Group of 25 rabbis urge government to tackle ‘dire state’ of child poverty

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Group of 25 rabbis urge government to tackle ‘dire state’ of child poverty

Faith leaders from across movements call on Amber Rudd to act after report claims 3m children are now at-risk of going hungry outside term-time

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd

A group of 25 cross-denominational rabbis has urged the Government to do far more to tackle child poverty, with an estimated three million British children expected to go hungry during this year’s summer holidays.

Writing to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd MP on Monday, they expressed concern about “the dire state of child poverty in the UK,” highlighting the House of Commons’ own impact assessment.

An audit last year reported that three million British children are now at-risk of going hungry outside term-time, with 5.2 million expected to live in poverty by 2020/21, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Auditors also said most of these children also have to go without adequate clothing.

“As rabbis we implore the government to start 2019 by introducing a proper strategy to decrease child poverty including re-instituting targets, restoring the value of children’s benefits… and making universal credit fit for working families,” they wrote.

While many of the rabbis are from progressive synagogues, there was support from across the board, with Orthodox Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, a prominent Stamford Hill religious leader, among the signatories.

They told Rudd that the Child Poverty Action Group has said restoring benefits alone would result in 300,000 to 400,000 less children living in poverty, and urged her to take action.

Full list of signatories: Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts, Rabbi Janet Burden, Rabbi Howard Cooper, Rabbi Janet Darley, Rabbi Elana Dellal, Rabbi Warren Elf MBE, Rabbi Ariel J Friedlander, Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, Rabbi Naomi Goldman, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Rabbi Margaret Jacobi, Rabbi Oliver Joseph, Rabbi Judith Levitt, Rabbi Monique Mayer, Rabbi Maurice Michaels, Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, Rabbi Benji Stanley, Rabbi Larry Tabick, Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, Professor Marc Saperstein, Rabbi Pete Tobias, Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers Rabbi, Dr. Andrea Zanardo

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: