Breaking down borders — it’s thanks to bagels
GRASSROOTS GROUPS organised a synagogue Succot event to hear from those helping refugees.
Left-wing activists Jewdas organised the “Bagels Not Borders” event at East London Central Synagogue in conjunction with Food Not Bombs, which redistributes surplus food from businesses to those in need.
Speakers included 21-year-old Sheffield University JSoc president Joanna May Sutton-Klein, who volunteered at the temporary school set up in the socalled Calais jungle refugee camp.
A Jewdas spokesperson said that though everyone had a responsibility to help those seeking safety, the story around Succot gave the situation extra resonance.
“We wanted to do something. It’s the right time in the Jewish calendar and there’s been a lot of great stuff coming from the Jewish community and other groups — there’s a succah in Calais right now, for instance.
“We thought of doing a protest but there’s already been a huge demonstration which was very successful with a large Jewish bloc. So the idea of this was hearing from the people going through the crisis.”
The free event also included dinner, dancing and workshops, and discussions on racism, exile and detention. Voluntary donations supported the English classes for refugees that Jewdas runs.
Its spokesperson added that while the refugee crisis was a problem for everyone, it was “important that we talk about how this relates to Jewish history.
“As Jews, we have the benefit of hindsight. All the things now being said about Muslims and migrants were said about Jews.”