... and scat­ters reds in Red­bridge

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY CATHYFORMAN

BORIS JOHN­SON trav­elled by bus — Jewish Care-style — to a may­oral elec­tion cam­paign stop at Red­bridge Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre last Thurs­day morn­ing.

Hav­ing taken the Cen­tral Line to Red­bridge sta­tion, Mr John­son was met by cen­tre man­ager Richard Shone and lo­cal Tory MP Lee Scott, who of­fered him a ride in the cen­tre’s new care bus — the first of a fleet of 20 which will ben­e­fit Jewish Care clients in London.

At the com­mu­nity cen­tre, his first stop was the Chabad Lubav­itch Pe­sach Shop, stocked with 700 items, where Chabad’s Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin pre­sented him with a pack of She­mu­rah matzah.

Mr John­son asked if the milk on sale “was from Red­bridge cows”, re­call­ing that he “was brought up on a farm and en­joyed milk­ing cows”.

He went on to meet King Solomon High pupil and vol­un­teer youth leader Ian Grant, 17, be­fore be­ing taken to task over his hairstyle by Net­tie Keene a vol­un­teer hair­dresser at the cen­tre for 40 years. “You need a hair­cut,” she told him.

There was time for a spot of snooker with cen­tre mem­ber Sid Green, who was unim­pressed with the Mayor’s pot­ting skills. “He should stick to pol­i­tics. But I wish him luck at the elec­tions.”

Ninety-one-year-old Anne Meda­lyer gave the mayor a grilling over re­cent lo­cal au­thor­ity fund­ing cuts. “When you are ill, you need car­ers,” she told him. “Car­ers don’t do their jobs, they are clock-watch­ers.”

Artist Char­lotte Pos­ner, 25, who runs classes for the cen­tre’s el­derly users, pre­sented the Mayor with a framed pen-and-ink por­trait of him­self astride a bike.

“I look ab­so­lutely hand­some — you have made me look like Brad Pitt,” he re­sponded.

Join­ing cen­tre mem­bers for a demon­stra­tion Seder, he expressed ad­mi­ra­tion for “the won­der­ful cen­tre. To en­able me to re­cip­ro­cate the wel­come I have been given, you will all have to vote for me — then I can hang the paint­ing on a City Hall wall.”

Ques­tioned af­ter­wards about the po­ten­tial for an at­tack in London sim­i­lar to the one on the Toulouse Jewish school, Mr John­son said he was “de­ter­mined to clamp down on an­tisemitism. I work closely with the CST to stamp out hate crime. I also dep­re­cate any at­tempt to build on ten­sions be­tween mi­nori­ties.”

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