Bushey Synagogue once again pulled out all the stops to put on their annual Mitzvah Day, a day for good deeds!
Volunteers went to the Peace Hospice to sort out donations at their warehouse in Garston. The Manager Steve said “Your team were fantastic! They worked really well together and what they achieved was great and will make a real difference.”
There were food collections outside both Flax and Kelman’s where customers were asked to buy just one additional item on top of their usual shop to donate to disadvantaged families.
A donation drive for Barnardo’s, run jointly with members of St Peter’s Church and Bushey Synagogue, was very successful with members from both congregations coming together to receive and sort the donations. These volunteers were also thrilled to receive a visit from the Chief Rabbi who was very impressed with the interfaith effort.
At Hartsbourne School a number of parents, children came to help with the gardening and painting of playground equipment. One of our volunteers at Hartsbourne School, former pupil, Ashton Goldie (aged 12) said “Helping at Hartsbourne felt very rewarding because the gardening and painting we all did will make it nicer for my little brother and all his friends.”
In the afternoon for the first time a wonderful musical tea was held at the Jewish Blind and Disabled House in Cecil Rosen Court. Music was played by Paul Adams and Bension Morris and everyone sung along to some well-known tunes and there was even some dancing! Tea was beautifully prepared by members of Bushey Synagogue.
A second gardening project was led by Lawrence Cohen, a professional gardener, at the New Hope Trust Homeless Shelter which was very well received and much appreciated by the Trust. The Synagogue and New Hope Trust have developed a great relationship over the last few years and both look forward to this annual event.
In the synagogue on Sunday morning there was a ‘Mitzvah Zone’ where children could get involved in various arts and crafts and make sweetie treat bags for disadvantaged children, decorations for Starfish Children’s Ward at Watford General as well as making Chanukah cards for Emek, a charity which supports Israeli soldiers with no family in Israel.
Collections for used spectacles to be recycled for those in need, stationery for a school in Sierra Leone and food for the Borehamwood Food Bank were also very busy receiving donations at the Synagogue on Sunday.
Beaumont House were treated to an lovely afternoon of singing led by the Brownie Pack who also took along decorations and bunting that they had made earlier in the day at the ‘Mitzvah Zone’ for the residents to enjoy.
Bushey Ganim Nursery collected toys for Camp Simcha, which helps children suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses as well as cards for Beit Halochem, a charity which provides rehabilitation centres for wounded Israeli soldiers.
Sarah Zackheim, Mitzvah Day co-ordinator at Bushey Synagogue was amazed by the commitment of the Bushey community, “It was great to see hundreds of people of all ages, often braving the freezing weather, giving up their time – from sorting donations in the Peace Hospice warehouse to gardening for the New Hope Trust Homeless Shelter. And of course seeing so many of Bushey’s youngest members also play their part in the Mitzvah Zone was something very special.”
Gloria Besser created a small video of events:
The photos below show some of what went on.
Mitzvah Day Thank You
A big ‘Thank You’ to all of our volunteers who got involved in one or more of our projects, particularly those who were outside braving the freezing weather. It may have been cold but the sun was shining and there was plenty of warmth to go around as everyone embarked on their projects with a smile on their face.
An additional thank you must go to those without whom the day would not have been such a success – Lawrence Cohen for his gardening work at New Hope Trust; Paul Freedman for entertaining the children with his balloon modelling; Sophie Freedman for her fantastic hair plaiting; and Philippa Munitz for working unbelievably hard face painting all morning in the Mitzvah Zone; Martin Meyer for coordinating GIFT collections at both Flax and Kelman’s;
and finally to Paul Adams and Bension Morris for their fabulous repertoire at the musical JBD tea and Elaine Dryer for coordinating the rota and the food – this was without doubt one of the highlights of the day. And we had great support from our local shops this year – thank you to Eyal at Flax and Ashley at Kelman’s for all their help.
Please have a look in the Gan area where you will see the ‘Mitzvah Hands’ work the nursery children did as part of their Mitzvah week.
Mitzvah Day in Israel
A special mention goes to Elise Abrahams who has been busy with Mitzvah Day in Israel. She helped to organise a blood donation drive with Magen David Adom, the first time British people have been able to donate blood since the outbreak of BSE. The UK Ambassador to Israel also came to support them. So well done Elise – its great to see the Bushey Mitzvah Day spirit reaching far and wide.