Boris pays trib­ute to Stam­ford Hill ac­tivist

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY -

BORIS JOHN­SON and other Lon­don po­lit­i­cal and po­lice lead­ers vis­ited the home of Stam­ford Hill ac­tivist Rabbi Osher Schapiro last Thurs­day to cel­e­brate the work of his Kol Bo­ni­ach char­ity, help­ing trou­bled teenage boys in Lon­don, Manch­ester and Gateshead.

Mr John­son first en­coun­tered Rabbi Schapiro dur­ing the 2012 may­oral cam­paign and the two have since held pri­vate meet­ings. Last week’s event was an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the char­ity’s achieve­ments over 12 years, dur­ing which it had sup­ported some 350 boys.

Rabbi Schapiro’s son, Levi, a Kol Bo­ni­ach vol­un­teer, said that “so many kids don’t fit into the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem, hav­ing come from de­prived back- grounds, or been abused or ne­glected. They leave school, go on the streets and get into trou­ble.

“We give them op­por­tu­ni­ties through coun­selling, ther­apy, pri­vate teach­ing, em­ploy­ment help and so­cial gath­er­ings.” Although there were some coun­cil and po­lice re­fer­rals, such was the char­ity’s rep­u­ta­tion that many boys came di­rectly to Kol Bo­ni­ach.

Some of its suc­cess sto­ries were on hand to meet the mayor.

“[The Mayor] said that Stam­ford Hill’s con­tri­bu­tion to Lon­don was well above the av­er­age,” said Levi Schapiro.

“And he was proud to know that peo­ple like my fa­ther could be re­lied upon to help out in the com­mu­nity.”

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