Shuls urged to ‘light up a child’s face’ this winter by donating toys
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Shuls urged to ‘light up a child’s face’ this winter by donating toys

United Synagogue calls for volunteers to support its toy-drive which is being run alongside efforts to cook for vulnerable people

Yael Peleg and Hannah Gerson from the United Synagogue Chesed Team
Yael Peleg and Hannah Gerson from the United Synagogue Chesed Team

The United Synagogue has called for volunteers to “light up a child’s face” over winter, with toys being donated across synagogues in one of several initiatives.

Michelle Minsky, who heads the US’s Chesed department, said the toy-drive was running alongside efforts to cook food for the vulnerable.

“If you’re lucky enough to be off work and school over the winter break then the festive period is a great time to do some volunteering,” she said. “Help us improve the lives of vulnerable people in the community and say thank you to the wonderful people who work in hospices supporting our loved ones day in, day out.”

Those behind the toy-drive for vulnerable children asked Jewish families for any gently-used toys no longer wanted, with teddies and dolls also welcome, while elsewhere volunteers were asked to support Tikkun’s ‘Light up a Life’ programme, taking boxes of chocolates to staff at hospitals, hospices and day centres to thank them for all their hard work throughout the year.

The US said it was working with the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) to coordinate resources and urged anyone wishing to give a few hours to contact Orah Barnett in the US Chesed department on 020 8343 6238 or e-mail obarnett@theus.org.uk

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

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