Tea dance with Holocaust survivors for launch of interfaith charity day

Mitzvah Day is launched with Daniela Pears, Tulip Siddiq MP, and Laura Marks. Photo: Yakir Zur

Mitzvah Day is launched with Daniela Pears, Tulip Siddiq MP, and Laura Marks. Photo: Yakir Zur - Credit: Archant

Young people brought refugees together for the first Mitzvah Day event of 2016

Young professionals hosted a tea dance with Holocaust survivors and refugees who have no family in the UK at a Golders Green care home on Sunday.

The trip to Jewish Care’s Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus was the first Mitzvah Day event of 2016.

Emily Lewis, 23, from Highgate, a dance-loving volunteer, said: “Everyone had such an incredible time – there was such a great party atmosphere and we loved chatting, singing and dancing together with the older people.

“The tea embodied the Mitzvah Day theme of bringing people together and it’s a great chance to experience first-hand the feelgood factor of getting involved in social action.”

Mitzvah Day 2016 – which takes place on, and around, Sunday, November 27 – will see more than 40,000 volunteers in Britain and 20 other countries giving their time to help their local communities.

Last year’s Mitzvah Day – supported locally by the Ham&High – attracted thousands of volunteers and saw events across Camden, Barnet and Haringey.

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Project co-ordinator Jacob Foreman, 27, who also took part in the tea, said: “We always hear that young people are more selfish these days, too engrossed in smartphones and selfies and not the world around them. Today we proved that the opposite is true – that young adults do want to give their time to make a difference to the community around them.”

He added: “I got to meet so many amazing people and hear incredible stories about being dragged up onto the dance floor time and again.

“We hope that by attending projects such as this, it will inspire young professionals to volunteer all year round – addressing real needs and strengthening our civil society.”

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq led a cupcake decorating session in the Houses of Parliament to launch Mitzvah Day 2016 on October 31. When the 20 MPs and peers finished decorating their cupcakes they sent them to a care home.

Ms Siddiq said: “Mitzvah Day is such an important event in the calendar and this year will be even bigger and better than before.

“I always attend a number of Mitzvah Day projects in Hampstead and Kilburn and see first-hand the positivity they bring to everyone who takes part.”

To get involved in Mitzvah Day email dan@mitzvahday.org.uk