Norwood’s Kennedy Leigh Family Centre hosts Mitzvah Day’s 10th anniversary launch

11 July 2018

Norwood’s Kennedy Leigh Family Centre hosted the 10th anniversary launch of Mitzvah Day, a Jewish-led day of charity, volunteering and goods deeds, on Sunday (8 July).

Mitzvah Day was informally launched in 2005 by Laura Marks OBE but was only registered as a charity in 2008. The 10th official Mitzvah Day will take place on 18 November this year.

Sunday’s event was to launch this year’s programme of events and registration for the day, which has become a highlight of the charity calendar – both in the Jewish community and more widely.

In previous years, up to 40,000 people have participated in the day of social action – including many interfaith collaborations between synagogues, churches and mosques.

Marks was in attendance on the day, along with Norwood Joint Presidents Lord Jon Mendelsohn and Lady Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, and spoke passionately about the two charities’ shared values.

“Norwood has been partnering with Mitzvah Day since we started. They have been a solid, dependable and engaged partner. It’s been a real pleasure to work with Norwood for such a long time,” she said.

“And it’s also very special to have Jon and Nicola here, who have been involved in Mitzvah Day since the beginning, tying the whole thing together. We decided the theme of Mitzvah Day would be our core values – loving kindness – and we couldn’t think of a charity that was more about acts of loving kindness than Norwood, so it was absolutely proper that we are here today.”

YN Manager Anthony Shaw, who volunteered on the day, added: “It was great to see so many young professionals take time out of their Sunday to volunteer. I hope this initiative provides a better understanding of Norwood’s important work within the Jewish community.

“It’s as important that people donate their time as they do their money– in line with what Mitzvah Day is all about. YN volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the organisation, enhancing the service Norwood offers and the lives of the people we support.”

– ENDS –


Notes for editors

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email:

By phone: 020 8420 6866

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.

It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.

Each year Norwood needs £35m to keep its services running, £12m of which comes through voluntary donations. These services include over 55 sites across London and the South East.

Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London thanks to the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.

About YN

YN (set up in 1993 as ‘Young Norwood’) offer a programme of high profile social and business networking events, whilst giving people the opportunity to support Norwood’s vital work. Our committees are drawn from the following industry sectors:

  • YN Business, Finance and Entrepreneurs
  • YN Challenges
  • YN Lawyers
  • YN Property
  • YN Presents

YN is also involved in much of Norwood’s direct work:

Actively feeding into the organisation’s Volunteering and Community Engagement programme

Running a buddying scheme where YN members and young adults with learning disabilities enjoy a range of activities.

About Mitzvah Day

Mitzvah Day builds local communities by bringing together over 40,000 people on one day, to take part in collective, hands-on social action projects which make a real difference to local issues.  Now a well-anticipated focal point in British Jewry’s annual calendar, Mitzvah Day galvanises people – regardless of age, faith, affiliation, gender or socio-economic position – to donate their time and energy

Our proven model of grass roots social action-based inter faith, fosters collaborations centred on the mutual values of social action and giving.  These result in  initiatives that have not only made a very real difference to helping the needs of local charities but importantly, forge long-term relationships and understanding which leads to more cohesive local communities.

In 2016 over 80 such inter faith partnerships took place, where synagogues, churches, mosques, other places of worship and community centres built relationships throughout the year and on Mitzvah Day participated together in a wide range of local initiatives.

Mitzvah Day was founded in 2005 by Laura Marks and became a registered charity in 2008. For more information please visit the Mitzvah Day website