Many members of the Jewish community have participated in efforts to help Ukrainians affected by the conflict. However, Jonathan Metliss may be unique in having made his own contribution two decades ago.
Jonathan who is Deputy for the Central Synagogue in London, relates: “Around 20 years ago my family raised money to donate an MDA ambulance to Israel. It was based in Haifa and made more than 1,000 visits before it was eventually decommissioned a while ago. However, a few weeks ago I received notification that the ambulance had been recommissioned and sent to Ukraine where it is helping to save lives. It’s great news and really unexpected.”
Jonathan has been a Deputy for Central since 2015 and before that was Deputy for Muswell Hill Synagogue.
He says: “My reasons for getting involved with the Board were quite simple. I wanted to serve the Jewish community and in particular fight antisemitism. I am also completely committed to the State of Israel.”
In particular, he wanted to do more to combat antisemitism in sport, which led him to the foundation of the charity Action Against Discrimination (AAD) in 2014. He recalls: “I was on the board of Kick it Out which campaigns against racism in football, but I realised that antisemitism wasn’t really at the top of their list. So I founded AAD. The object is to combat racism in sport but my own particular concern in antisemitism in sport. We’ve had some successes, particularly with our campaign against use of the ‘Y word’ at Tottenham. But whether they will convert their words into action, we’ll have to wait and see.”
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