Keir Starmer participates in Mitzvah Day at South Hampstead Synagogue
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Keir Starmer participates in Mitzvah Day at South Hampstead Synagogue

Labour leader said the interfaith initiative is a 'wonderful opportunity' for people to work together, with all items collected going towards charities fighting food poverty

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer helps with distributing food parcels at South Hampstead Synagogue in north London today to mark Mitzvah Day. He is pictured with Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks (PA media/ Stefan Rousseau)
Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer helps with distributing food parcels at South Hampstead Synagogue in north London today to mark Mitzvah Day. He is pictured with Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks (PA media/ Stefan Rousseau)

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.

Keir Starmer at South Hampstead Synagogue with Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks, sorting through items which will be donated to charity. (Credit: Yakir Zur)

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.

Keir Starmer at South Hampstead Synagogue for Mitzvah Day (Credit: Yakir Zur)

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.

Keir Starmer at South Hampstead Synagogue sorting through items which will be donated to charity for Mitzvah Day (Credit: Yakir Zur)

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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