Northwood shul plants the seeds for Mitzvah Day project

Synagogue is partnering with Waitrose and local Muslim charity to grow fruit and vegetables for a food bank


Northwood United Synagogue has officially launched one of this year’s largest Mitzvah Day projects, growing fresh fruit and vegetables to feed people attending food banks.

Leaning into this year’s theme of Repair the World, the Mitzvah in Your Back Garden project at Carpenders Park Garden Centre in Watford is running in partnership with local Muslim community group the Iron Aid Foundation and Waitrose, the latter of which is providing most of the vegetable plants.

The programme was coordinated by long-time volunteer Ingrid Segal from Northwood Synagogue.

She told the JC: “I have been involved in running Mitzvah Day projects for 10 years, and it has enabled me to meet with the most incredible people from so many different faiths.

“The whole ethos is a very beautiful thing. We always do well but this year has superseded them all. It’s amazing.”

She said that the project was already sending “kilos and kilos” of tomatoes, courgettes, chillies, beans and sweet potatoes to Manna Food Bank and the Oasis Lunch Programme at Elim Church in Watford. Many people in the community are donating fruit from their own gardens as well.

Dame Sharon White, chair of the John Lewis Partnership, who was at the launch along with local MPs and faith leaders, said: “In a world which sometimes feels like there has never been so much tension and division, this example of people of different faiths and different parts of the community coming together to grow and give hope is inspiring.”

She added:“Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Sikh or Muslim is completely irrelevant. This is just about people doing an amazing thing to help others.”

The volunteers are also appealing for dried and tinned items to be taken weekly to the food bank along with the fresh produce.

The project will continue until Mitzvah Day on November 19.

Northwood United Synagogue has previously received an EcoJudaism silver award for environmental awareness.

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