Voice of the Jewish News

Voice of the Jewish News

Sunday’s tenth annual Mitzvah Day will see tens of thousands of people across the world simultaneously participate in projects that make a meaningful difference to countless key causes, issues and charities. It’s one of the most remarkable events in our communal calendar.

Jewish News is proud to again be associated with the big day, by announcing the winner of our annual Jewish News-Mitzvah Day Community Hero Award.

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Our impressive finalists – Esther Brookes, Meir Plancey, Natasha Adley, Jonathan Barr, Simon Murray and the late Rachel Morgan [read more HERE] – have all touched the lives of many others with their selfless acts.

We are in awe of their drive and dedication.

This year’s event, which focuses on positive Jewish-Muslim relationships, could hardly be more timely in the wake of the atrocities in Paris, which again threaten to drive a wedge through the heart of interfaith relations.

Against the backdrop of last week’s bloodshed, it is essential that British Jews and Muslims find common ground and common cause. In an era of growing anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia, the need for a united front is greater than ever.

If you need reminding of how there is more that unites us than divides, look no further than some of the remarkable life-affirming initiatives taking place this weekend.

They include Jewish and Muslim students in York taking part in blood donations and south London’s Mosaic Jewish primary school holding a food-bank collection with a local Muslim school.

As Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks writes in this week’s newspaper: “Jewish-Muslim relationships are so crucial and so fragile in the current climate. We are building stronger links and demonstrating how we are similar.“

The battle against the depravity that struck Paris last Friday can and must be fought on many fronts: bombing from the air; counter-intelligence on the ground; the passing of the government’s controversial surveillance bill.

And, perhaps the most effective and enduring tactic of all: the building and strengthening of bridges across our faith communities.