Mitzvah Day - 18 Nov 2012
What a day and what a buzz. EDRS commenced the day with an assembly led by Rabbi Danny Smith explaining what a Mitzvah is and what the day would be. Then each of the 8 years of the Religion School went off to do one of the ten projects organised for the day. Everyone met back at 12.30 for a feedback session when two students from each year group told the rest of the school what they had experienced that morning. We all went home at 1.00 feeling extremely elated.
The ten Projects were:
Gan, Years 1 and 2
Their first session they explored what a Mitzvah was and made Mitzvah trees.
In the second Session they learned the work of the charity of Norwood and then they made Chanukah cards for Norwood Home residents.
Ruth Newmark and her colleague Caroline from Tzedek gave the students an explanation of Chanukah and then they made chanukiot to be given to Care Homes.
In the second session Andie Lucas from the EDRS Day Centre talked about the Day Centre and the children decorated plant pots and planted bulbs in them to be given to the members of the EDRS Day Centre and they also made decorated cup cakes for the homeless. Marian Cohen, Director of Educations, told them about the Homeless Home in Finchley.
They started the morning with a singing rehearsal and were then driven to Whitchurch Lodge, a non-Jewish Residential Home in Edgware where they gave a short concert to the delighted residents and presented each one with a donated gift of fruit, chocolates, biscuits or flowers having a little chat with them at the same time.
This is the fifth year that we have visited Whitchurch Lodge and every time the children sing some of the residents begin to cry.
In the first session, the student Rabbi Julia Grischenko hosted a skype session with students in Odessa – the asked each other questions and did and art project.
In the second session Ruth Newmark and her colleague Caroline from Tzedek gave the students an explanation of Chanukah and then they made chanukiot to be given to Care Homes.
In the first half Ron Shelley of AJEX brought in the spoils of war and explained what it was like to serve in the army. They then wrote Chanukah cards to Jewish Soldiers serving in the army today.
After the break Mark Gill from Barnados addressed the children and told them what it was like to grow up in a Barnados Home. They then filled decorated shoe boxes with donated toys.
Went to the Kennedy Leigh Family Centre in Hendon where they painted a mural on a wall and cleaned high chairs and toys. They were also given a tour of the Centre and had it explained to them what the Centre was for.
High School and GCSE
High School students went to Norwood Head Office in Stanmore to do a an art project.
Adults took part in two outdoor activities in glorious sunshine!
One group helped the Friends of Canons Park weed the beautiful King George V memorial walled garden. EDRS’s twinned community the Emanu-El congregation in Odessa, Ukraine took part in Mitzvah Day for the first time and one of their activities was also clearing a local park.
Other EDRS members planted trees at the JJBS’s new Woodland cemetery.
Donations for worthwhile causes
Whilst all this was going on a group of volunteers were sorting through the myriad of donations that were brought in, including toys for Camp Simcha and Barnados, clothes for Norwood, Homeless at Barnet and biscuits, chocolates and flowers for Whitchurch Lodge.