Jewish community organizations in Britain have called on its members to donate to London charities that will provide long-term support to the victims of Wednesday’s deadly fire in London, after the victims were inundated with material offerings.
The death toll from the blaze that ripped through Grenfell Tower in west London rose to 17 on Thursday, with many people still missing. A final toll may not be known for weeks.
Thirty-seven people remained in the hospital, with 17 of them in critical care. Other survivors spent the night at emergency shelters.
Shuls on Wednesday had swiftly mobilized to gather donations for survivors who lost all their belongings in the blaze, with shuls such as Holland Park Synagogue – located a few streets away from the building – West London Synagogue and Borehamwood Synagogue working to coordinate donations. Over a half million pounds were collected in the joint effort.
But due to an overwhelming desire by Londoners to help, the local authority, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, thanked donors but said it could not take any further donations for the time being.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews put out a statement saying: “Our hearts go out to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. We have been speaking to Jewish and interfaith colleagues about how best to help. We understand that the surrounding churches, mosques and temples have received enough material goods and volunteers for the time being. Therefore the best way to support those affected is to donate to a charity like The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation.”
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis Tweeted Wednesday: “Images of #GrenfellTower are truly harrowing. My prayers today are with all affected and with the heroes running toward danger to save lives.” Read more at JPOST.