It’s not often you say your rabbi brought the latest technology to your local area, but that’s exactly the claim of residents in St. John’s Wood and Maida Vale in London.
Senior Sephardi Rabbi Joseph Dweck made it his second mission in life to get high-speed internet to the area where he now lives and works after moving to the UK from the US four years ago.
He said he was “shocked” on arrival to discover that the whole area had no access to superfast fibre broadband which he needed in order to stream his shiurim and even access his own community.
Dweck teamed up with a young professional in the S&P Sephardi community, Sebastian Ereira, and together they set about the task of ridding their area of that infernal buffering once and for all. This week, they struck internet gold.
“It’s an immense relief finally being connected worldwide and I look forward to a new phase of communications that can now be streamed around the world,” said Dweck, who heads to S&P Community.
“Having been surprised and shocked to face this major technology issue when I first arrived here in London four years ago, I am thrilled at this successful outcome which is of enormous benefit to the entire community and to all residents in the area.”
He praised the “determination” of Ereira, just 21 at the time, and local MP Karen Buck, both of whom helped in the four-year dialogue with BT and OFCOM, writing to other MPs and using the expertise of top telecoms firm RCUK to bring about change.
RCUK’s Simon Fogal said: “We were delighted to help Rabbi Dweck and Sebastian get superfast broadband installed that will benefit hundreds of people and businesses previously struggling with a technology black hole!”
Ereira said this week it had been “four very long years struggling to achieve what initially seemed like a simple goal,” adding: “We got there in the end!”
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