This year’s Mitzvah Day, on 17 November, featured a range of activities working with the wider community:
- A six-strong Belsize Square team joined volunteers from Alyth Gardens and other people in the community in taking on practical tasks at the Marie Curie hospice in Hampstead, clearing leaves from the garden, cutting out stars for the December Lights to Remember service, and cleaning collection buckets and tins. Our volunteers had fun and felt glad to be of practical use. Planning for next year’s event is already under way, so please join our volunteers then.
Cheder began with a video about what a mitzvah is and the different year groups participated in different projects throughout the morning:
- The children in year 7 joined the Ethiopian Church next door to see the end of their service before members of the church came with their minister, Father Georgius, to take part in our Mitzvah Day activities. It was a true interfaith morning, with the children from both communities working together to make Hanukah presents and cards for members of the Association of Jewish Refugees. The younger years learned about the mitzvah of welcoming guests in to your home and community. They baked scones and biscuits for our guests from the Ethiopian Church, while the teenage assistants made lemonade.
- Meanwhile year 2 and their parents learned about the mitzvah of tzedakah and made tzedakah boxes together. Cheder families contributed a car-load of clothing for World Jewish Relief, £132.43 for the World Jewish Relief appeal for the Philippines, three cartons of tinned food and pasta for Homeless Action in Barnet and 15 pairs of glasses for Vision Aid. Many parents came to help out which was much appreciated.
- And finally, our fantastic children’s choir went to Selig Court together with Cantor Heller, to sing for members of our community and other elderly people who live there. When they returned they sang for our Ethiopian guests and in turn the Ethiopian Church’s choir sang for us. It was a morning to remember!