On Wednesday 22 March, Habs were honoured to welcome Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis to speak to students from both schools. It was a pleasure to have a full lunchtime to listen to him speak and answer questions from the students.

He spoke with enthusiasm about visits he made which have most inspired him and the people who are making changes to improve the situation of those around them by following the principles of Judaism to help others not for financial gain or personal status. He also mentioned a community in New York which provides food for the poorer members of its community free of charge by taking donations from local restaurants, but all members of the community are encouraged to eat there so the poorer members of the community are not separated from the rest and can keep their dignity.

Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis also talked about an Australian Jewish man who saw poverty in the slums of Mumbai and gave up his job as an accountant to help in those slums. He has set up schools for the children and a factory producing soap from the discards left by hotels to improve hygiene for those who have no access to ways to keep themselves clean. After the tragic and preventable death of one particularly bright student to a curable disease, he set up a medical centre in his memory to provide healthcare for those with no access to treatment.

Finally, he touched upon the challenges we as a society and Jewish people today face in this country and the things we can do to improve ourselves and the lives of those around us. For Jews and non-Jews alike, there was plenty to take from his talk.

Thank you to our JSoc for organising such a fantastic talk and to Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis for providing us so much of his valuable time.