Com­mu­nity sees ‘other face of Bri­tain’ but ral­lies round to help

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT AND JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN

THE CHIEF Rabbi and com­mu­nity lead­ers have spo­ken of their shock af­ter the ri­ot­ing this week, but praised ef­forts to help re­build the cities.

Lord Sacks said: “The ri­ots have been a shock­ing re­minder of how thin the sur­face of civil­i­sa­tion is, and how quickly, es­pe­cially in the age of smart­phones, in­di­vid­ual crim­i­nal­ity can be­come mob vi­o­lence.

“We should not, though, for­get the other face of Bri­tain, the peo­ple who helped re­store or­der, clean up the mess and come to the aid of vic­tims of vi­o­lence.”

Rabbi Mark Gold­smith, who chairs the Assem­bly of Re­form Rab­bis UK, said he was “hor­ri­fied at the crim­i­nal­ity and lack of em­pa­thy”.

He added; “The ri­ots say to us, con­nect with the alien­ated young peo­ple who do not care what so­ci­ety thinks of their ac­tions, who have lost the moral sense which stops us from ri­ot­ing and loot­ing.”

Bri­tish Jews are be­ing urged to do­nate cloth­ing and bed­ding to peo­ple made home­less in the ri­ots. Ray­mond Si­mon­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Lim­mud, said: “Peo­ple live in flats above shops that have been set on fire, so their homes have been badly or per­ma­nently dam­aged. We found out Haringey Coun­cil needed bed­ding, clothes and toys and we drove a cou­ple of car loads over.”

The Re­form youth move­ment RSYNet­zer has do­nated spare t-shirts and sweat­shirts to the Lim­mud cam­paign.

Med­i­cal stu­dent Richard Daniels was one of more than 80 vol­un­teers who turned out for the riot clean-up in Cam­den on Tues­day. He said that de­spite scenes of dev­as­ta­tion, it was busi­ness as usual in the area.

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