Eitan Cantor

Eitan Cantor

by Stephen Oryszczuk

A young boy whose barmitzvah takes place with Mitzvah Day has decided to combine the two, to help a cause close to his heart.

JCoSS student Eitan Cantor took advantage of the Jewish day of social action by asking all his barmitzvah guests to bring an item to donate to the charity Resources for Autism.

“When we realised it fell on the same day, it seemed obvious that we should find a project to mark the occasion,” said his mum Debbie. “Resources for Autism is close to our hearts, and they sent us a list of items that our guests could donate for their play schemes.”

Guests at Eitan’s barmitzvah ceremony, at Woodside Park Synagogue, will be asked to donate items to help with coordination, motor skills, smell, touch, sight and sound, examples of which might include art supplies, puzzles, board games, books, shapes and sensory items books.

Mitzvah Day takes place on Sunday 22 November, with 37,000 volunteers in 20 countries lining up to take part in hands-on social action projects. This year will see new involvement from Poland, Spain and Switzerland, as well as an expansion of activities in Australia, Germany, France and Ukraine. In Krakow, volunteers will knit hats and scarves for a local orphanage, while in Spain, communities are donating blood.

Mitzvah Day chair Laura Marks said: “At a time when Jews in Europe are possibly feeling more under threat, this provides an opportunity for them to focus on something where they feel very confident and have expertise.”