Sir Keir Starmer has praised Mitzvah Day as being a “wonderful opportunity” for people of different faiths to work together to help their communities.
The Labour leader visited South Hampstead Synagogue in his north London constituency as part of the day of Jewish-led social action.
Sir Keir helped with a food and toiletry collection which will be distributed to three different local charities dedicated to fighting the crisis of food poverty. They are Castlehaven Food Bank in Chalk Farm, St Mary’s Church in Primrose Hill and the New Horizon Youth Centre.
It comes after the publication of a report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission last month which found the Labour Party had broken equalities laws with regards to the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking at the event, Sir Keir said: “I am delighted to be back at South Hampstead Synagogue to take part in their Mitzvah Day projects.
“I wish these food donations were not needed, but it fills me with hope to see how generous and resilient our community has been in rising to the challenges of the last few months.”
He added: “Mitzvah Day is a wonderful opportunity to see people of different faiths working together to enrich their local communities.”
Mitzvah Day is part of a month of events taking place throughout November which aim to support efforts to tackle food insecurity and loneliness.
In wake of the pandemic, the normally annual day of volunteering was extended to take place across the whole of November, with the highlight being Sunday 15 November.
The event’s founder, Laura Marks, said: “South Hampstead’s long-term relationships with these local charities, and with the church, set up and nurtured through Mitzvah Day are even more important during the pandemic.
“Even stuck outside in the carpark in the rain, the small acts of kindness we saw today brought a warmth and community spirit that just can’t be dampened.
“Huge thanks to people from all faiths and backgrounds who donated, and to Sir Keir for joining us yet again.
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