Bradford shul wins interfaith award

THE community turned out in force to donate their time and efforts to worthwhile communal causes for this year's Mitzvah Day.

From collecting women's toiletries for refugee charity PAFRAS to gathering produce for a north Leeds food bank and cleaning up a local church cemetery to Brodetsky Primary School pupils collecting charity.

Volunteers contributed to a variety of faith-based social action projects and schemes across the region.

Bradford Reform Synagogue's interfaith event, teaming up with the Muslim community to welcome asylum seekers and refugees to afternoon tea, attracted a huge crowd and won the national Mitzvah Day award for best interfaith project.

Shul chairman Rudi Leavor said: "Mitzvah Day is about reaching out to our neighbours and different communities making them feel welcome around us."

Jani Rashid, co-opted member of the synagogue's council, said: "Asylum seekers in particular receive very little, if any, in terms of benefits.

"By providing afternoon tea, the synagogue is extending its hand of friendship to make them feel a part of the community."

He felt that the solidarity from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities, which supported the most vulnerable in the community was palpable and sent out a message of unity needed in today's world.

Leeds Mitzvah Day was launched at The Zone. Opener Arielle Kaufman said: "Not only does the event bring together many different faith communities to work for a belief which is fundamental in every religion, but it also allows so many of those who give their time on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to incredibly noble causes, the opportunity to directly experience the impact they have on other people's lives."

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