By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin, Director of Chabad Lubavitch Ilford, Essex UK, received an MBE (Member of British Empire) at Buckingham Palace this week.
Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II has given him the honor “for servicing the Jewish Community Relations and to Drugsline in North East London.”
Sufrin together with his wife Devorah Sufrin moved to Ilford, Essex in 1983, following in the footsteps of his parents who moved to the area in 1976.
The first Chabad House was opened in 1983. In January 2001 Chabad moved into its new and refurbished 4,000 sq. foot center. It houses its synagogue, library, nursery school, Hebrew classes, and counseling services.
While attending to his religious duties, Sufrin founded Drugsline-Chabad, a non-denominational crisis, information and support charity based in London, known for its unique drugs education outreach program.
In February 2008, Sufrin debated Britain’s former Home Secretary MP David Blunkett on BBC’s On the Politics Show over the re-classification of cannabis.
Upon realizing that the Jewish and Muslim communities share many of the same cultural taboos about drugs, Sufrin has shown nonconformism when he invited Imam Haroon Rashid Patel to sit in on Drugsline’s volunteer training sessions.