Mitzvah Day has a lot on its plate
Laura Marks, rumi Verjee and Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis with Julie Siddiqi (left) and Raymond Simonson (right) Photo: Yakir Zur
High-end Mayfair tableware store Thomas Goode was the unlikely venue for a Mitzvah Day fundraiser on Tuesday evening.
But it emphasised the interfaith element of the annual November day of good deeds as Thomas Goode boss, Muslim entrepreneur Rumi Verjee, addressed guests including Chief Rabbi-elect Ephraim Mirvis, Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman and Trevor and Daniela Pears of the Pears Foundation. Expressing admiration for the “values and community spirit of the Jewish faith”, Mr Verjee wanted to promote “co-operation and understanding”.
Mrs Pears, Mitzvah Day’s interfaith chair, said strong ties had been developed with Christian groups, but there was more to be done with the Muslim community. “Politics and international media aside, we are all British neighbours and, at the end of the day, we all want to go out and do good deeds.”
Founded by Laura Marks, Mitzvah Day encourages people to give back to their communities through activities such as food collections and visiting the elderly. At Tuesday’s event, Ms Marks launched an appeal to raise at least £130,000 to cover this year’s costs. She said the charity — “my eight-year-old baby” — was moving from JHub to the new JW3 premises in Finchley Road and would “now have to pay rent”.