York’s Liberal Jewish Community’s Mitzvah Day collection for York Foodbank has netted over 2,000 separate items to help make Christmas special for families in need in the City. The collection included chocolate boxes, cakes and biscuits, crackers, toys and at least two dozen Christmas puddings.
Generous shoppers at Morrison’s on Foss Islands Road also donated gift boxes containing at least 1,500 chocolate bars between them (unfortunately none of them containing a Yorkie), gifts which will help to transform Christmas for many children who would otherwise have to go without.
Today’s collection was one of four simultaneous projects run by York Liberal Jewish Community’s members as their contribution to Mitzvah Day, a day when an estimated 44,000 Jews around the world do a good deed (“mitzvah”), to give something back to the communities within which they live.
Other members helped Arc Light, a hostel for homeless people on Union Terrace, York, tidy up the garden at the centre which is an oasis of peace for residents, while a further group helped Carecent on Savioursgate sort out their supplies to provide hot breakfasts to those in need. Lee Carter and her son, Rufus, distributed 18 packed lunches directly to homeless people throughout the City. In total, over two dozen people from the Jewish and Baha’i communities were involved.
Tina Anderson, the organiser of Mitzvah Day York, says:
“While there were an estimated 600 Mitzvah Day projects running around the world today, I find it hard to imagine that any were greeted with the openness and kindness we experienced here in York. This will make a huge different to those in the greatest need across the City this winter.”
Ben Rich, the founder of York Liberal Jewish Community and a Trustee of Mitzvah Day UK, adds:
“Although we are a growing and increasingly active group, we are still small. Nevertheless, this shows that anyone can make a difference if they put their mind to it. I’m proud of our Jewish community and so, so proud of our York community for what we have achieved together today.
York’s Liberal Jewish community (YLJC) was established in 2014 following a successful Mitzvah Day 2013 event, organised by a number of Jewish individuals in the City. YLJC now provides monthly Shabbat services and social events and this is the fourth and largest Mitzvah Day event here.