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Rabbi Miriam Berger with Boris Johnson

Finchley Reform Synagogue became the first shul to sign up to pay the higher voluntary rate for low-paid workers.

The new London Living Wage,  launched by Mayor Boris Johnson at Great Ormond Street Hospital at an event hosted by London Citizens,  has been set at £8.80 per hour – calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

It is championed by anti-poverty campaigners and hundreds of churches, councils, businesses, hospitals and charities have signed up.

Rabbi Miriam Berger said: “We are  excited to be the first Living Wage synagogue and hope to inspire other synagogues to follow our lead.”

Joining Rabbi Miriam Berger in North London, Johnson praised the campaign for fairer pay, saying: “Paying the London Living Wage ensures hard working Londoners are helped to make ends meet.”

“This is a call to action for responsible employers,” said Berger. “It brings together people from every part of society who work together for the common good. We are thrilled that so many companies are already signed up, but there are many more that could pay the Living Wage.”

Labour party leader Ed Miliband, who recently suggested freezing energy prices to help avert a cost of living crisis, said that paying the London Living Wage would “help lift more people out of poverty with decent pay”.

A total of 432 employers are now signed up to the campaign, up from 78 this time last year. This includes employers Legal and General, KPMG, Barclays, Oxfam, Pearson and the National Portrait Gallery, as well as many smaller businesses, charities and town halls.

Together they employ over 250,000 workers, but there may be many more affected, since those signing up have committed to roll out the Living Wage in their supply chain.