Mitzvah Day: Founder delighted at success

Marks and sparks: Laura Marks at a firework party on Sunday evening for some of the day’s main organisers

Marks and sparks: Laura Marks at a firework party on Sunday evening for some of the day’s main organisers

Laura Marks has seen participation in Mitzvah Day snowball since she launched it five years ago. But she feels there is potential to achieve much more.

The 49-year-old Primrose Hill mum was inspired by a similar project in America.

“I felt British Jewry could really benefit from something like this.

“This year has been overwhelming. The fact you can get so many people to get out of bed on a Sunday and physically engage is quite extraordinary.

“I hope it will become the norm that on the day the whole community goes out to make a difference.”

True to the ethos of the event, Ms Marks works on a voluntary basis for up to 16 hours a day, fundraising, recruiting key personnel, overseeing marketing and publicity and acting as chief spokesperson. She even sources Mitzvah Day merchandise such as T-shirts and bunting.

With the continuing expansion of the venture, she this year took on additional responsibility for recruiting interfaith partners and increasing awareness of the day nationally and globally.

She has already begun preparations for Mitzvah Day 2010, which will be on November 7.

    Last updated: 4:53pm, November 19 2009