Mitzvah Day launches this year's theme 'Repair the World'

Combatting loneliness and hunger and protecting the Earth is the charity's focus in 2023


More than 55,000 volunteers will "repair the world" this November, as the theme for this year’s Mitzvah Day, “Tikkun olam”, was announced this week.

The details of Mitzvah Day, the UK’s largest faith-based day of social action, were revealed at a launch event in the new Brighton & Hove Jewish Community Centre (BNJC) on Thursday, attended by faith and community leaders.

Mitzvah Day founder and chair Laura Marks, who this year was honoured with an CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list, told attendees on the day that the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the word) was “integral to all faiths and belief systems".

“That is why this year we aim to give our time, collectively, to address the human-inflicted damage both on vulnerable people and on our precious fragile environment", Marks said.

Mitzvah Day 2023 will take place on and around Sunday November 19 and will focus on three key areas to repair the world: loneliness, hunger and the Earth. Volunteers will have opportunities to support people who are feeling isolated, to collect and cook food and to plant and clear land.

The theme was welcomed by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said he was “looking forward to participating in Mitzvah Day this year and, together with thousands of others, [to] highlighting the importance of Tikkun Olam."

“We cannot solve all of the world’s problems in one day, but every small step helps – and Mitzvah Day gives us all the chance to make the most of that opportunity,” Rabbi Mirvis said.

In a statement, the CEOs of Reform and Liberal Judaism, Rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky said Mitzvah Day had “become an important part of our communal life” due in part to “the connections it makes within communities, between communities and between the Jewish world and other faiths. It is in those connections that we have a chance to make a real difference and repair our world.”

Guests at the launch event included Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman, Rabbi Hershel and Rebbetzin Perla Rader of Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation, Labour councillors Julie Cattell and Mohammed Asaduzzaman, who will soon make history by becoming Brighton & Hove’s first Muslim deputy mayor.

They were joined by representatives of the Church of England, the Archbishop of York’s office, Sussex Jewish Representative Council, Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue and the local Baháʼí  community.

To fit in with the theme, launch attendees donated toiletries to the Brighton Housing Trust, a local charity dedicated to combatting homelessness, poverty and marginalisation.

Speaking at the event, the Trust’s Guy Hayes thanked Mitzvah Day organisers and “everyone here tonight for your wonderful donations for homeless people. They give us hope that, together, we can make the world a better place.”

Mitzvah Day CEO Stuart Diamond said he was “delighted” at the many different charity partners teaming up with Mitzvah Day this year, including food bank charity The Trussell Trust, Age UK, Jewish Care, Norwood, EcoJudaism and The Felix Project, which redistributes surplus food to vulnerable communities.

Diamond said: “We look forward to many regular and brand new volunteers, coordinators and charity partners joining us this November in repairing the world.”

Mitzvah Day has become a well-established social action event in the calendar and has received backing from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and senior religious leaders.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive