Mitzvah day is a day of social action. It is not about fundraising or donating money; it is simply about taking a couple of hours of our time to help others, both within our own community and in the wider community.
Mitzvah Day 2016 was on Sunday 27th November. We set a new record this Mitzvah Day, with more than 500 volunteers taking part in 20 different community projects, including their first ever inter-faith social action event between the local Jewish and Muslim communities.
The Jewish community joined forces with the Shia Muslim community of Middlesex to help Peace Hospice Care in Watford, to help clear out and organise their warehouse in Garston.
Speaking about the project between the two faith communities, Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden said: ‘Once again the Jewish community showed how much it gives back to Hertsmere, but it was also wonderful to see the day take place on an interfaith basis. It was a pleasure to take part again this year, especially in support of the Watford Peace Hospice, of which I am a patron.’
The joint Jewish-Muslim project was just one of numerous initiatives involving Bushey volunteers for Mitzvah Day, including children who performed a concert for residents at Princess Alexandra Care Home, clearing the gardens at the New Hope Trust for the homeless and vulnerable, and collecting food donations for families in need.
Even Bushey’s youngest members were involved, as 200 primary school children took part in a huge craft fair at Bushey Synagogue, including making necklaces for children in an orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine and decorating cupcakes for nurses at Watford General Hospital, hand delivered by the young chefs themselves.
Some of the other projects included collecting shoes for children in Africa, collecting food, toiletries and clothes for refugees and the nursery children making cards for wounded soldiers in Israel.
“To see a record number of volunteers this year was incredible. It meant we could support so many different charities and showed how our community cares for those around them”, said Mitzvah Day organiser Sarah Zackheim.
If you think you might be able to help next yeart or would like more information, then please email .
See below for some photos, and a video montage by Gloria Besser
If the video below requires a password, use Mitzvah16
For a flavour of what goes on, look at write up, videos and photos of previous Mitzvah Day activities.