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Interfaith and Camden Liaison

INTERFAITH REPORT: 2021/2022

I have participated in many zoom meetings this year initiated by Camden Council as a member of its Faith Leaders Forum.

Many issues have been discussed including incidents of an Anti-Semitic nature, school education, safety, mental health and women issues.  We have received evidence of right-wing activities in the area, including references to the Ku Klux Klan and hate crimes in general.

Concern has been expressed with regard to refugees in particular those from Afghanistan and Ukraine.  We have offered the use of our community centre for any assistance that we can provide; this was taken up by Camden as a collection point for clothing for refugee Afghans in our area.  We have put forward proposals to assist Ukrainians; it has been suggested that our hall could be used for a number of different clinics.

In November I, with other members of the Synagogue, attended the annual Hampstead Remembrance Service at the Hampstead Cenotaph.  The Mayor of Camden, Councillor Sabrina Francis, attended our annual AJEX Shabbat Service when she laid a wreath at the war memorial in the Synagogue foyer. Councillor Francis also attended our Mitzvah Day activities and this year she spoke to us following a Shabbat morning service.

More recently we held an interfaith event to address the challenges faith communities are likely to face in the 2020s.  Three faiths were represented, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. This was held in our Community Centre with a Zoom connection.

I receive information relating to security which I pass to our security teams.

Our Synagogue remains a well respected and integral part of Interfaith in Camden and I am privileged to have been your Interfaith representative.

Tony Ostrin

Interfaith Representative and Camden Council Liaison Officer.