Oxford boasts a very diverse population and the OJC decided to focus attention on the Interfaith aspect of our charity work on Mitzvah Day. Many faith groups were notified of our plans to plant 200 saplings on community land owned by the Cumnor Hurst charity. Guided by facilitators Grenville Clarke and Caroline Gregory over 50 people of all ages representing over 6 faith groups worked together with great communal spirit to complete the work. OJC President Mrs Kathy Shock dedicated the afternoon’s achievements to the memory of the late Danny Kemp, founder of Timbmet which donated the 17 acre site and established the Cumnor Hurst charity, and who died the previous week. Members of his family including his daughter Evie and son-in-law Simon Fineman, Managing Director of Timbmet, and also Timbmet employees, were present.
This bringing together of Moslems, Ba’hai, Quakers, Jews and members of different Christian groups to do good deeds made this an exceptional event. It fulfilled several of our hopes as a Jewish community. It further
cemented the important efforts that the Jewish Community are making in reaching out to our wider community and particularly other faith groups. Many of those attending had not attended Interfaith activities before. Chairman of the local Interfaith Group, Bede Gerrard, said it was very encouraging.
It also fulfilled the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam, by emphasising the protection of and care for our environment and God’s world, on which we depend as human beings. It was an opportunity for families to work together and for parents and grandparents to demonstrate in a practical, fun way how to act to improve the world.