More than 25,000 people across the globe and covering 20 countries have volunteered to help others on the annual Mitzvah Day.
The Jewish community inititiave which has now been running for several years involves not just members from the Jewish community but also other faith communities who wish to be involved in te valuable work the day highlights.
In the UK, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks took part painiting a room at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, north west London working in tandem with Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, head of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues and Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive, Liberal Judaism.
“The Jewish people are called on to be living role models of what it is to bring the Divine Presence into the shared spaces of our common life, and it is by engaging with the world as Jews, participating in events such as Mitzvah Day, that we are best able to make our contribution to society as a whole as well as inspiring future generations to do likewise,” commented Lord Sacks. “Mitzvah Day is itself one of the great inspiring endeavours of our community, and I wish it every blessing and success.”
Intotal more than 280 synagogues, schools and communal organisations took part which supported over 800 different projects, from planting trees to clearing scrubland, visiting the elderly and collecting clothes and food for homeless people and refugees.
Among unity projects amongst the Jewish and Muslim communities were members from South London Liberal Synagogue and the Hyderi Islamic Centre joining forces to bring the successful City Safe scheme to Streatham and members of the North London Reform Synagogue joining people from Palmers Green Mosque, for a shopping event outside Morrison’s in north London.
Commenting on the day, Laura Marks, Mitzvah Day Founder and chair, said: “We are extremely proud of our achievements this year and so grateful for all the support we have received especially from our dedicated volunteers. Mitzvah Day continues to go from strength to strength and is now firmly established in the Jewish calendar as a day on which we are all able to come together to make a difference to our own community, our friends, our neighbours and the strangers within our gates. We’re already planning Mitzvah Day next year on November 18th 2012.”
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