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Mitzvah Day: Wanstead MP meets Holocaust survivors

PUBLISHED: 17:26 18 October 2017

Youth volunteers Ellie Lawson and Hannah Stephenson with a Holocaust survivor. Picture: Yakir Zur

Youth volunteers Ellie Lawson and Hannah Stephenson with a Holocaust survivor. Picture: Yakir Zur

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Mitzvah Day will see more than 40,000 volunteers in this and 20 other countries doing a wide range of social action projects next month to support the homeless, disabled people, refugees and asylum seekers, older people and the most vulnerable in society.

John Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, chatted with Mitzvah Day's interfaith chairwoman Daniela Pears and a Holocaust survivor. Picture: Yakir ZurJohn Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, chatted with Mitzvah Day's interfaith chairwoman Daniela Pears and a Holocaust survivor. Picture: Yakir Zur

Ilford Recorder staff will also be getting involved.

The event was launched this week as Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer joined colleagues at the Houses of Parliament to meet Holocaust survivors and youth leaders for an intergenerational tea party.

Mr Cryer said: “I am proud to support Mitzvah Day again this year and look forward to many interfaith and inter-generational projects taking place all over the area and indeed the world.”

Hannah Stephenson, from Barkingside, a youth movement worker for Liberal Judaism, added: “This was the first chance I’ve had to properly sit and talk to Holocaust survivors and it was a truly moving experience. So many young people of all faiths, and none, are keen to make the world a better place and I think you will see more young people than ever take part in Mitzvah Day in 2017.”

Laura Marks OBE, the founder and chairwoman of Mitzvah Day, explained: “Mitzvah Day is all about people giving their time, rather than their money, to make a difference to the community around them.

“A big part of that is spending time with older people – who can often feel lonely or isolated.”

She added: “Values are passed down through the generations, so it was incredible to see young people and our MPs listening and learning from Holocaust survivors. Over the next month, and especially on Mitzvah Day itself, we will see more than 40,000 people of all backgrounds and all generations get together with their families, friends, communities, colleagues and neighbours to help others.”

Mitzvah Day takes place on and around November 19 and has a theme based around the Jewish value of L’Dor Vador: From Generation to Generation.

Last year Recorder staff joined the meals-on-wheels service delivering food to the elderly. This year we will be painting and decorating for the charity Jewish Blind & Disabled.

To get involved, visit www.mitzvahday.org.uk


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