A record number of interfaith projects took place for Sadaqa Day 2018, ranging from packing items for food banks and cooking at JW3, to donating blood and helping the homeless.

Braving the ice and snow – more than 1,500 people participated in the day of Muslim-led social action, inspired by Mitzvah Day.

Events took place in 30 locations right across the country– and included a record 25 Jewish-Muslim partnerships through grassroots projects.

Highlights included members of Mitzvah Day, Norwood and the Jewish Volunteering Network joining forces with Hendon Mosque to pack food for Sufra NW London Food Bank.

Meanwhile Brondesbury Park United Synagogue and the Muslim Al-Khoei Foundation collected items for St Laurence’s Larder – and a special event also took place at Nottingham’s Salaam Shalom Kitchen – a joint project between Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Muslim charity Himmah.

JW3 Cooking Session: Young professionals cooking for Sufra NW – photo by Yakir Zur

A series of multi-faith projects took place in East London, including visiting local care homes and clearing ice on local roads. Volunteers came from the East London Mosque, which serves Britain’s largest Muslim community, the New Stoke Newington (Masorti) Shul and other Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups.

This year’s flagship Sadaqa Day project saw ten women, including Muslims, Jews and travel to Dunkirk to take five car loads of goods to the Women’s Refugee Centre.

The delegation included Mitzvah Day Founder Laura Marks and Sadaqa Day Founder Julie Siddiqi, who together founded Nisa-Nashim, the Jewish-Muslim women’s network.

Three faith Dunkirk project for refugee women

They delivered items including tents, ponchos and underwear, hand made teddy bears and colouring books, before spending  two days at the Centre, getting to know female refugees and their children.

Laura Marks said: “Little by little, more Jews and Muslims than ever before are working together through social action – on Sadaqa Day in March, on Mitzvah Day in November and on grassroots projects throughout the year too. During this time, we have seen trust grow, prejudices disappear and firm friendships start to form.

“In November 2018, Mitzvah Day will celebrate its 10th anniversary and we can’t wait to be joined by all our Muslim friends and neighbours around the country as we prove once more that what unites our faiths is much greater than what divides us.”

Mitzvah Day’s Interfaith Chair Lady Daniela Pears added: “The highlight for me of Sadaqa Day 2018 was seeing projects happening in so many different areas, especially those that aren’t known for having large Jewish communities. The partnership between Mitzvah Day and Sadaqa Day sees real connections built between faiths at the grassroots level that then endure for many years to come.”

Projects took place in 30 different locations, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham Leeds, Peterborough, Manchester, Maidenhead and Dunkirk.