Written by Jewish Telegraph Friday, 21 November 2008 23:40
LEEDS' first Mitzvah Day attracted more than 200 people with volunteers of all ages.
Fabian Hamilton MP opened the event and participated in some of the activities.
During his time at the Community Centre he recorded a short story for Leeds Jewish Blind's Talking Book.
Organiser Sara Cross, Mr Hamilton and Leeds Jewish Representative Council president Sue Dorsey were featured on Yorkshire Television's Calendar in the afternoon.
The joyful spirit continued at Donisthorpe Hall where 12 acts entertained in the 'JFactor'.
Judges were Simon Myerson, Robert Bartfield and David Zucker.
Entertainer Percy Simmons opened the show.
JFactor participants were Thea Jacobs (singer), Mike Devere and Aron Cross (a comedy sketch on Jewish cookery in the Middle Ages); the Charlton Singers; Mia Rosenbaum (Ukranian songs), Jon Gordon (magician), Naomi Raanan and Jessica Kempner; Amitai Winehouse (comedian), Stanley Gluxman (crooning Sinatra), Bethany Gordon (flute), the Kempner family, and Arthur Silcox (classical guitar).
There was also a dance troupe who demonstrated Israeli and street dance.
Among numerous mitzvot a volunteer took a 100-year-old Skyte House resident shopping.
"The ethos we had, worked," Ms Cross said. "People are wanting to continue doing voluntary work. My team and I give a great big 'thank you' to the community."
A raffle raised £120 which was split between Leeds Jewish Housing Association, Leeds Jewish Welfare Board and Donisthorpe Hall.
Youngsters also joined in the fun, making Chanucah cards for Israeli soldiers.
They also responded to a 'shoebox' appeal to brighten the lives of underprivileged children.
"They had to fill a shoebox with toys and games and decorate the box," Ms Cross explained. "They will be given out at the Leeds Jewish Welfare Board's Chanucah party next month."
Mitzvah Day will take place on November 8, 2009.
MANY THANKS: Fabian Hamilton MP greets volunteers watched by organising
committee member Helen Frais.
DAY JOB: Mitzvah Day organiser Sara Cross, left, with abian Hamilton MP and Leeds Jewish Representative Council president Susan Dorsey.
BOXING CLEVER: Young and old filling and decorating the shoeboxes.
MUSICAL YOUTH: A JSoc member entertains Donisthorpe residents.
HAPPY CHANUCAH: Rainbow group making the Chanucah cards.
COAT OF PAINT: Leeds J-Soc members decorate empty flats for the
Housing Association. Below, Zone members Rachel Myerson, Robert Selwyn, Lucy
Selwyn, Hannah Myerson, Chaya Fligg and Naomi Myerson clean up the Queenshill estate.
WRAPPED UP: Sinai Synagogue children show off the presents they made.
Old and young working together to make Chanucah cards for Israeli soldiers.