Cakes, cars, clothing and interfaith co-operation
Clean living: Newcastle's young car washers raised money for a residential home and the British Legion
Student support swelled the Mitzvah Day crowd at Brighton Reform's cupcake-wrapping session to 180. The cakes were delivered to patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, residents of Jewish Care's Hyman Fine House and needy community members. Cross-communal welfare group Helping Hands organised the event.
Progressive synagogue congregants participated in a gardening project in Brighton's Moulescombe area which encourages the involvement of troubled teenagers.
In Bournemouth, the Jewish representative council brought in volunteers including BBYO members to paint the corridors of Bournemouth Institute for the Visually Impaired.
Rep council chairman Jonathan Kay said: "The institute is one of the mayor's chosen charities and we felt this would show that the community is involved with civic life in Bournemouth."
Children from Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation produced Chanucah cards for the elderly.
Cambridge Reform cheder pupils collected warm clothing for World Jewish Relief's Operation Winter Survival programme. Project organiser Berenice Mann was "delighted to have collected 60 sacks of clothes and goods. It's a great way for children to feel they are doing something to help those less fortunate."
The cheder also held a mini-fete, raising more than £200 towards a permanent shul building.
Newcastle JLGB leader Judith Levene organised a car cleaning session. Gabriel Milne, Sam Brady, Alex Rocks, Ziv Gould, James Baker, Alana Rocks, Hannah Ravenhall, Jacob Ravenhall and Romi Gould took part, raising £120 for the Phillip Cussins Residential Home in Gosforth and the British Legion.
Sarah Montagu led an Oxford Jewish Centre workshop on Jewish social responsibility, which was followed by a talk by Sally Tarshish, chair of the Association of Visitors to Asylum Detainees. Cheder pupils made gifts for asylum seekers' children. Other young people made soup for Oxford homeless centre the Gatehouse. Volunteers also planted trees at the Cumnor Hurst woodland project, along with other faith group members.
Birmingham Mitzvah Day supporters joined Hindus at the inner city Ackers Trust Nature Reserve, where they prepared the ground for a butterfly and bee haven. "It was great to get stuck into the deeply muddy action," said volunteer Mandy Ross.
In Nottingham, the East Midlands Jewish Representative Council asked faith communities to collect food for the Nottingham Refugee Forum. Donated items, including those from Nottingham's JSoc, were taken to the Progressive synagogue, where volunteers from across the community filled 150 boxes. They were decorated by pupils from the city's two cheders before delivery to the Refugee Forum.
Bristol activities included collecting food for Refugee Action at the Clifton Down Sainsbury's at a stall manned by JSoc and Islamic Society students. Muslims were also involved in a blood donor initiative. Mitzvah Day organisers included Rabbi Moshe Baron - who was interviewed on Radio Bristol - Sam Stanley, Ruth Baker, Martin Vegoda and Caroline Goldstein.
Youngsters from Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation were taken by Rabbi Binyamin Bar and cheder teachers to Jewish Care's Raymond House, where the rabbi explained the meaning of a mitzvah. The children sang to residents.
Harlow cheder pupils visited a night shelter for the homeless, where they were addressed by shelter helper Mick Granger. Parents were encouraged to continue supporting the synagogue's sandwich-making initiative for the shelter.