More than 55,000 volunteers will ‘repair the world’ this November, as the theme for the UK’s largest faith-based day of social action was announced.
The details of Mitzvah Day 2023 were revealed at a launch event last Thursday in Brighton attended by faith and community leaders, and charity partner BHT Sussex.
Mitzvah Day Founder and Chair Laura Marks CBE told those gathered:
Tikkun olam, the Jewish value to repair the world, is integral to all faiths and belief systems.
That is why this year we aim to give our time, collectively, to address the human inflicted damage both on vulnerable people and on our precious fragile environment.”
Mitzvah Day 2023 will take place on and around Sunday 19 November. It has become established as a key social action event in the faith calendar – with backing from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer and senior religious and civic leaders.
Projects this year will be focussed on three key ways to repair the world:
- Loneliness: Offering connection to people who are lonely through visits, calls and card-making.
- Hunger: Collecting, cooking and sharing food to feed people who are hungry and vulnerable.
- The Earth: Repairing the damage inflicted on our planet through planting and cleaning.
The theme was warmly welcomed by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said:
I am looking forward to participating in Mitzvah Day this year and, together with thousands of others, highlighting the importance of tikkun olam.
We cannot solve all of the world’s problems in one day, but every small step helps – and Mitzvah Day gives us all the chance to make the most of that opportunity.
The Mitzvah Day 2023 launch was held at the new BNJC – Brighton & Hove Jewish Community Centre.
Guests included Councillor Mohammed Asaduzzaman – who will soon make history by becoming Brighton & Hove’s first Muslim Deputy Mayor – and Councillor Julie Cattell, Rabbi Hershel and Rebetzen Perler Rader of Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation, and the Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman.
They were joined by representatives of the Church of England, Diocese of Suffolk, Archbishop of York’s Office, Sussex Jewish Representative Council, Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue and the local Bahá’í community.
To fit in with the theme, all those attending the launch brought toiletries for BHT Sussex who will pass on these donations to clients of First Base Day Centre for people experiencing homelessness.
Guy Hayes, Operational Manager of First Base, said:
Thank you so much to Mitzvah Day and everyone here tonight for your wonderful donations for homeless people – they give us all hope that, together, we can make the world a better place.”
Rabbi Rader, in speaking about the meaning of a Mitzvah, spoke of connections – a poignant reminder as to how many were made at the launch event and will be in the months ahead as Mitzvah Day volunteers of all faiths and backgrounds come together to repair the world.
To find out more about Mitzvah Day, please visit www.mitzvahday.org.uk.