BARNET ISRAEL GROUP
WHO AND WHAT WE ARE
Barnet Israel Group (BIG) is a separate registered charity and, as such, not “officially” a synagogue sub-committee. However, we are inseparably part of the shul. We currently have 19 members, who include the two synagogue Vice Presidents and one of the Wardens. Two of these have previously been Chairmen of the shul. One other member has been Financial Representative for the shul and Vice Chairman. Five other members have previously been shul Board Members and three are currently serving on the Premises Sub-Committee.
BIG was formed in 1973 to raise funds and promote understanding. There are still three founder members, while the majority of members have been involved for more than 35 years.
BIG originally worked with both the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) and Jewish National Fund (JNF). We became an independent charity in 1992 so that we could support small organisations in Israel, ensuring they receive all funds raised without suffering any overhead costs.
We organised direct appeals for the UJIA, raising tens of thousands of pounds annually. We undertook some major projects with them, most notably the building of a community centre at Gita in the Galil, dedicated to one of our founding members.
We have a continuing relationship with the UJIA as we support the Ethiopian Bar/Bat Mitzvah Programme, which is for the benefit of immigrant children.
In the past we arranged a host of fundraising events, including dinners and balls (featuring well known bands), horse shows (with celebrity guests), dog racing, musicals, film shows, tennis tournaments, quiz suppers and many others events. Additionally, we have run four very successful sponsored walks.
We raised funds specifically to create the Barnet Israel Grove at Givat Koach, to purchase a bullet-proof ambulance for Hatzollah and to support the NATAL trauma centre.
We have also shown our support of Israel by organising a number of group trips over the years, particularly during the intifadas.
In recent years, due to the maturity of our members and the economic climate, we have curtailed our fundraising activities to a more modest level but still generate approximately £15,000 annually, which we donate directly to small charities in Israel that members have visited and maintain contact with. These include providing support for the underprivileged and needy (with a special interest in child welfare), funding training for nurses (again from underprivileged backgrounds) and various educational projects.
Throughout our history, we have also organised speakers, educational evenings and produced literature ensuring that Israel remains uppermost in peoples’ minds and that the true facts are communicated to all.
If you are interested in helping to take our activities forward we would be delighted to hear from you.