Happy Pesach

Pesach, the Jewish festival of Passover commencing this weekend, memorialises when the Jewish people became a nation over three thousand years ago. The overriding theme is liberation from subjugation in Egypt. Every year we come together to read this story from the Hagadah (the book), with the youngest child asking four questions that answer, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” The head of the family replies that we were once refugees and strangers in a strange land, enduring enforced slavery.

We then embark as if we were on the actual journey from those dark years of oppression to freedom, crossing the Red Sea, receiving the 10 Commandments, enduring the hostile wilderness before reaching the promised land of Israel. This year will be different, having survived the perils of the Pandemic we are required to celebrate in our own separate homes and pray for the safety and wellbeing of us all, and especially those who have also escaped seeking a better life on our shores.

We remember those Black Lives still being oppressed and the innocent women being abused, harassed, and brutalised. We pray that all of us recognise that we all have responsibility for their respect, safety, and security.

We have shared the determination of all faiths who have worked so well together with Barnet Council, the Voluntary and Business sectors, Public Health, our local Covid Champions, and the NHS.

We hope and pray this Passover, with Easter and Ramadan to soon follow, that we can enjoy the freedom and liberty to be with our loved ones once again when we all have defeated this Pandemic.

Es Rosen
President, Barnet Multi Faith Forum

Your community needs you: could you be a COVID-19 Health Champion?

Barnet Council is calling on anyone who lives, works, or studies in the borough to sign up to become a COVID-19 Health Champion.

Dr Tamara Djuretic, Director of Public Health for Barnet Council, said:

“We are launching this initiative because it is very difficult to navigate through COVID-19 information.”

“It keeps changing every day and it can be very, complex – so what we want to do is to get as many people from our communities signed up as a Health Champion. You don’t need to be an expert; you just need to be able to share our information and advice with people in your community.”

“We will work with our Health Champions to disseminate this information in a much simpler and visual way, and in different languages if that is required for our diverse communities in Barnet.”

Anyone can sign up by visiting   https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/health-champions

Completing the registration form and signing up to attend the next welcome session.

Information and infographics will be sent to Health Champions to share with their friends, families, and social networks.

The Health Champions will also be able to share their local insight to help the council improve communications and increase knowledge of how messages are working.

Dr Djuretic added: “We want everyone to be clearly informed about Covid-19, so they can make good decisions in terms of social distancing, self-isolation and infection control to help make Barnet safer.”

“Please register online to join the Barnet Health Champions network. You will receive information through emails and WhatsApp, and then you will be asked to disseminate it through your own channels. This can be in whatever form you like, using whatever channel you think is most effective.”

“Please go online and register today. Thank you.”

Barnet Health Champions is a Barnet Council programme coordinated in partnership by Groundwork London, part of Barnet Together. For further information, email barnethealthchampions@groundwork.org.uk