Community life

Britons are sent packing in Israel

November 25, 2010

Spreading its wings overseas, Mitzvah Day came to Israel with more than 100 British volunteers gathering at Kibbutz Shiller, near Rehovot, to pack clementines for Leket, a charity feeding the needy.

On average, Leket provides clients with two kilos of fruit per week. In two hours, the volunteers picked enough citrus to feed 750 families.

In a message of support to the volunteers, British Ambassador Matthew Gould wrote that by "playing a positive role in Israeli society, as you are today, you are sending a powerful message about Britain and about the relationship between our countries".


Hendon puts a number on its contribution

November 25, 2010

Putting its Mitzvah Day contribution in numbers, Hendon Synagogue calculates that 80 balloons were blown up by barmitzvah boys to decorate the community centre and 80 packages of fresh green vegetables were presented to the Gift charity.

Sixty seniors were taken to a tea party with food prepared by the community's youth and 30 Chanucah cards sent to IDF soldiers. Another key figure was 100 - the age of birthday celebrant Evie Mantz. Local MP Matthew Offord was among the special guests.


Cakes, cars, clothing and interfaith co-operation

November 25, 2010

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.


Good things come in fives for Stanmore

By Jessica Elgot, November 25, 2010

More than 400 Stanmore Synagogue members collected clothes and books and made Chanucah cards in support of five charities.

Volunteers filled 35 sacks of winter clothing and knitted blankets for World Jewish Relief, donated books to the British Heart Foundation and made 180 Chanucah cards for Emunah. A large van of shopping was sent to Watford New Hope Trust for the homeless and the synagogue also collected books, DVDs and chocolate for soldiers in Afghanistan.


An iron willed workforce

November 25, 2010

Members of Harrow Reform congregations Middlesex New and Kol Chai went into the wash enhancement industry, ironing a huge pile of clothes in return for donations to homeless charity the Watford New Hope Trust.

Shul ministers rabbis Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton and Michael Hilton were among the ironing team.

Members also cleared undergrowth under Stanmore Common, along with Harrow and Wembley Progressive congregants and pupils from two Hindu schools.

The clean-up was arranged under the aegis of Harrow Nature Conservation Forum.


Capturing Herts and minds for environmental ventures

By Jay Grenby, November 25, 2010

In his capacity as president of the Woodland Trust, broadcaster Clive Anderson spurred on more than 70 young people, plus family groups who were bussed into St Albans from Hertfordshire and neighbouring communities to plant some of the first trees for England's largest new native woodland.


Coffee keeps up Scottish spirits

By Stephanie Brickman, November 25, 2010

Fifteen young people who cleared litter, cleaned headstones and weeded at Glasgow's Glenduffhill and Sandymount cemeteries were fortified by coffee provided by a local Starbucks, whose staff also helped with the clean-up.

Other young community members collected food from shoppers at Giffnock's two kosher delis for distribution to a project for the homeless and served tea to Scottish Jewish Care clients.

The activities were co-ordinated by UJIA youth worker Jared Ross.


Northern participants rely on animal instincts

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 25, 2010

The gardening skills of Manchester Habonim Dror members helped preserve allotments that needy residents rely upon for fresh produce.

As their Mitzvah Day contribution, the 16-to-19-year-olds tended to plots belonging to the husband of a terminally ill cancer patient and a woman who had suffered a heart attack.


Ilford Primary programme gets MP's vote

By Cathy Forman, November 25, 2010

Ilford South Labour MP Mike Gapes came away "really impressed" by the Mitzvah Day activities at Ilford Jewish Primary.

Younger pupils decorated Chanucah cards for the Blue Peter Go Cardz appeal. Older children were addressed by eight-year-old pupil Darcy Tish, who is recovering from an operation, before making "get well" cards for children in local hospitals.

A serviceman spoke about his experiences in Afghanistan to year five and six pupils, who composed letters to serving soldiers.