Essex volunteers to help ‘repair the world’ this Mitzvah Day

By EJN Reporter

More than 55,000 volunteers in Essex and beyond will ‘repair the world’ this November, as the theme for the UK’s largest faith-led day of social action was announced. 

The details of Mitzvah Day 2023 were revealed at a launch event attended by faith and community leaders. 

Mitzvah Day Founder and Chair Laura Marks CBE (pictured above) told those gathered: “Tikkun olam, the Jewish value to repair the world, is integral to all faiths and belief systems. 

“That is why this year we aim to give our time, collectively, to address the human inflicted damage both on vulnerable people and on our precious fragile environment.” 

Mitzvah Day 2023 will take place on and around Sunday 19 November. It has become established as a key social action event in the faith calendar – with backing from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer and senior religious and civic leaders. 

Projects this year will be focussed on three key ways to repair the world: 

• Loneliness: Offering connection to people who are lonely through visits, calls and card-making. 

• Hunger: Collecting, cooking and sharing food to feed people who are hungry and vulnerable. 

• The Earth: Repairing the damage inflicted on our planet through planting and cleaning. 

The theme was warmly welcomed by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said: “We cannot solve all of the world’s problems in one day, but every small step helps – and Mitzvah Day gives us all the chance to make the most of that opportunity. 

Rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky – the CEOs of Reform and Liberal Judaism – told how they were “delighted” to be supporting the launch. 

They added: “It is in the connections made on Mitzvah Day – connections within communities, between communities and between the Jewish world and other faiths – that we have a chance to make a real difference and repair our world.” 

Mitzvah Day Chair Laura Marks CBE and CEO Stuart Diamond with Brighton’s faith and civic leaders at the launch (picture by Sophie Sheinwald)

Mitzvah Day CEO Stuart Diamond highlighted the many different charity partners teaming up with Mitzvah Day this year. 

He said: “I am delighted that so many charities and causes are supporting our theme including the Trussell Trust, Age UK, Jewish Care, Norwood, Felix and Eco Judaism. We look forward to many regular and brand new volunteers, co-ordinators and charity partners joining us this November in repairing the world.” 

The Mitzvah Day 2023 launch was held at the new BNJC – Brighton & Hove Jewish Community Centre. 

Launch guests donated toiletries and wrote cards for a charity dedicated to combating homelessness and poverty (picture by Sophie Sheinwald)

Guests included Councillor Mohammed Asaduzzaman – who made history by becoming Brighton & Hove’s first Muslim Deputy Mayor – and Councillor Julie Cattell, Rabbi Hershel and Rebetzen Perler Rader of Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation, Titular Archbishop of Selsey Jerome Lloyd, Revd Godfrey Kesari, Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman, BNJC CEO Mark Sugarman and Peter Wells from The Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group. 

They were joined by representatives of the Church of England, Diocese of Suffolk, Archbishop of York’s Office, Sussex Jewish Representative Council, Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue and the local Bahá’í community. 

To fit in with the theme, all those attending the launch brought toiletries for the Brighton Housing Trust, a local charity dedicated to combating homelessness, poverty and marginalisation. 



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