Outstanding charity volunteers celebrated at star-studded virtual ceremony

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Outstanding charity volunteers celebrated at star-studded virtual ceremony

More than 70 charity volunteers have been recognised at this year's Jewish Volunteering Network awards

Volunteers at Chevra Kedusha which prepares bodies for burial were recognised
Volunteers at Chevra Kedusha which prepares bodies for burial were recognised

More than 70 charity volunteers have been recognised for their outstanding work during the pandemic and beyond at this year’s Jewish Volunteering Network awards.

Some 73 charity awardees were recognised at the star-studded virtual event which featured appearances from comedian Matt Lucas, broadcaster Esther Rantzen and TV’s Rob Rinder.

The event was dedicated in memory of JVN’s former chairman, David Lazarus, who was movingly remembered by wife Gaby as a person “who encouraged all of us to be the best version of ourselves.”

While charities across the Jewish community received trophies before the event, an independent judging panel established the outstanding winners from four categories: Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding Volunteer Team of the Year, Innovation in Volunteering and Lifetime Volunteer of the Year award.

Ruth Green, a trustee of UJIA, scooped the top award in the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year category, with judges recognising her “seemingly limitless” energy for volunteering.

UJIA chair, Louise Jacobs, paid tribute to Ruth’s work, saying she has an “amazing ability to make everyone feel special.”

Ruth Green of UJIA was recognised at this year’s awards as Volunteer of the Year

“She has made us think of issues that sometimes other people would have been too afraid to bring to the light,” she said.

Volunteers with United Synagogue’s Chevra Kadisha, who prepare deceased people for burial, were applauded as the Outstanding Volunteer Team of the Year.

“I would call them like the Jewish SAS,” said Melvyn Hartog, the head of burial at United Synagogue. “This is seen as one of the most important mitzvot, good deeds, as the deceased person cannot thank you nor can they repay you for the help you gave.”

Judges were torn on who to recognise of the many who had innovated during the pandemic and so named four recipients of the new Innovation in Volunteering Award – Bushey Synagogue, the JLGB youth charity, Kef Kids, and Jewish Blind and Disabled.

Special recognition was given for a lifetime’s worth of volunteering to Elaine Grazin, who won the Lifetime Volunteer of the Year award in memory of Judy Citron, a co-founder of the JVN.

Elaine Grazin, of the JWA was recognised for a lifetime of work

Elaine, a founder member of Jewish Women’s Aid, was praised as an “inspirational woman” for her work in helping victims of domestic abuse.

“Elaine’s quiet, intelligent leadership has inspired our trustees, volunteers and staff – she is very humble and has never expected praise or thanks for all her years of hard work,” said the chief executive of Jewish Women’s Aid, Naomi Dickson.

To see a full list of those awarded, visit the JVN website here.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: