13/14 November 2020, 26/27 Cheshvan 5781

We have good news. We raised wonderful money at our HHD appeal.

The breakdown is as follows

  • New Israel Fund: £20505.75
  • Jewish Women’s Aid: £2785.75
  • Foodbank Aid: £2,745.75
  • Finchley Progressive Synagogue: £4,845.75

Each charity including our synagogue has benefited from your generosity. We made a decision this year to commit to ongoing relationships with three charities.

On Sunday night many of us attended the New Israel Fund’s Human Rights Dinner. I’d been before but this time it was DIY catering at home. Seeing the difference NIF makes to Israelis on the ground was uplifting. Two of their winning charities were WAV (Women Against Violence) and Israel’s Women Network who have helped women from all backgrounds in Israel. The pandemic has made life substantially harder for certain women; those unsafe at home and those struggling financially to support themselves and their children.

This Shabbat we mark ahead of time International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Our own Andrea Collett will speak about Jewish Women’s Aid.

I found a d’var torah Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z’l wrote. I quote…”When it comes to abuse, the home provides the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.” He like many other rabbis have spoken candidly about the need for Jewish Women’s Aid in all parts of our communities. “Judaism places such emphasis on shalom bayit, peace within the home. It is here that we are tested, here that we learn … love is respect, consideration, gentleness, the capacity to listen as well as speak, sensitivity, graciousness …” This week Parashat Chayyei Sarah ends with a description of Isaac and Rebekah’s home. Isaac brought her to his mother’s tent and Rebekah became his wife and he loved her and Isaac was comforted after the death of his mother.

It offers pause for thought as to when and how peace at home, Shalom Bayit, exists and our sensitivity to it.

Shabbat Shalom and look forward to seeing you.