Memorable contribution leads the Brighton effort

November 24, 2011
Bryony Morris from the Lincolnshire community assists at an an-imal sanctuary

Bryony Morris from the Lincolnshire community assists at an an-imal sanctuary

Sussex Jewish Community Care took a trip down memory lane for Mitzvah Day.

Volunteers helped fill 150 "memory bags" with old-fashioned sweets, cards prepared by cheder pupils, vintage photographs and a notebook for recording special memories. These will be published in a Brighton and Hove community memories book.

Young people prepared plant pots and flowers for residents of Jewish Care's Hyman Fine House. Other recipients included the housebound, Royal Sussex County Hospital patients and residents of Rachel Mazzier House for people with learning difficulties. Members of the local Progressive shul dug a trench and planted broad beans at the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden, working with teenagers who do not attend school.

Students from Newcastle and Durham JSocs helped residents of the Philip Cussins House care home to communicate with relatives and friends via Skype.

Among those they chatted to was Susan Olsburgh in Israel. Mrs Olsburgh had been on the PCH committee before making aliyah last year.

PCH chair Alan Share said the initiative "gave residents independence in being able to contact the outside world electronically".

JSoc president Tamma Carel said: "The residents loved it, we loved it and it is something that both the residents and students have expressed an interest in continuing outside of Mitzvah Day."

Proceeds from sponsored exercise activities organised by Newcastle Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade will be split between Marie Curie and the North East Jewish Community Service. In Birmingham, a storytelling event attended by people from different faiths was organised by the local Council of Christians and Jews.

Participants were encouraged to bring items of food, toiletries and clothing for distribution to those in need. Members of a Jewish knitting circle made five blankets for the elderly in the Ukraine. Cheder pupils and adults from across the community cleared overgrown woodlands at a city centre nature reserve and Chanucah cards designed by local sixth-former Jessica Lipkin will be sent to Israeli soldiers.

At the city's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a Mitzvah Day team served free refreshments to patients and visitors. Passers-by wrote cards to wounded soldiers being treated in the hospital.

One message read: "I have just been given this card and a free cup of coffee by the kind people running Mitzvah Day - meaning act of kindness. This is the type of world worth fighting for. Hope you have a speedy recovery."

Members of Bournemouth's Orthodox and Reform congregations cleaned up the car park at the Hannah Levy home. In Harlow, cheder pupils made fairy cakes for the Alexandra House nursing home, part of the town's Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Last updated: 2:56pm, November 24 2011