Written by Times Series
10:44am Thursday 3rd September 2009
By Kevin Bradford
THOUSANDS of volunteers are expected to join a national good deed day, which is being supported by the Times Series.
Mitzvah Day, which has blossomed from across the whole of north London, aims to encourage people across the country to support good causes in the community.
The concept of Mitzvah Day is that on one day, people go out and make a difference
Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks
Although Mitzvah Day has its roots as a Jewish community event, organisers are hoping people from all walks of life will come together on November 15.
Founder Laura Marks, who lives in Primrose Hill, said: “The concept of Mitzvah Day is that on one day, people go out and make a difference.
“The way they make a difference is by doing something that isn’t about giving money. So people give their time. It’s entirely positive.
“It’s Jewish but inclusively Jewish and it’s a way for people from different backgrounds, different levels of wealth, different religions and different levels of religion, to all come together and do something constructive.”
Ms Marks brought the concept over from America five years ago after living in LA and taking part in a similar volunteering day organised by the Temple Israel of Hollywood.
She hopes to build on last year’s events, which attracted 10,000 people and swamped the figure of 600 people who took part in 2007.
And for the first time this year’s Mitzvah Day will be marked across the world with events as far afield as France, Hungary, Israel and the US.
In the UK, organisers hope to reach out to all Jewish communities, with good deeds already planned for large parts of north London, as well as Cardiff and Durham.
Around 120 organisations, such as schools, synagogues and youth groups are expected to run projects to benefit the wider community, including carrying out a clean-up, collecting food for those in need or even painting a community centre.
Ms Marks said: “They have to be doable in a day, affordable and make a tangible difference.
“It’s why it works so easily at a basic level. People like doing something where everybody is doing it together and where it is very tangible.”
To register to become a Mitzvah Day partner visit the website at www.mitzvahday.org.uk