Written by SomethingJewish.co.uk Tuesday, 18 November 2008 00:00
Thousands of Jews across the UK have taken part in the annual Mitzvah Day which saw people giving up their time to help others.
Among the activities that took place on Sunday were collecting and packing clothes and giving them to people in need, tending to gravestones and donating food to charity.
Support for the day was across the Jewish community. Jewish students through student organisation UJS saw involvement up and down the country via its Jewish societies through an event called UJS Social Action Sunday in association with Mitzvah Day.
In Cambridge, students entertained senior citizens in the local community, Oxford saw students take part in a sponsored sleep-put to help Oxford Night Shelter and Leeds saw local Jewish students asking local people outside a Sainsbury's supermarket to buy one extra item with their shopping and donate it to charity. A massive three carloads of food was raised.
"The support from both Jewish students and members of the public was incredible. Next year, we’re planning to run Mitzvah Day shopping at a few supermarkets across Leeds so we can collect even more food for the homeless," said Katie Newman, fundraising officer for Leeds JSoc.
As well as students taking part, synagogues also gave the day their support.
At South Hampstead Synagogue in north west London more than 150 people donated their time to support the day.
Projects including a cheder and shul recycling collection with over 400 bin-sized bags of clothes and toys going to help people seeking asylum from Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan and Iran in London.
A Tesco shopping project saw more than £1500 of goods being donated and a charity that supports homeless young people in Camden, north west London also benefited from the help of South Hampstead Synagogue.