Thanks to all givers

November 24, 2016 23:20

After the unspeakably awful murders in Jerusalem this week, it is all the more important to remind ourselves that this is not the unremittingly bleak world it sometimes seems.

And the coincidence this year of two charity behemoths taking place on successive days – Mitzvah Day and the Norwood annual dinner – does just that. Mitzvah Day has, since its creation in 2005, become an institution not just in the Jewish communal calendar but in the nation as a whole.

The scale is not merely impressive – it is jaw dropping. Over 37,000 volunteers donated 150,000 hours, with more than 500 synagogues, mosques, churches and other faith groups taking part. It captures the imagination of young and old. And what makes it all so wonderful is that anyone - even the poorest members of our community - can take part and offer their time.

There are not many people who can claim to have changed the face of Anglo-Jewry; Laura Marks has done just that. As for the Norwood dinner - the sheer scale of the philanthropy lends itself only to superlatives. To raise £3.6 million in one night is simply astounding. Such is the regularity of these gifts that we too often take the generosity of the likes of Norwood president Richard Desmond - and his Jewish Care counterpart, Lord Levy - for granted.

We should, once in a while, stop and say a simple thank you.

November 24, 2016 23:20

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