Canvey Island Charedi community expands tenfold in 2.5 years
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Canvey Island Charedi community expands tenfold in 2.5 years

Small Orthodox congregation of 60 families plans to open new office after increasing in size since establishing a presence

A scene from the Promised Island, the BBC documentary looking t the newly-established Charedi community of Canvey Island. 

Image credit: BBC/Spring Films/Laurie Sparham
A scene from the Promised Island, the BBC documentary looking t the newly-established Charedi community of Canvey Island. Image credit: BBC/Spring Films/Laurie Sparham

The small Orthodox Jewish community in Canvey Island has expanded tenfold in 2.5 years, with a new community centre planned for its 60 families.

Plans to open a new communal office of the Jewish Congregation of Canvey Island (JCoCI) were reported this week by local newspaper The Echo, with the foundation’s income having doubled over the past year.

JCoCI plans to refurbish a former bank on Canvey High Street, after a three-month fundraising led by the charity’s policy director Joel Friedman, a former campaign manager at Interfaith Foundation in London before he moved to the small town on the Thames Estuary in Essex in July 2016.

One of six initial families, Friedman says there are now 60 Orthodox families living there, and Friedman said this week that the new offices were needed “because our community has been expanding”.

He said: “We fundraised everything ourselves, and it was also a good opportunity for us to repair and refurbish some parts of this old building, as it’s been here for a very long time and some parts of it are not in a good condition at all.”

The office is just the start of it, he said, with plans to create a kosher bakery on the same site, pending a change of use planning application. If it goes through, it is highly likely many of the customers will not be Jewish.

“We haven’t submitted the change of use application yet, but we do have someone from Canvey who is interested in starting one [a bakery]. We’ve been getting lots of requests within our community and from those who are not Jewish.

“Serving daily fresh bread with things like the sweet bread challah is something we don’t have a lot of here, hopefully if all goes well we can make it happen.”

The charity already supports a synagogue in the town, and last year secured the use of the three-acre former Castle View School site “with a view to accommodate much of the community services”.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments