A pattern emerges from JCoSS and Finchley shul
Square dealers: Finchley Synagogue women display the fruits of their labours for World Jewish Relief
Pupils at the new cross-communal secondary school, JCoSS, enjoyed government support for their Mitzvah Day activity - bringing in hats, scarves and gloves for World Jewish Relief's Operation Winter Survival campaign.
Transport Minister and Chipping Barnet Tory MP Theresa Villiers visited the school on Friday, where students deposited their warming items into decorated boxes, receiving a Mitzvah day sticker in return. The clothing will be dispatched to needy Jews in Eastern Europe.
"Young people are always getting negative press," she noted. "It's so positive when children can be seen in a good light. It's brilliant that the Jewish influence has a place in the wider community."
JCoSS social action co-ordinator Victoria Rose believed that making its contribution two days before the main event would encourage pupils "to help elsewhere in the community on the day.
"Part of the school's ethos is teaching the children to help others, which is taught in both formal and informal education.
"We have a golden rule at the school, which is to be a mensch," she added.
Theresa Villiers supporting the JCoSS Mitzvah Day collection
Murray Cohen, 12, said: "Everyone in the world needs something good and people that don't have much need warm things in the cold."
The WJR campaign was also part of the focus at Finchley Synagogue, where members knitted squares for blankets, as well gathering donated clothes.
At its Sharon kindergarten, children were making get well cards to accompany gift bags - being stuffed with goodies in another part of the building - for the children's ward at the Whittington Hospital.
The project was organised by the Kadimah Kinloss committee, in conjunction with Camp Simcha, which helps children with life-threatening illnesses.
Shul members also stood outside the Sainsbury's branch in North Finchley, collecting food and non-perishables from shoppers for the Barnet Homeless Shelter. More than 60 boxes were filled on the day.