The United Synagogue is to set up a new drop-in centre for asylum seekers in the middle of north London’s Jewish community.
The service will help up to 12 families at a time and be accessible for two hours per month at the Hendon Synagogue Community Centre, designed to help those forced to flee their own country. Each family will have been approved by the Home Office and their case worker before attending.
Hendon United’s Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury cited his own family’s experiences, with his grandparents coming to the UK as refugees from Nazi Germany in 1938. “Had they not been granted sanctuary in the UK, I and many dozens of their other descendants would, in all probability, not be here to tell the tale,” he said.
“It is a privilege to be part of an unfolding tale of Jewish destiny and responsibility when, within two generations, those who are direct descendants of once vulnerable asylum seekers can take part in a project to extend support to others who are today’s unfortunate and vulnerable asylum seekers.”
Volunteers will support for asylum seekers by offering professional mentoring, providing food and friendship, as well as a play area run by Tribe.
Rabbi Michael Laitner of the Jewish Living Division and Finchley Synagogue, said: “We have a duty to support all those who need our help and are delighted that we are able to do our part.”