Members of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre were on-hand to teach a selection of MPs and peers a thing or two about social action, at a Westminster event ahead of Mitzvah Day 2017.

The survivors and Jewish refugees met parliamentarians from all different political parties at an event three weeks before charity’s annual day of volunteering, on Sunday 19 November, when 40,000 people will participate throughout the country. 

Among the 22 MPs there to hear the HSC members’ stories were Cat Smith, Mike Freer, Sir Peter Bottomley and Stephen Pound, attending with representatives from the Board of Deputies and the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews.

Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks said it was “all about people giving their time, rather than their money, to make a difference to the community around them,” adding: “A big part of that is spending time with older people.”

Marks was joined by Mitzvah Day’s Interfaith Chair Daniela Pears and Executive Director Dan Rickman, as well as Board chief executive Gillian Merron, who said: “This launch event celebrated the very best of Jewish, interfaith and intergenerational social action, as well as our commitment to remember the past.” 

Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said: “Mitzvah Day is a great opportunities for communities to get together and give something back to society. Sadly there is suffering all over the UK, and the world, and this is all about giving time, not money to help those in difficult circumstances.” 

Photos by Yakir Zur: