Essex kids kick off Mitzvah Day 2021

WIJPS collections for Camp Simcha and the Woodford Forest United Synagogue asylum seeker drop-in (picture by Yakir Zur)

Children from the two Jewish primary schools in Essex performed good deeds to kick off Mitzvah Day – the UK’s largest faith-based social action event – and help those in need locally.

The pupils at Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School (WIJPS) and Clore Tikva Primary School, both in Barkingside, spent Friday collecting and baking to help others. 

At WIJPS, students collected toys for Camp Simcha – a charity that supports seriously ill children – and toiletries for the asylum seeker drop-in centre run by Woodford Forest United Synagogue. Each year group also had their own project, including making cards and messages of kindness to go along with the products collected for the two charities. 

They also made cards, pictures, drawings and bunting to bring cheer to the residents at Jewish Care’s Vi and John Rubens House – the only Jewish home in the Redbridge area. 

Year six pupils and school house captains Kieran and Soraya spoke to the Essex Jewish News about the drive. 

Soraya said: “Mitzvah Day is about showing kindness to everyone and helping people in need. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what religion they are, it’s all about helping and caring for other people.” 

Kieran added: “It is not about money or presents, but giving your time and effort. What makes a mitzvah special is putting your thought and feeling into it.” 

Clore Tikva and Nisa-Nashim bake for homeless in Ilford (picture by Yakir Zur)

At Clore, children collected items for the Redbridge Foodbank and Camp Simcha. They then joined Lenna Rosenberg and Rukhsana Yaqoob from Muslim and Jewish women’s group Nisa-Nashim for to bake cupcakes that will be handed out at the Friday Night Cafe of Hope at Jubilee Church, Ilford, to feed the homeless. 

Lenna said: “Rukhsana and I are passionate about Mitzvah Day and having the opportunity to work with these wonderful children to make food for the homeless is incredibly satisfying and purposeful.” 

Reflecting on all her pupils had achieved on Mitzvah Day, Clore Tikva head Margot Buller said: “They are very aware of the world around them, and the needs of the world around them. Initiatives like Mitzvah Day shows how much we, and the children especially, want to help those who don’t have what we have. They have a drive and a passion to make our world a better place.” 

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