The most exciting aspect of Mitzvah Day at North West London Jewish Day School was the fact that the whole school community came together to do the projects. At one point the school hall was filled with over 150 people of all ages either making T-shirts into operating gowns for Operation Smile or sorting clothes for World Jewish Relief. Members of staff, past and present, parents, grandparents, former students and younger siblings not yet at the school, joined present students to do the mitzvot. The buzz of people enjoying being together and doing good works together was electrifying. When I asked in assembly the next day if they had enjoyed themselves, the children took the roof off with their response of “YES!!!”
Two of the children in the school had themselves been born with cleft palates and had asked if they could give a short presentation explaining what cleft palates are and how and why they are fixed. The elder of the 2 is 8 and he gave a very impressive three-minute presentation speaking without notes whilst his 6 year-old brother held up the photos. In fact they were so impressive that they gave the presentation twice. Their self-esteem has been enhanced immeasurably and they are the “experts” as far as this operation is concerned in the eyes of the other children.
We are very proud of the fact that we made 211 operating gowns which is 1%of the national target set by Blue Peter at the launch of the appeal in October. The children are thrilled to think that they will be helping so many of their contemporaries to overcome this handicap and that many Jews in the Ukraine will have a warm jumper or a toy to play with this winter thanks to their efforts.