Age no barrier for Bushey on Mitzvah Day
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Thursday 23rd November 2017

Bushey’s young and old came together as hundreds of volunteers took part in over 15 projects for Mitzvah Day.

Bushey Synagogue members having fun preparing for the Seniors' Tea

The highlight of this annual day of social action was a musical afternoon tea, which saw more than 100 senior members of the community entertained by the youth of the community, including Bushey Brownies. A traditional English tea of sandwiches and cakes had earlier been prepared by a small army of volunteers and the room had been decorated in green and white courtesy of the Bushey Barmitzvah Club boys.

All ages and stages were catered for at the Bushey Synagogue Seniors' Tea Party where the Brownies gave a special performance

Generations coming together to serve tea at the Bushey Synagogue Seniors' afternoon tea party

With ages from 3 to 100 in the room at Bushey Synagogue, Rabbi Elchonon Feldman also took part in the musical entertainment with a guitar singalong.

Sandra Hirsch, who has lived in Bushey for 10 years said, “It was a wonderful afternoon and such a joy to see so many boys and girls providing such lovely entertainment.”

Alongside the afternoon tea, and continuing the ‘from generation to generation’ theme of this year’s Mitzvah Day, there was also a craft fair for children who made paper flowers for the guests of the tea and Chanukah cards for Aleh who support severely disabled children in Israel.

Children at Bushey Synagogue craft fair displaying the paper flowers they made for elderly members

Rabbi Feldman said, “It is a real credit to this community, and the young members in particular, that we saw the generation gap well and truly closed. Everyone helping everyone and enjoying each other’s company. Truly community at its best intergenerational and inclusive of all.” 

Other Bushey Mitzvah Day volunteering included a team of people tending to the gardens at the New Hope Trust homeless shelter for the fifth year in a row, while other helpers assisted in the cold weather outside Bushey Heath shops The Kelman Deli and Flax’s Food with another annual project - collecting food for disadvantaged families who seek help from the charity GIFT.

The day also synonymous with interfaith projects saw members of the Jewish community working with the Church of St Peter to tackle the important issue of loneliness, as volunteers visited isolated members of the wider community, bringing them gifts and cakes.

Nova Scott manning the donation stand at Bushey Synagogue where they were collecting for the local Bushey Food bank at St James's Church

Mitzvah Day organiser Alisa Heimann said, “There was a great buzz around Bushey this year with so many members of the Bushey community giving up their time to help make a difference to someone else’s life.”

At the end of the day volunteers also helped out at Watford General Hospital where a tea and memorial service had been organised for people who had lost a relative in the past year. Although a difficult project to be involved it was also very rewarding and a fitting finale to a fantastic Mitzvah Day in Bushey. 

Reuven Feldman, a member of the Bushey Barmitzvah Club, getting in the Mitzvah Day spirit setting up Bushey Synagogue for their Seniors Tea