Maidenhead Synagogue engages in social action projects throughout the year, but its most significant event annually is the international Jewish-led day of social action, Mitzvah Day.
Taking place each year on the 3rd Sunday in November, Mitzvah Day is an opportunity for the community to give their time, not their money, to local, national and international charities. We have been participating in Mitzvah Day for over a decade, and each year we have around 100 participants, who get involved in up to 12 different activities.
A key part of Mitzvah Day is its focus on interfaith engagement, and we have been privileged each year to welcome visitors from many different faith groups, including Muslim, Christian and Hindu.
Mitzvah Day is rooted in three Jewish values, that underpin all projects to ensure they have a lasting impact:
- Tikkun Olam
Repairing the world, which reminds us to focus on our shared responsibility in the welfare of society at large – helping others, looking after our environment, and addressing diverse human rights.
- Gemilut Chasadim
Acts of loving kindness, which embodies the central idea of giving our time, not our money, on Mitzvah Day.
The Hebrew translates as ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’ and can manifest itself through social action and acts of loving kindness, not because it feels good but because the Jewish faith commands that it is the right thing to do.
We support many charities on Mitzvah Day, and have undertaken a number of environmental projects too. These include:
- Cooking for Foodshare and providing meals to families in need
- Bringing sunshine to seniors at Herewards House Residential Care Home, Maidenhead
- Providing much needed goods to children via First Days, whose mission is to end child poverty
- Making cards for children from developing countries who are undergoing heart surgery in Israel with Save a Child’s Heart
- Planting trees, bulbs and building bird houses, bird feeders, bug hotels and bat boxes in our local parks and gardens
- Progressing ecosynagogue projects, and improving our recycling programmes.
Lunches for those homeless in Maidenhead
The Synagogue cooks healthy, tasty meals once a week for people who are homeless, elderly, isolated or disadvantaged. It provides essential food, warmth and comfort.
To find out more, simply email the team here.