JVN presents its Spring Newsletter 2011 – Big Society, Big Community Fun Run, Chag Sameach and more!

Susan Winton (Chair of Trustees) and Leonie Lewis (Director)

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said that Jews do not have rights, but do have responsibilities: responsibilities about what we can do for ourselves and what we can do for others. Big Society in a nutshell. To date, the Jewish community has always provided an infrastructure to meet our community ’s needs; caring for the young, the elderly, the hungry, the sick and the abused. It also includes communal bodies and a host of interfaith and social justice charities, sharing our experience as a faith-based minority and helping shape UK society as a whole.

Passover, the most celebrated of all Jewish Festivals is, at first glance, centred on the home and not the community’s organisations. I t’s the only festival with a service, the Seder meal, which takes place at home. It begins with the words, “This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in Egypt. Let all those who are downtrodden come and eat. All those in need come and par take of the Pesach meal.”

But if no one is there to actually hear this invitation, why make it at all?

A Rabbinical commentator, the Malbim, explained that this invitation was once declared in the marketplace before the Seder, but that it’s included now as a reminder that preparations for the holiday must include concern for the less fortunate.

This invitation is not a theoretical one! It underlines a universal message. Every individual must remember that, we too, were once slaves and must reframe our mindset and actions to challenge injustice where we find it – whether by inviting those in need for the Seder, by volunteering or just in our actions day to day. Truly, a Big Society message for Passover and for the whole year.

We’re delighted to present our Spring Newsletter filled with all sorts of insights and news relevent to the JVN, and the world of volunteering in general.

We are honoured to have had the privlege to interview Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, about the Big Society concept – we’d love to know your thoughts on his comments by leaving your feedback.

(Note: click ‘view in full screen’ for easier viewing.)

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Categories: JVN News

Author:Mike

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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