Growing up at Mitzvah Day


Mitzvah Day is looking to become a “grown-up” charity with the recruitment of a chief executive.

Having attracted 37,000 volunteers for its various projects last year, the social action organisation is looking to expand its influence both here and abroad.

With operations manager Michelle Bauernfreund leaving for a similar role at the Chief Rabbi’s office, Mitzvah Day wants to hire a CEO to work for four or five days a week at its Finchley Road base.

Its founder and chair, Laura Marks, felt it was “time to be a grown up. We’re no longer in our adolescent phase.

“The next stage in our life is a more senior, even more professional staff. We’ve had specific grants like the one to take on an interfaith member of staff and to expand our international work. We need a more specific international approach and the CEO will oversee that.”

With its day of good deeds in November and spin-off activities, Mitzvah Day has involved 500 organisations in projects ranging from recycling to feeding the homeless.

Ms Marks, who is also senior Board of Deputies vice-president, said her foremost concern was ensuring the charity did not stagnate.

“The CEO will have more experience of other organisations. We’ll benefit from that. We maybe need shaking up a bit. I would hate us to become establishment, or to become dull.

“One of the beautiful things about Mitzvah Day is that we change; we’re dynamic; we continue to challenge ourselves with new projects. I would hope that even as a grown up, we’ll have fresh ideas.”

Ms Bauernfreund said she had enjoyed her time at Mitzvah Day and hoped the CEO would take it “to the next level”.

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