Liberal Jews help Mitzvah Day get underway

13 November 2018 – 5 Kislev 5779

13 November 2018

Members of Liberal Judaism communities have entertained the elderly, cooked for the homeless and educated the next generation as Britain’s biggest faith based day of social action has got underway.

Mitzvah Day itself is on Sunday November 18 but many projects take place in the week prior.

These early events included five members of Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community cooking and serving 60 portions of vegan chicken soup, using a recipe form the Jewish Vegetarian Society, to local homeless people. This was part of the Mitzvah Day chicken soup challenge to make the most ever amount of soup to feed Britain’s homeless and needy.

Members of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS) helped to celebrate Mitzvah Day’s 10th anniversary by hosting a special party at Jewish Care’s Vi & John Rubens House.

Led by synagogue member Susan Kaye (aka DJ Susie) and her friend Frances Goldhill, the ELELS volunteers entertained the residents with 1940’s themed songs – getting everyone up dancing or tapping their feet. They then served an afternoon tea, provided by Gants Hill’s Golan Bakery.

The community were joined by Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, and the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Taifur Rashid, who helped cut a Mitzvah Day birthday cake. They were assisted in the event by the Vi & John Rubens House team including manager Momarr Camar and social care coordinator Jacklin Stephenson.

Finally, the youngest members of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue also got involved at a special Mitzvah Day Tots Shabbat. Rabbi Aaron Goldstein used the event to teach the toddlers about the concepts of good deeds and remembrance.

Aaron, who is also the chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors, said: “Mitzvah Day is a wonderful and inspiring opportunity to show others the best of our Judaism – and for us to see the best of their faiths too. When one child asked me if Mitzvah Day is written in the Torah, I replied that the whole idea is rooted in Torah.”

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