A diversity award to Hackney council for the work done during the pandemic among the borough’s Jewish community has been dedicated to a well known local Rabbi who died from Covid-19 earlier this year.
The prize – gold in the Diversity and Inclusion category at this year’s LGComms Public Service Communication Awards – recognises Hackney Council’s work raising awareness of the pandemic among the Charedi Orthodox Jewish community, which is mainly based around Stamford Hill.
Mayor Philip Glanville tweeted that he would dedicate the award to Rabbi Pinter, a former local Labour councillor and pillar of the Stamford Hill Charedi community, who died of Covid-19 on April 13:
The Rabbi was well-known for his work improving interfaith relations in the borough as well as his work in education, notably as Principal of Yesodah Hatorah Girls’ School. Rabbi Pinter had been raising awareness of the pandemic by going out to knock on doors in the hard-to-reach community, where many do not use modern technology such as TV and radio.
The award also recognises the council’s work with Interlink, a foundation which connects Orthodox Jewish organisations with the council and other community faith groups.
Organisations working with the council include local Jewish ambulance service Hatzola – who have provided a vital emergency service throughout the first and second wave of the pandemic – and Shomrim, a Jewish volunteer police force providing security for the local community.
Bikur Cholim, which supports members of the community through illness and disability, helped the council raise awareness of the pandemic. Its helpline provides information and support with Covid-19 and Kosher food boxes for those self-isolating. It also provides information about a centre – at former mother and baby home Beis Brucha – where members of the community can receive specialist care and physiotherapy once they have been discharged from hospital after suffering severe Covid-19.
On Twitter, Mayor Philip Glanville said:
However, some members of the Charedi community objected to restrictions on weddings and funerals in the second national lockdown.
These events will be allowed to restart after midnight on Wednesday December 2 when London returns to Tier 2 restrictions, allowing up to 15 people to attend wedding receptions and up to 30 people to attend funeral ceremonies.