Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner

In a Westminster vigil, Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has spoken about the “national shame” of hunger, calling on the British Jewish community “to deliver on our Passover promise”.

She also urged Britain’s politicians to “recognise the shame that so many people experience and work with us to eradicate food poverty in the UK, because it’s urgent”.

Addressing crowds, she said: “When someone has to go to a stranger, an institution – however supportive – to ask for food, it makes you feel ashamed. Judaism teaches that shame is so powerful that it makes us go pale as the blood drains from our faces. To cause shame to a person is equivalent to spilling their blood.”

She added: “One in five parents in the UK regularly skip meals to feed their children. So, just as Oliver asked ‘please sir, can I have some more,’ people are asking for essentials, not for excess. We’re demanding today the fair portion that everybody deserves.”