Mitzvah Day: 15,000 join the day of good deeds

Leah Fisher watches Shayna Lipson and Harriet Mellis compose cards to the troops at Chigwell shul

Leah Fisher watches Shayna Lipson and Harriet Mellis compose cards to the troops at Chigwell shul

A record-breaking Mitzvah Day involved over 15,000 volunteers from 150 synagogues, schools and communal organisations in good deeds on Sunday.

The 250 projects ranged from repainting school buildings to clearing scrubland, from visiting the elderly to collecting clothes and food for refugees and the homeless.

An estimated 40 tonnes of food and non-perishable goods were donated to Mitzvah Day teams outside supermarkets and delis. A similar quantity of clothes was also collected, along with spectacles, sports kits, nappies and children’s toys.

Around 1,000 operation gowns were made for children in developing nations as part of Blue Peter’s Operation Smile appeal. Residents at two dozen care homes were entertained by young community members. There was support from every section of the community.

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks was one of those whose good deed was to support the Ajex parade and rally in central London. Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich joined children from LJY-Netzer, RSY and Noam collecting clothes for refugees and asylum
seekers.

One-year-old Mazhira Jacobs was among those taken to visit residents at Lady Sarah Cohen House in Friern Barnet with mums from the League of Jewish Women. At the other end of the age scale, 98-year-old Edie Spivack was a Hendon Synagogue volunteer.

“In five short years, Mitzvah Day has come from nowhere to be one of the biggest events in the Jewish calendar,” observed founder and director Laura Marks. “Quite simply, everyone — every community, every leader, every child — can do something for others.”

    Last updated: 12:41pm, November 18 2009