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Prime minister praises Mitzvah Day as Redbridge gears up to take part in 10th birthday celebrations

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 14 November 2018

Sylvia Alper (left) resident of Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House with volunteers Stephen (standing) and Marian Shelton (right). Photo: Yakir Zur

Sylvia Alper (left) resident of Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House with volunteers Stephen (standing) and Marian Shelton (right). Photo: Yakir Zur

Yakir Zur

The prime minister has praised the work of Mitzvah Day as people around Redbridge held a special 10th birthday party and geared up for the UK's biggest faith based day of social action.

East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue cut a cake at the Mitzvah Day birthday party at Vi and Johns in Gants Hill joined by Mike Gapes MP (centre left)  and the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Taifur Rashid (front right) Photo: Yakir ZurEast London and Essex Liberal Synagogue cut a cake at the Mitzvah Day birthday party at Vi and Johns in Gants Hill joined by Mike Gapes MP (centre left) and the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Taifur Rashid (front right) Photo: Yakir Zur

Members of East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS) in South Woodford hosted the event at Jewish Care’s Vi and John Rubens House in Clarence Avenue, Gants Hill, which offers personal, nursing and dementia care.

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.

Members of 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. Mitzvah Day itself takes place on Sunday (November 18.)

Earlier in the week the prime minister, Theresa May said that Mitvah Day is a “special time when thousands of people of all faiths and none come together to help others and make a real difference to the communities in which we all live.”

East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue cut a cake at the Mitzvah Day birthday party at Vi and Johns in Gants Hill joined by Mike Gapes MP (centre left)  and the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Taifur Rashid (front right) Photo: Yakir ZurEast London and Essex Liberal Synagogue cut a cake at the Mitzvah Day birthday party at Vi and Johns in Gants Hill joined by Mike Gapes MP (centre left) and the Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Taifur Rashid (front right) Photo: Yakir Zur

She said: “I have watched Mitzvah Day grow and attract more volunteers, with more projects, and more faith groups participating, each and every year.

“I wish everyone taking part a very happy and successful day.”

MP Mike Gapes said: “It’s good to be back at Vi & John Rubens House again.

“Mitzvah Day is very important - it’s about bringing people together, showing we care for each other and working together to make all our lives better.”

Sylvia Alper (left) resident of Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House with volunteers Stephen (standing) and Marian Shelton (right). Photo: Yakir ZurSylvia Alper (left) resident of Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House with volunteers Stephen (standing) and Marian Shelton (right). Photo: Yakir Zur

Rabbi David Hulbert of ELELS added: “Many of our members have been looked after and cared for in this particular home, while many members have also been volunteers and carers. I have been coming here for so many years and the staff make this a warm and caring community in our part of Redbridge. This was our chance to give something back.”

Mitzvah Day continues throughout this week culminating in more than 40,000 volunteers taking part in projects around the world on Sunday (November 18).

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