Liverpool MP Luciana Berger is the face of this year’s Jewish Women’s Week, through which Wizo UK hopes to raise £250,000 for Wizo welfare work in Israel.
Launching the project at the House of Commons on Monday, Ms Berger said: “Some issues are very close to my heart. I know lots of family friends who have been involved in Wizo for many generations.
“This is a charity that helps women in Israel — an issue very important to me. I have a responsibility as a female MP to engage and support other women within the community.”
Between May 5 and 12, Wizo volunteers are expected to knock on 20,000 doors in Jewish areas to request donations. Money raised will go to projects assisting disadvantaged children and victims of domestic violence.
Ms Berger was joined at the launch by Jewish Women’s Week chair Joanna Wulwick, who stressed: “Without a doubt, women know what it means to volunteer. This is a charity developed by women, run by women. It is an army of women.”
With more women at work, security issues and the ever increasing number of charities seeking support, it was “very hard now to get ladies to go knocking on doors. And it is especially hard to get youngsters involved in a voluntary process.”
Mother-of-two Melissa Redbart has been a JWW collector in Elstree for 10 years. “When I started, I put my kids in a pram and off I went,” she recalled.
Now a captain in her area, Mrs Redbart recruits young mothers to join the collection team, even if it is only to knock at a few houses on their streets.
At most homes, her call was not unexpected “and you are welcomed with a friendly face”. Last year, Elstree and Borehamwood donated £10,000 to the appeal.
Wizo attributes the enduring success of the week to personal contact. “You can bin the letter but you can’t bin the collector,” Mrs Wulwick reasoned.