Mitzvah Day 2018: Jews and Muslims unite to make 2,500 bowls of chicken soup
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Mitzvah Day 2018: Jews and Muslims unite to make 2,500 bowls of chicken soup

Tenth annual day of Jewish-led social action sees more than 40,000 people give up their time to support worthy charitable causes

  • Laura Marks, founder of Mitzvah Day, at East London Mosque taking part in a mass chicken soup making for Mitzvah Day 2018!
    Laura Marks, founder of Mitzvah Day, at East London Mosque taking part in a mass chicken soup making for Mitzvah Day 2018!
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • Woodside Park Scouts
    Woodside Park Scouts
  • Knitting for Neonates
    Knitting for Neonates
  • The Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum - including Rabbi Richard Jacobi and volunteers from East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue - made and took chicken soup to the homeless and elderly
    The Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum - including Rabbi Richard Jacobi and volunteers from East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue - made and took chicken soup to the homeless and elderly
  • Sisters Making Chanukah Cards at Bushey Synagogue
    Sisters Making Chanukah Cards at Bushey Synagogue
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community serving their soup along with sandwiches to local homeless people
    Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community serving their soup along with sandwiches to local homeless people
  • Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community cooking vegan chicken soup as part of the UK wide challenge
    Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community cooking vegan chicken soup as part of the UK wide challenge
  • Mitzvah Day Craft Fair Bushey Synagogue
    Mitzvah Day Craft Fair Bushey Synagogue
  • London Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey joins the chicken soup cook at JW3 - picture by Yakir Zur
    London Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey joins the chicken soup cook at JW3 - picture by Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • Knitting Blankets for Knit for Peace at Bushey Synagogue
    Knitting Blankets for Knit for Peace at Bushey Synagogue
  • Interfaith group in Maidenhead chicken soup
    Interfaith group in Maidenhead chicken soup
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • Goods for Good Collection at Bushey Synagogue
    Goods for Good Collection at Bushey Synagogue
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev at the Radlett United Synagogue cook - photo by Michelle Becker
    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev at the Radlett United Synagogue cook - photo by Michelle Becker
  • Bushey Synagogue Mitzvah Day
    Bushey Synagogue Mitzvah Day
  • Bushey Synagogue Members Gardening at Watford General Hospital
    Bushey Synagogue Members Gardening at Watford General Hospital
  • Bushey Synagogue Helping at Watford General Hospital Memorial Tea
    Bushey Synagogue Helping at Watford General Hospital Memorial Tea
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
  • More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur
    More than 1,000 portions of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur

Muslims and Jews united to make more than 2,500 bowls of chicken soup for the homeless as part of Mitzvah Day 2018.

The 10th annual Jewish-led day of social action, saw more than 25,000 volunteers take part in over 1,400 events across the county, including many interfaith initiatives, with 40,000 worldwide.

Volunteers chopped vegetables, made matzo balls and stirred vats of soup, as part of a nationwide interfaith ‘#ChickenSoupChallenge’ initiative at 20 locations across the country.

The biggest such event took place at the kitchens of East London Mosque, the site of the former Fieldgate Street synagogue, where more than a thousand bowls of halal chicken soup were made with volunteers from charity Muslim Aid.

Other cooks happened in Jewish communities and at interfaith events, including at Radlett United Synagogue attended by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, at JW3, attended by Conservative London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, and at the Salaam Shalom Kitchen in Nottingham.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev at the Radlett United Synagogue cook – photo by Michelle Becker

Soup was also made by Jewish and Muslim communities in Hertfordshire, Essex, Wimbledon, Norwich, Leeds, Peterborough and Manchester, with more than 2,500 bowls of kosher, Halal and vegetarian chicken soup made across Britain.

Laura Marks, founder and chair of Mitzvah Day, said: “Some of the people from each community taking part will never have met a Jewish or a Muslim person before, let alone chopped vegetables alongside them, and will now be leaving as friends.”

More than 1,000 bowls of chicken soup were made at East London Mosque for Mitzvah Day 2018! Photo credit: Yakir Zur

Jehangir Malik, head of Muslim Aid said: “If we let our imaginations take us back about 80 years, the site of the mosque was the former Fieldgate Street synagogue, which will have attracted crowds of Jewish people on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. This Mitzvah Day #ChickenSoupChallenge is a wonderful initiative to bring our two communities together in a part of London which is meaningful to us both and to spread a positive interfaith message around the world.”

Recipients of soup included the Salvation Army, St Laurence’s Larder, homelessness charity St Mungo’s and the Acre Lane Centre for supported housing in Brixton.

As well as interfaith cooking events, Mitzvah Day this year also saw thousands of volunteers take part in 1,400 projects.

London Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey joins the chicken soup cook at JW3 – picture by Yakir Zur

Social action events included entertaining in care homes, cleaning up cemeteries and parks, hosting teas and lunches for refugees and collecting clothes and food items to help those in need.

In Hendon, more than 30 amateur knitters made woolly hats, which were donated to the UCLH Neonatal unit. Eitan and Gabriella Freilich held the event in memory of Avidan Judah, their five-week-old boy who sadly passed away, and whose older twin, Yeshaya Nosson, is still in the neonatal until fighting for his life.

Knitting for Neonates

Woodside Park Scouts collected for a local foodbank, Homeless Action in Barnet, and the 5th North Finchley Guides made biscuits for charity.

At Bushey Synagogue, hundreds of young members gave up time on Sunday to contribute to local projects. Volunteers rolled up their sleeves to weed, dig and prune in the gardens of Watford General Hospital, while others provided a special tea for families who are treated there.

The Shul’s Mitzvah Day organiser Esther Radnor said: “It was incredible to see so many people helping. Watford General Hospital is such an important part of our community and it was fantastic to see people giving up their time to help those who have been through such a lot.”

The Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum – including Rabbi Richard Jacobi and volunteers from East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue – made and took chicken soup to the homeless and elderly

Elsewhere, more than 30 volunteers helped Crouch End Chavurah collect toiletries for the Asylum Seekers Drop-in Centre at Liberal Jewish Synagogue, donating a car full of items.

Catford and Bromley United Synagogue collected food outside Waitrose in Beckenham, before donating it to the Trussell Trust.

Meanwhile, Elstree and Borehamwood Borehamwood Masorti community teamed up with mental health charity Jami, as parents and children being bnei mitzvah got their hands dirty with some DIY, raising funds for those with mental health issues.

  • If you have more Mitzvah Day stories, send them into Jewish News – community@thejngroup.com
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