Mitz­vah Day good deeds

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life -

Ten Thou­sand com­mu­nity mem­bers will be on char­i­ta­ble call on novem­ber 16 for the an­nual Mitz­vah day.

Founded in 2005 by Laura Marks, who had wit­nessed the suc­cess of a sim­i­lar event in Los an­ge­les when she lived in amer­ica, it en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pants to give their time rather than money and to help gen­eral, as well as Jewish causes. as or­gan­is­ers point out: “This is char­ity work for credit crunch times.”

all projects are run un­der the aus­pices of Mitz­vah day part­ners and among the 120-plus in­volved this year are uJIa, JLGB, Bnei akiva, habonim-dror and RsY-net­zer. Char­i­ties be­ing sup­ported in­clude Jewish Care, the Manch­ester Fed, World Jewish Re­lief and the Jewish Coun­cil for Racial equal­ity. The ven­ture is also part of in­ter­na­tional Jewish so­cial action Month and is en­dorsed by re­li­gious and lay leaders.

There will be over 250 projects this year such as Bring sun­shine to se­niors, or­gan­ised in con­junc­tion with Jewish Care and wel­fare providers in the re­gions. The aim is for ev­ery home to be vis­ited by vol­un­teers of all ages on the day to be­friend res­i­dents, record rem­i­nis­cences and un­der­take main­te­nance tasks. an­other ac­tiv­ity will be a packathon, whereby teams of teens and adults will pre­pare hun­dreds of boxes of es­sen­tial items for dis­tri­bu­tion to east euro­pean Jews.

as an ex­am­ple of work­ing among the gen­eral com­mu­nity, a Mitz­vah day team will clear out a pond, paint a barn and clear gar­dens at Ken­tish Town Com­mu­nity Farm.

other ben­e­fi­cia­ries in­clude home­less action in Bar­net and Barnardo’s and a num­ber of projects will see Jews work­ing along­side other faith or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Ms Marks stressed: “It is a use­ful re­minder that you don’t need lots of money to make a real dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives. It’s amaz­ing what a dif­fer­ence we can make to some­one else by do­nat­ing just a few hours.

“We have projects for every­one and it will be the most re­ward­ing day of the year for all who take part.”

www.mitz­vah­day.org.uk

Louis Pat­ter­son, Joe Gra­biner, Daniel Walsh, Max Twivy and Alex Tansey on gar­den­ing duty in Stam­ford Hill dur­ing Mitz­vah Day 2007

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