad enough to invite three-quarters of a million Britons who have already gone hungry this year.”
Jewish chefs will create cheap, kosher meals for the rabbis and other participants, with Tzedek’s Jude Williams “overwhelmed” at the offers to help.
“It just goes to show that people are concerned about other people, about the inequality that exists,” she said.
Rabbi David Mason of Muswell Hill shul said: “At Pesach, when we look to relive how our ancestors experienced both slavery and the move to freedom, we also should look to experience something of how those in our country find life so challenging.”