Redbridge community celebrates “hugely successful” Mitzvah Day weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:19 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:19 29 November 2016

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Rabbi Singer with the collection at Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School, Barkingside. Picture: Yakir Zur

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Rabbi Singer with the collection at Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School, Barkingside. Picture: Yakir Zur

Yakir Zur - YZ Photography

After a month of build-up and anticipation Mitzvah Day weekend finally arrived with people from all walks of life coming together in the name of good deeds.

More than 25,000 volunteers across the country, from the Mayor of London to Redbridge schoolchildren, helped spread the message of Mitzvah, which means good deed in Hebrew, through a range of events.

Nowhere embodied the spirit of Mitzvah more than Redbridge, which held a number of events on Saturday and Sunday, including a collection of goods for refugees organised by students of King Solomon High School, in Barkingside.

Meanwhile members of the Woodford Liberal Synagogue, in Marlborough Road, South Woodford took strides to build bridges within the community with groups that are often marginalised, such as elderly people and LGBT+.

At Bet Tikvah Synagogue, in Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, a tea was put on for pensioners.

Organiser Sue Newman told the Recorder the event “was brilliant”.

“We had Ilford South MP Mike Gapes and Redbridge Mayor Cllr Gurdial Bhamra join us, and the mayor gave a great speech.”

Even though Mitzvah Day is about giving time and not money, Sue said members were so inspired by the mayor they raised more than £175 for his healthy living appeal.

Ilford North MP, Wes Streeting, said this year’s Mitzvah Day was “hugely successful” and believes the message of coming together in the name of social action is more important than ever before.

“In the last month we have seen activities take place across Redbridge and the UK in the spirit of doing something for someone else,” said Mr Streeting.

“I attended a fantastic collection day at a Jewish school and throughout the borough people have really got into the spirit.

“I think there is no doubt 2016 has been a pretty bleak year ... so it is particularly encouraging that so many people have responded to the spirit.

“The importance of doing something for others – you don’t need to be Jewish to treasure that idea.”

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