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Faith leaders launch Mitzvah Day 2024 with vow to be Stronger Together

Progressive Judaism’s Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich joined faith leaders from across the religious spectrum, at Sebby’s Corner, to launch Mitzvah Day 2024 and commit to its theme for the year of being Stronger Together.

Mitzvah Day is the UK’s largest faith-based day of social action. The theme of Stronger Together was chosen to highlight how – in a time of unparalleled conflict abroad and division at home – Mitzvah Day gives people from diverse faiths and backgrounds the opportunity to come together, connect with each other and focus on strengthening their local community.

Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich with Krushali Kataria of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple
Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich with Krushali Kataria of BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple

The launch event saw Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i and Buddhist faith leaders put on a powerful display of unity, embodying the theme in action, as they collected and sorted essential items for the children and families in need supported by Barnet-based baby bank, Sebby’s Corner.

Rabbi Tanya – of Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue – said: “We, representatives of our faiths, connected to each other through social action for a beautiful charity, Sebby’s Corner, and to launch an excellent initiative in Mitzvah Day 2024.

“New friendships were formed while packing bags of essentials for families who need our support right now. We laughed, we worked together and we left looking forward to seeing each other again. Working together for the benefit of all our citizens makes us, our faith and our connections with people of other faiths stronger.”

The interfaith leaders with Mitzvah Day and Sebby’s Corner teams after the packing

Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Canon Dr Anderson Jeremiah, was among the other leaders taking part. He said: “At this fractious time in our communities, it is paramount that we come together in order to promote the sacred nature of humanity and peace. It is an honour that I could participate with Mitzvah Day in this critical task of building bridges and communities of love.”

Joining them were Bishop John Sherrington (Diocese of Westminster), Rev Dr Julie Gittoes (The Parish of St Mary and Christ Church), (Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue), Rabbi Adam Zagoria-Moffet (St Albans Masorti Synagogue), Akhtar Zaman (St Albans Islamic Centre), Esmond Rosen (President of the Barnet Multi Faith Forum), Christina Spybey (Faith House), Foujan Jenner (Baha’i House of Worship), Suchita Rajadhyaksha (various Hindu temples), Rumela Kundu (Soka Gakkai International), Amir Ohadi (Shia Ithna’ashari Community of Middlesex), and Hemali Naik, Krushali Kataria and Manisha Depala (BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha).

Announcing the theme, Mitzvah Day CEO Stuart Diamond said: “This has been a very difficult year for faith communities, but on Mitzvah Day this year we are putting that aside to focus on what matters most… being together.

“Together we will tackle local needs – from fighting hunger to collecting litter to bringing some cheer for those who are lonely. So let’s all roll up our sleeves and build a better society, side-by-side. Because guess what? We really are Stronger Together!”

  • To register to take part in this year’s Mitzvah Day, which will take place on and around Sunday 24 November 2024, please visit www.mitzvahday.org.uk
  • Pictures by Yakir Zur
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