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Thoughts for the week

Thursday, December 9

Human rights and voting rights

I’m writing this just as Chanukah has come to a close and, as ever, my joy and sense of hope has grown with the number of candles. Call it irrational optimism if you like, but we need to look for the points of light to guide our way in these times. And draw inspiration from those who have lit the way in the past. Such as Monsieur Rene Cassin, the Jewish jurist who co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His legacy inspires the charity Rene Cassin, the Jewish Voice for Human Rights (full disclosure, I’m the treasurer) and this Shabbat is being marked by the charity as Human Rights Shabbat, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

The theme for this year’s Human Rights Shabbat is the Right to Food, reflecting Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being … including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”. The campaign is inspired by the commandment from Leviticus: “you shall not pick your vineyard bare or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger“. On Sunday 12th December at 4.00 pm, it will be a delight to welcome Rachel Vogler, the leader of Rene Cassin’s Right to Food campaign, who will lead us in discussing the particular Jewish responsibility in this.

And don’t forget next Wednesday 15th December at 8.00 pm, we’ll be holding the 2021 AGM for Mosaic Jewish Community Limited. This will be a mainly formal meeting (to re-elect the directors for the coming year) but there will be brief updates on the construction of our new building in Stanmore Hill and plans for the development of the community. We do need a quorum, so do please log on for the 20 to 30 minutes this will take.

Have a good week

Jeff Highfield (the one on the left in the photo)

Co-chair, Mosaic Jewish Community

December 9, 2021