Responding to the increasing financial crisis, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of the Mill Hill Synagogue has launched an initiative in order to help his members. The MHRC (Mill Hill Resource Committee) consists of lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, employment experts and counsellors who have made their services available for others within the community who may require them. Rabbi Schochet also put into place an emergency fund which would help cover costs for emergency needs as well as food for Shabbos.
Realizing the enormous success of the scheme and what Rabbi Schochet described as the ‘overwhelming response from the community,’ he looked to expand some of the scheme further. Through the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, of which Rabbi Schochet is chairman, he has launched a special Tomchei Shabbos scheme through the shop JustKosher in North West London. Sir Philip Green, renowned billionaire philanthropist and owner of Top Shop and BHS contributed a large sum of money to be used for the scheme which is now under way. In a letter to all Rabbonim, Rabbi Schochet wrote: “I hope you share my concerns and will do your part to work co-operatively with all our colleagues in the RCUS to ensure that this Rabbinic-led project succeeds in alleviating some of the hardship that our members may be facing during these difficult times.”
Schochet, who was at the funeral of the Holtzbergs hy”d the other week commented: “You never recover from something like that. Never. All you can do is respond by looking for new ways and means to create more light by encouraging more acts of chesed. With all the darkness in our world it is heartwarming that so many people are willing to commit to such charitable acts.”