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‘Redbridge will be thinking of immigrant roots and refugees on Mitzvah Day’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 19 October 2015

Chris Carter from the Ilford Recorder clearing plates from Anita Frankle & Philippa Grower during Mitzvah day at Redbridge JCC Sinclair House. Mitzvah day is the Jewish led global annual day of social action where thousands of people from all faiths and backgrounds donate their time (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Chris Carter from the Ilford Recorder clearing plates from Anita Frankle & Philippa Grower during Mitzvah day at Redbridge JCC Sinclair House. Mitzvah day is the Jewish led global annual day of social action where thousands of people from all faiths and backgrounds donate their time (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

Those marking Mitzvah Day this year will be thinking about refugees fleeing war-torn lands according to its organisers.

Synagogues and schools in Redbridge are set to raise money for all kinds of good causes – some donating clothes and essentials to new arrivals in the UK.

“A lot of people have said they want to do something for refugees this year,” said Simon Rothstein, a spokesman for Mitzvah Day UK.

“It’s a Jewish-led project and we are immigrants ourselves – the Jewish community see it as something we should never forget, so there’s a resonance with those arriving here.”

The interfaith day of social action takes place on Sunday, November 22, with groups handing over its donations on the day itself.

Mitzvah Day’s interfaith chairwoman Daniela Pears said: “It’s an issue close to the heart of the Jewish community. We’ve had so many enquiries from synagogues asking how they can help.”

Simon said volunteers were also teaming up to raise money for the homeless, with Woodford Liberal Synagogue, Marlborough Road, South Woodford, and Bet Tikvah Synagogue, Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, hoping to help Jason Lee House – a hostel in York Road, Ilford.

Daniela said: “Last year, Mitzvah Day reached 37,000 volunteers from all age groups and all parts of the community – from nursery age through to the elderly. It also gave us an opportunity to come together with our neighbours of different faiths to work on projects.

“Everyone involved in Mitzvah Day had a fulfilling, purposeful and enjoyable experience – sharing a mutual passion for social action across faith communities and a willingness to help those in desperate need within their own neighbourhoods.”

Last year, Recorder editor Chris Carter, news editor Laura Burnip and former news editor Amie Keeley visited Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, for the Sunshine to Seniors project to speak to elderly visitors and help serve lunch.

Simon added: “It’s not about money, we want people to donate their time.”

To find out how to get involved visit mitzvahday.org.uk


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