Skip to content

‘Inspiring’ Progressive Iftar supports asylum seeker campaign

An Iftar at Finchley Progressive Synagogue (FPS) marked an important moment in a day of action campaigning for free bus travel for asylum seekers.

The evening was the final stop on Barnet Citizens’ ‘Iftar for the Bus’, which saw a vintage bus travel across London to raise awareness for the campaign.

More 125 people – representatives of faith, community and educational organisations, asylum seekers and local politicians – met at FPS for an evening of speeches, food, prayer, poetry and song to mark the daily Ramadan fast-break.

They heard how asylum seekers in catered accommodation get £8.86 a week for all their other expenses and can’t afford bus travel.

Guests including Progressive Judaism Co-Leads, Rabbis Charley Baginsky and Josh Levy, Rabbi Rebecca Birk of FPS and Barry Rawlings, leader of Barnet Council, who was thanked for being the first council leader to commit his support for the campaign.

The Iftar was hosted by the FPS Home from Home Club, a weekly after-school drop-in for asylum seekers from a local hotel, which is led by asylum seekers themselves.

One hotel resident said: “This Iftar was an incredibly enriching experience, and I feel truly blessed to have been a part of it. The atmosphere of warmth among everyone present was truly inspiring.

“It was wonderful to see people from diverse religious backgrounds coming together in unity and sharing in the spirit of Ramadan. It was lovely to see the beauty of community and the importance of understanding and friendship across cultures and beliefs.”

The bus campaign started last spring when FPS led a listening campaign, in which 100 asylum Barnet seekers shared their stories.

Rabbi Rebecca said: “We hope this Iftar will bring about change for asylum seekers to have free bus travel. It also marks the fact that we are stronger in our relationships and friendships when we are together.”

Back To Top