Finchley Progressive Synagogue’s Rabbi Rebecca Birk has been named as one of London’s most influential people.
Rebecca was featured in The London Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list, praised by the newspaper for leading a campaign to persuade Barnet Council to take in refugees.
Rebecca said: “I am honoured by this accolade. It is a great acknowledgement of the work Finchley Progressive Synagogue and our friends have been doing.
“We knew this was important and the modest request for 50 Syrian refugees to be settled in our Borough of Barnet is indeed happening now.
“We have lobbied and succeeded in building relationships with our partners in Barnet and, now, meeting the families themselves has been a joy. We have raised money for Safe Passage too, to enable children lost in these camps like The Jungle at Calais to come here and be reunited.
“This all is motivated by empathy. How can we not when our lives as a people bear witness to having experienced similar dislocation?”
Rebecca was one of only a handful of faith leaders featured in the Progress 1000 list, along with Orthodox Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The Progress 1000, in partnership with Citi, is an annual event hosted by The London Evening Standard to celebrate the people whose influence across many spheres of London life is felt most keenly by those who live in the City.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Prime Minister Theresa May, athlete Mo Farah, singer Adele, actress Joanna Lumley and astronaut Major Tim Peake also featured in the eclectic list – along with Prince Charles and the Royal Family.