The world stands on three things: Torah (Jewish learning), Avodah (service of God) and acts of Chesed (loving-kindness) Ethics of the Fathers 1:2
At Muswell Hill Synagogue we believe that we should give up some of our time to help others.
We do this in various ways
Winter Shelter Project 2019
We are delighted that, following last year’s successful initiative, we will again be working with All People All Places to run 8 weeks of their winter respite service at our Shul on Tuesday nights from 29 January 2019 to 20 March 2019. This is a very exciting project for us and very much in line with our ethos of reaching out to help the wider community when we can.
We are once again getting some support and resources from Hornsey Parish Church who are running the first 8 weeks of the respite programme and have experience in this area.
We will need volunteers, for whom training will take place on Tuesday, 15 January, to do the following:
Cook meals and set everything up – 5.45pm to 9.00pm / Set up for the evening – lay tables, prepare bedding, serve dinner – 6.45pm to 10.00pm / Night shift: stay in the building with the guests – 9.45pm to 6.30am / Morning shift: make breakfast and hot drinks, clear up bedding, wash and tidy up – 6.30am to 8.30am.
If you are interested in shift leading and taking on a slightly bigger role, please email Anna Lawton () or, if you would like to sign up as a volunteer please click here to fill in the Winter Respite Volunteer Form 2019 and Anna will get back to you shortly.
US Asylum Seekers Project
The United Synagogu are planning on running an asylum seekers mini drop in centre every 4th Sunday of the month in Hendon, with the first session launching on 29th April. There are 28,000 asylum seekers in the UK waiting for the home office to grant them refugee status. During this period, they get minimal financial support from the government, and are not allowed to work. These people need support during the months (or in some cases years) that they are waiting.
The mini drop centre will run for 2 hour once a month on Sunday. It will be run by United Synagogue volunteers and will include the following areas:
- Mentoring: professional members of United Synagogue including lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants etc. These people will be able to give professional advice to help them with some of the issues they face.
- Befriending: members of our community will be able to spend time talking and befriending the asylum seekers. They are very lonely and sometimes just want someone to hear their story. They will also be able to help them with mundane day to day issues/chores.
- Food: volunteers will cook hot vegetarian food and serve it to the visitors. This gives a space for the volunteers and asylum seekers to eat together, socialise and befriend.
- Coffee, teas, biscuits and cakes: this gives another area to relax and socialise
- Kids area: our youth groups will be running activities for the youth, and a crèche service for the younger children. Activities may include tshirt decorating, arts & crafts activities and group games.
- Donations: there will be an ongoing collection by our shuls for clothes, shoes, toys and toiletries. They will be sorted and put out by size, so that the asylum seekers will be able to easily find suitable items for themselves and their children.
- Food vouchers: The asylum seekers will receive vouchers for supermarkets. This will be funded by money that will be raised by our communities, government grants, funds from foundations and some angel investors.
Our Winter Shelter ran from Feb – March 2018 in partnership with Hornsey All People all Places.
This was a very exciting project for us and very much in line with our ethos of reaching out to help the wider community when we can. We hope to repeat it in 2019.
We will need volunteers to do the following:
Be team leaders for cooking, seating up the shul or staying over night.
Cook meals – at shul.
Set up for the evening – lay table, prepare bedding, serve dinner (approx 6.30-9.30pm)
Night shift – stay with the guests – 9.30pm-6.30am
Morning shift – make breakfast and hot drinks, clear up bedding, wash and tidy up – 6.30am-8.30am.
Please email Anna Lawton if you’d like to get involved.
You can also find our more about what volunteering would involve here
Muswell Hill Foodbank –
“The foodbank was there when we really needed it, it was an absolute lifeline.”
We are so excited to be working with the Muswell Hill Foodbank. They are in constant need of more food and toiletries to support those in the Muswell Hill community who are in food crisis. You will see a WHITE WIRE BASKET IN THE LOBBY with a list of the items that they need. We would be so grateful for any items that you can provide. Here is a list of the particular things they are running low on:
Tinned tomatoes, Instant mashed potato, Tinned rice pudding, Tinned custard, Longlife juice, Washing-up liquid, washing powder/liquid, Men’s toiletries, Female toiletries (no tampons or pads.
Also, we have a list of Shul Members who very kindly make soup and/or a cake every few months or so for the Foodbank clients. There is no commitment – if you can’t make a date that we mail out then it’s fine but if you are able to go on this list please email us at ..
The Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why the Foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.
The Foodbank are looking for volunteers to help give food parcels out on Mondays between 12.30pm and 2.30pm and Wednesdays between 11.15am and 1.45pm. If you would like to volunteer, the commitment is once every 4-6 weeks. Full training will be given. Please e-mail to sign up.
We’d love to hear from you.
Come and help us cook food for those in need
When: Next date TBC
What happens: We have 15 places for people of all ages over 5 to come and help cook a three course veggie meal. Food will then be distributed to local charities and members of our own community who would like a home cooked meal.
We also freeze a few extra meals each month to be used for people who are ill/sitting shiva/have new babies or have any other need- so let us know if you think anyone would like one.
Help at our local soup kitchen
If you would like to volunteer at our local soup kitchen at the Baptist Church in Dukes Avenue please contact Margaret Brearley
Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen is most grateful to shul members for their continuing support. The splendid Munchbox in the shul foyer was made by Gordon, a regular guest, who walked from John O’Groats to Lands End last summer on behalf of the Soup Kitchen. Please put in it any long-lasting tinned or packaged food, or warm clothing. Thank you.
If you would like to be part of emergency cover (over 18 and flexible – we can get requests the day before or on the day) please contact Margaret
If you would like to be updated on any volunteering opportunities, please email your details to Social Action and we can add you to our database.