Jewish history tour guide gets award from Prime Minister

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Jewish history tour guide gets award from Prime Minister

Ian Fagelson, who has led more than 900 people on digital tours since October, is recognised with a Points of Light Award

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

Ian Fagelson
Ian Fagelson

The Prime Minister has given his daily Points of Light award to a Jewish history volunteer tour guide for his outstanding community work.

Ian Fagelson has led over 900 people on his digital Jewish history tour of London since October, starting with the arrival of a small Jewish community from Normandy in 1066 and ending at the Kindertransport statue on Liverpool Street station.

He has been receiving donations to charity in return for his tours and has raised over £15,000 for Norwood and World Jewish Relief so far.

In a personal letter to Mr Fagelson, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we mark the end of Chanukah, allow me to thank you for your free tours of London’s Jewish heritage, cherishing what is not just Jewish history but British history and the fantastic contribution of our Jewish community to our great capital city.

“You have inspired hundreds of families and raised thousands of pounds since going virtual this year, supporting two brilliant charities in ‘Norwood’ and ‘World Jewish Relief’.

“I also want to express my admiration for all you have done – inspired by your son Jonathan – to establish “The HOPE charity” to support families with children with special needs.”

Ian helped set up The HOPE Charity in the 1990s, as a parent of a child with learning disabilities, which later merged with Norwood in 2008. Before the pandemic, he was fundraising through his on the street tours, raising £20,000 between 2018 and 2020 for a variety of charities.

Mr Fagelson said: ““I was thrilled to be included in the Prime Minister’s Points of Light programme, if only because it will raise my profile and help me to raise desperately needed funds for good causes.”

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