Rabbis join emotional Mitzvah Day event at Somali centre in Finchley

Jews and Muslims plant bulbs at welfare group's new home, which has replaced premises destroyed in arson attack


Five rabbis from four strands of Judaism were part of a moving Mitzvah Day project at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association in Finchley, where Jewish and Muslim youth planted bulbs for a local care home.

The centre opened recently, the association’s previous home having been destroyed in an arson attack six years ago

The rabbis – David Mason (US), Miriam Berger (Reform), Rebecca Birk and Danny Rich (Liberal Judaism) and Jeff Berger (Sephardi) – were hosted by the SBWA’s Abu Bakar Ali and Asma Mohamed Ali, who were integral in the re-opening of a home for the community. Lord Mendelsohn was also among those at the event, organised by the Jewish/Muslim women's group, Nisa-Nashim.

Bulbs planted had attached labels with notes and pictures for the care home residents, many of who came to the centre to be part of the day.

Rabbi Rich said “the friendship between the Somali Bravanese and Jewish communities has brought so much to both. It was a proud moment to stand here with people of all faiths and denominations to share such a special Mitzvah Day and show that love and friendship always wins over hate and division.”

"If the Sabbath was the Hebrew culture's gift to the ancient world, Mitzvah Day may well rank as the Jewish community’s gift to the modern world.  A Jewish initiative that is now not only interfaith but sensitive to the needs of our planet too.

Abu Bakar Ali added: "This was a big and very positive Mitzvah Day for all."



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