Tuesday 17th November 2020 – Members of Pinner Synagogue prepare 350 meals and provide 100s of items of toiletries and school stationery as part of their Mitzvah Day activities. These plans were conceived and enacted in consultation with local charities. Mitzvah Day, an annual event , is the UKs largest faith led day of social action where the Jewish Community comes together to make a difference to those around us.

Mitzvah is a Hebrew word that literally means a commandment, but the term is often used to mean a good deed or act of kindness, integral parts of Jewish Life and the basis of Mitzvah Day.

The Covid-19 lockdown restrictions meant that organisers had to be much more inventive this year. Activities in previous years where members gathered together for various events were just out of the question this time. Last Sunday morning, we arranged a Cookery Demonstration over Zoom, lead by one of our members, Gail Weinstein, who regularly teaches cookery to young people. The demonstration showed how to make a Courgette Soup and a Vegetarian Lasagne. Members had been provided in advance with lists of ingredients together with containers and labels. Some of our members cooked along with the demonstration, other preferred to just watch and cook later, before freezing the results. This morning, the frozen food was collected in the Covid secure, socially distanced Synagogue Car Park and team members Debra Levin, Penny and Martin Grossman delivered some 350 meals to Hillingdon Crisis Support for distribution. Hillingdon Crisis Support is a local voluntary group set up in response to the Covid crisis and helps local individuals and families in need providing food parcels and other essential items.

Over the previous couple of weeks, we sent out appeals to members to collect toiletry items and school stationery on behalf of the Goods for Good charity. This Watford based organisation asked us for these items so that they could be distributed to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and their children. Again, we had terrific support from our members with large quantities of items brought to our Covid secure collection point in the Car Park on Sunday afternoon. We were then able to deliver 100s of items to Goods for Good yesterday, which were greatly appreciated.

Senior Synagogue representatives commented how well this event had been supported by all age groups within the community and connected with many members in this time of separation.

Further events planned for later this week include an online entertainment for care homes and knitting tags for NHS workers to make wearing of face masks more comfortable.