Over 30 schools, synagogues, youth movements and communities throughout England marked Mitzvah Day 2019 by identifying with and supporting ALEH.
Children of all ages created sensory Chanukah cards, to be delivered to ALEH students in all four of Israel’s ALEH centers. Mitzvah Day project participants remarked how meaningful and significant the activity was in the development of their own awareness of the challenges facing people with disabilities.
As word of the project spread, schools of different faiths adopted the idea, integrating Mitzvah Day into their own agendas with claims that the day’s special emphasis teaches children about the value Judaism places on good deeds and societal responsibility. Students from Mrs. Emma Allonby’s St. Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School chose ALEH as their “mitzvah,” creating their own Chanukah sensory cards to be distributed among residents of ALEH centers in Israel.
Liron Rosiner-Reshef, director of British Friends of ALEH, found it extremely meaningful to be part of such an interfaith project, teaching children that while everyone may not look, sound or do the same, each person is special, unique and deserving of love and support.
Akiva Primary School’s Year 1 students met with Ms. Rosiner-Reshef and spoke about disability inclusion. It was truly inspiring to see how children focus on achievements rather than disabilities, mentioning famous artists, chefs and sports figures with disabilities who went on to became household names due to their incredible accomplishments.