JVN Volunteering Perspectives: Baroness Neuberger DBE

Iwas brought up in a family where volunteering was the norm. From my grandmother’s work with refugees from Nazi Germany and the Stepney Jewish Girls’ Club to my parents’ work with the Ben Uri, I grew up thinking it was just a standard part of life. It was both about being Jewish and about being a decent citizen.

You gave money, tzedakah, time (tzedakah and g’millut chassadim). And you didn’t waste time. If you didn’t have to be at your paid work, there must be something useful you could do for someone else.

So I volunteered too; Task Force, visiting older people, Youth and Music, Shelter, Third World First, Jewish Child’s Day, and so on. Both Jewish and wider communityorganisations. Both to make the world a better place and because you are needed. We should use our good fortune to help those less fortunate. For its own sake,of course, but also to establish good relationships across communities.

The main reason for volunteering is to give, but if we can give with others, from our own community and beyond, to others, within our community and beyond, then we would really be making a contribution.

Baroness (Julia) Neuberger is a social reformer and member of the House of Lords. She was appointed the Government’s Champion of Volunteering from 2007 until mid 2009.


Categories: Volunteering Perspectives


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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