Mitzvah day

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.


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.


Residents relish their Orient-al takeaway

November 25, 2010

Football fans at Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House in Redbridge had a ball as two Leyton Orient stars paid a Mitzvah Day call.

Defender Ben Chorley and striker Alex Revell from the League One club found a number of lifelong O's supporters among the Rubens residents and got as much out of the visit as they did.


Praise for mitzvah masses

By Robyn Rosen, November 25, 2010

Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks says the community should be "extremely proud" of a record response to the day of social action.

An estimated 18,000 volunteers from more than 200 synagogues, schools and communal organisations worked on 600 projects.

"Mitzvah Day goes from strength to strength," she said. "It is the Jewish community's newest tradition,
a day on which we are all able to come together to make a difference to our own community, our friends, our neighbours and the strangers within our gates."


Tony Blair's Mitzvah Day message

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010
See Video

The former Prime Minister offers his support for this year's Mitzvah Day


Boris Johnson backs big Mitzvah Day

November 18, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and London Mayor Boris Johnson are supporting the final push for Mitzvah Day, Sunday's community-wide volunteering initiative.

Dr Williams says "the Jewish community should be proud of what they achieve each Mitzvah Day. I am also proud that increasing numbers of Anglican groups are joining our Jewish friends, both to build bridges and to make a difference to those in our community who, from time to time, need a helping hand."

Mr Johnson describes the day as an example of the community spirit he wants to see across the capital.