Hundreds of people turned out both physically and virtually to support a wide range of causes for Mitzvah Day.

The second national lockdown or the blustery weather conditions did not dampen the spirits of members of Bushey United Synagogue, with ‘virtual volunteers’ working alongside people who voulunteed outside in line with coronavirus guidelines.

During the day (November 15), a dedicated group of both adults and children went in shifts to The Peace Hospice in Watford where they tidied up the garden – a tradition for the synagogue.

There was also a collection on Bushey high street outside The Kelman Deli and Flax’s Foods for the charity GIFT, which helps disadvantaged families.

There were also several ‘virtual’ volunteering options for people to take part in from their own homes.

Hundreds of people put their aprons on and over 200 cakes were baked and delivered to 28 local organisations and charities including hospitals, surgeries and care homes. 

This was supported by members of Nisa-Nashim, an organisation which brings Jewish and Muslim women together.

Others preferred to take up their knitting needles and knitted fidget toys for people with dementia which were given to Barnet and Royal Free Hospitals.

There was also a virtual tea organised for older members of the community with musical entertainment as well as a session reflecting on Mitzvah Day and volunteering with Rebbetzin Judy Salasnik from Israel.

Elchonon Feldman, Rabbi of Bushey United Synagogue, who is a regular Mitzvah Day gardener, said: “We are delighted that we have still been able to help the Peace Hospice this year despite the Covid restrictions. The events of this year have brought into focus how important it is to give back to and help our community - Every Mitzvah really does matter.”

Nicole Rothband, who coordinated Bushey’s Mitzvah Day effort said, “I am overwhelmed by what we have managed to achieve today.

“Our members have shown extraordinary generosity of spirit and the Bushey community has come together to support others through all of our different volunteering opportunities. We have an incredibly special community and we hope to build on this fantastic response and continue with other projects throughout the year.”