How incredible that last week, Chief Rabbi Mirvis visited Tzedek funded project, Economic Rural Development Society (ERDS) in Kolkata, India. Chief Rabbi Mirvis spent time speaking with beneficiaries about how the programmes changed their lives.

The Chief Rabbi wrote in the Visitor’s Book at ERDS:

“An inspirational organisation. I will return back to the UK filled with pride for what has been achieved here.”

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The Chief Rabbi saw and heard first-hand how skills training, small loans and business mentoring can give people a sustainable income and a much brighter future. He reflected to a group of children at ERDS, that solutions to the problem of poverty revolve around the letter E – education and employment. That is education can break the cycle of poverty and employment gives people a way to ensure they are not hungry.

We are delighted that the Chief Rabbi has been able to be an ambassador for the UK Jewish community to our friends in India. The Founder and Director of ERDS, Madhu Basu found Chief Rabbi Mirvis visit heart-warming and uplifting.

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Moved by the experience of talking with young people the Chief Rabbi says he feels “the pain and suffering of the poor”. This is of course the first step in understanding the responsibility we hold to Others and knowing that there is a part for each of us to play to relief that suffering. Chief Rabbi Mirvis said:

“To arrive in the midst of squalor and poverty at a depth that you just can’t really explain in words, and to see a man in a kippah who is working there, and incredible programmes which teach literacy and train people to become employed and to go out and be responsible to their families and society, and it’s happening on a mass-scale, is so deeply impressive.”

We can feel, pride along with the Chief Rabbi, that the contribution made by our community is meaningful. And at the same time know there is more to do