Voice of the Jewish News: Being together at a time of separation
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Voice of the Jewish News: Being together at a time of separation

Despite social distancing, Mitzvah Day 2020 showed it is still possible to create a sense of togetherness. This week's editorial reflects the Jewish-led day of social action

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

Mitzvah Day is a time when communities far and wide come together to support those in need. In the middle of a pandemic that severely limits social contact, this year’s event could have fallen flat. But more than 300 faith communities and 40 schools turned out in force, virtually or in person, to recognise that the work of Mitzvah Day is more vital than ever this year. 

Lockdown halted many of the event’s most popular projects and activities, but food collections, virtual singalongs, cake baking and doorstop deliveries all took place, showing how acts of kindness across the community – no matter how large or small – create a lasting impact. 

Hundreds turned out for Bushey United Synagogue’s initiatives, which included its young members braving blustery conditions to tidy up the garden at The Peace Hospice in Watford, while Jewish Care residents took part in a Zoom singalong with young families.

Food drop-offs were made by Jewish-Muslim women’s group Nisa–Nashim, while Mill Hill United Synagogue distributed items in doorstop drops to isolated people in the community. 

Despite social distancing, Mitzvah Day 2020 showed it is still possible to create a sense of togetherness – and it will continue to do so, with Mitzvah Day extended into Mitzvah Month in light of the pandemic. 

While the mitzvot themselves may look a little different this year, the thought and effort seem greater than ever. 

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