Politicians put Brexit and election disputes aside to support Mitzvah Day 2019.
MPs and Peers from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat parties and The Independent Group for Change united for a Parliamentary launch by making gift bags out of old newspapers and filling them with toiletries to help the homeless.
The event marked the start of a month leading up to Mitzvah Day on November 17.
Those attending included the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Theresa Villiers MP and Lord Younger, Minister for Faith and Communities.
The project tied in with Mitzvah Day’s theme for 2019 of Going Greener.
Georgina Bye, Mitzvah Day chief executive, said, “It was fantastic to see so many MPs and peers getting stuck in and making these recycled newspaper bags. It’s a wonderful way to wrap gifts for service users at night shelters or toy collections as part of Mitzvah Day projects as well as your Chanukah gifts or all year round.”
Mitzvah Day sees 40,000 Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths come together around the world in social action projects.
“I am always delighted to support Mitzvah Day and see so many people giving their time to help others less fortunate than themselves and backing wonderful community projects,” commented Ms Villiers.
Labour’s Alex Sobel added, “It’s wonderful Mitzvah Day is responding to the climate crisis and concentrating on activities which are going to make the planet greener. Seeing this response across different communities, and within the Jewish community, is so important.”
Wes Streeting MP noted, “Mitzvah Day has become an annual ‘must do’ in the calendar of many MPs as we recognise the fantastic work the charity does in bringing together people, often of different faiths, to make a practical difference to our local communities and educate people about what a ‘mitzvah’ is ultimately about, which is doing something for others rather than just ourselves.”
Lord Eric Pickles added, “Mitzvah Day demonstrates how committed the Jewish community is, beyond their own community, working with those of other faiths to help our wider society.
“I’ve seen so many wonderful things involving Jewish groups, Muslim groups, Christian groups and groups of people of no affiliation coming together and getting involved.”
Mike Freer MP commented, “In a world which can sometimes be divisive, Mitzvah Day really is something that unites people and I’m proud to play a small part in it.
“I love seeing so many people in my constituency and beyond volunteering giving up their time to physically help others as it’s so rewarding for all involved.”
By Howard Lawrence