Bosses at UJIA were pleased to see more than 2,500 blue noses worn by Britain’s Jews on Yom Ha’atzmaut, as part of the organisation’s Paint the Town Blue campaign.

Students, school children and members of youth groups up and down the country were among the most enthusiastic nose wearers at barbeques and other fundraising events, supporting the charity’s educational projects in Israel.

“I think the blue nose is here to stay,” said UJIA chief executive Michael Wegier of the campaign, of which Jewish News were media sponsors. “People have really taken it into their hearts.”

Shops, schools and community centres led the fundraising drive, alongside well-known supporters such as Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon, TV personality Maureen Lipman and Dutch Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, who tweeted photos. The combined effort raised £226,500, which Wegier said was an “overwhelming” response.

Jewish students at universities including Bristol, Warwick, Durham and UCL held an outdoor ‘mangel,’ with scores of others taking place at homes in London, Manchester and beyond. A UJIA Magic Moments delegation of 55 Israeli teenagers also gathered for a Big BBQ in Radlett on their last day in the UK.

Meanwhile, 280 guests at Thursday’s UJIA Business Breakfast heard from Israel’s new Ambassador Mark Regev at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, and 100 volunteers took to the phones for a multi-city telethon, simultaneously at UJIA’s head office in Kentish Town, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.

Max Heller, 12, a telethon volunteer in London, said: “I think it’s very important to raise money for Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut because there are people who are less fortunate than us and we have to speak up and raise money for them.”

Photo credit:

London photography: Raya Cottrell
Manchester: Flix ‘n’ Pix

See more pictures on Twitter, by searching #PaintTheTownBlue!