120 rabbis raise awareness of housing discrimination

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120 rabbis raise awareness of housing discrimination

Leaders from Reform, Orthodox and Masorti communities lobbying politicians and landlords on behalf of charity Shelter.

A delegation of 9 rabbis from the social justice group Tzelem was briefed by Shelter
A delegation of 9 rabbis from the social justice group Tzelem was briefed by Shelter

120 rabbis from Liberal, Reform, Orthodox and Masorti communities have come together to campaign against housing discrimination.

A delegation of nine rabbis from the social justice group Tzelem representing each denomination was briefed by executives from the charity Shelter at a meeting last week.

Teaming up with the homelessness charity, they will be raising awareness of housing discrimination in their synagogues, various interfaith coalitions and lobbying politicians and major landlords.

The campaign will be launched at Passover until Succot, with a series of events in communal Sukkahs across the UK in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

“Each person present shared stories about their community’s interaction with homelessness,” said student rabbi and Tzelem coordinator Sarah Rosenbaum. “For some, the interaction is distant and for others, the issue is all too personal”.

Some of the rabbis have previous experience campaigning on housing and running homelessness schemes, including student rabbi Elliot Karstadt who is the trustee and chair of the night shelter Together in Barnet.

Rabbi Alexander Goldberg, who is involved in the project, said: “I have seen with my own eyes the predicament of families in sub-standard and overcrowded housing across London and that includes many Jewish families.

“It’s heartbreaking to see and so unfair on the kid. We don’t speak out on this sort of issue enough, but decent housing is a universal right that is steeped in our prophetic tradition.

“By working together and with other faith communities I hope we can make a real change”.

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