Yom Shlishi, 16 Iyyar 5779
Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Donate blood and give the gift of life

Liberal Judaism has started 5775 by announcing a month of giving. Through a series of articles on www.liberaljudaism.org we are asking you, our members, to donate things that are more important than money.

As part of this initiative, Liberal Judaism has teamed up with The Joely Bear Appeal and NHS Blood and Transplant to boost the number of Jewish blood donors, as well as those donating bone marrow and organs.

Our movement has joined all the other major strands of Judaism, including the United Synagogue, in supporting The Joely Bear Appeal’s 5775 for 5775 campaign, aiming to register 5775 new blood donors from within the Jewish community over the next year.

It is a shocking statistic that, of the population of adults able to donate blood, only 4% actually do. Blood products are necessary for a number of uses other than just transfusion, and some of these are linked to the ethnic background of the recipient – making the need for Jewish donors even more vital.

Leigh Renak, chairman of the Joely Bear Appeal, said: “For 20 years, The Joey Bear Appeal has been working with NHS Blood and Transplant, targeting improving these statistics. We have enjoyed considerable local success.

“We have set out to eliminate the excuses that individuals may have as to why they are unable to donate. We run sessions on Sunday, within the local community, and make substantial provision for young children (such as a crèche) and we also ensure that everyone is well fed.

“Our ambition now is to work with the Jewish Community to roll out our model on a wider scale. Blood donation is a non-financial Tzedakah that all healthy adults can, and should, be encouraged to make. It is the gift of life.”

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich added: “In addition to the obvious Pikuach Nefesh – saving a life – priority that blood and bone marrow donations can produce, the New Year seems an opportune time for each of us to reflect on what we can do in a non-financial sense to make 5775 a joyous time for others.”

If you wish to donate blood, bone marrow or organs, then call NHS Blood and Transplant on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk

For those unable to give blood, there are still plenty of ways to help. The Joely Bear Appeal are always looking for volunteers to help run donation sessions and other activities.

For more information on The Joely Bear Appeal and how you can become a blood donor visit www.joelybear.org.uk