St Albans Synagogue cleans the River Ver
Date Uploaded: 
Tuesday 27th November 2018

Members of St Albans United Synagogue were among more than 40,000 people across the globe who gave that most precious donation - their time - to support numerous good causes on this year’s Mitzvah Day. Their chosen ‘mitzvah’ for 2018 was a three-pronged effort, and took place over two different days in addition to Mitzvah Day itself on November 18.

Three weeks ago, St Albans Synagogue members visited the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in north-west London to provide tea and company for its members.

On Mitzvah Day itself, children, parents and grandparents gathered in the synagogue to decorate tote bags for Leket, the largest foodbank in Israel. The decorated bags will be sent to Israel where they will be used to collect unwanted food to be redistributed to families in need.

Cards were also created for children in Israel awaiting heart operations. The children from all over the Middle East and Asia for their surgery via the Save a Child’s Heart organisation to receive cardiac surgery and other live-saving procedures at the Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon.

Finally, a group of synagogue members spent last Sunday morning (November 25th, 2018) in helping the Ver Valley Society clean up a section of the river Ver at Bricket Wood. Enthusiastic volunteers, togged up against the cold – and the wet – spent the time in sawing, cutting and chopping in order to clear the banks of overgrown scrub and saplings and ensure more light for the many users of this stretch of the river, including wildlife as well as humans.

Vivienne Morris, St Albans United Synagogue Mitzvah Day organiser, said: “It was great to be able to use Mitzvah Day to benefit our local community as well as deserving causes both in this country and in Israel on this very special 10th anniversary of the event. We thoroughly enjoyed our time by the River Ver; despite the scratches and thorns, it was worth it to see the results.”

The St Albans Synagogue projects were among more than 1,400 organised nationally on Mitzvah Day. Launched ten years ago, the event brings together diverse groups of volunteers of every faith, age, gender and socio-economic group in social action and giving across a range of good causes.