Belarusian communities mark Mitzvah Day with inspiring social action initiatives

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Yesterday, communities in Belarus tried their hand at social action, often for the first time and with incredible success, as part of Mitzvah Day.

Mitzvah Day is a day devoted to social action – to giving our time to help the wider community. Already established in the UK, USA, Israel, Australia and elsewhere, this year The Together Plan in partnership with Mitzvah Day UK introduced the annual event to Belarus for the first time. In Belarus, where Jewish communities are accustomed to being on the receiving end of charitable efforts, learning to give as well as receive – both to their community and to wider society – is a vital step towards self-sufficiency. The event was an enormous success, with five communities across Belarus undertaking important and meaningful projects:

In Polotsk, as part of their Sunday School, children made gifts to give to pupils at a nursery for children with special needs, and then visited the nursery to present their gifts.

In Bobruisk, community members visited the Jewish cemetery, removing overgrown weeds and shrubs and carrying out other maintenance to the graves.

In Minsk, younger community members visited survivors of the Minsk Ghetto who are currently in hospital.

In Gomel, Hatikvah School, the only state Jewish school in Belarus, benefited from maintenance work carried out by community members.

In Slutsk, young members of the community visited elderly or disabled community members, providing entertainment, the opportunity for conversation, and relief from their isolation.

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Arranged: Film Screening

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  • Finchley Reform Synagogue
    101 Fallow Court Avenue, London N12 0BE
    Show on map
  • Sun 6th Nov 2016 4:30pm

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We screened Arranged in April, and the positive feedback was so overwhelming that we’re giving it a second outing, both for first-time viewers and old fans!

A moving story of friendship and unity in the face of cultural divides, Arranged follows the friendship of two women, one Jewish, one Muslim, as they discover that despite their diverse backgrounds they have far more in common than separating them.

Proceeds will be split between our partner, the Finchley Reform Synagogue Belarus Project (supporting the Polotsk Jewish Community, Belarus), and Butterfly Bridges, a youth-led intercultural initiative by Jewish and Muslim teenagers currently fundraising for War Child.

Reserve your place

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Download the flyer

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FRS Belarus Project: Registered Charity No. 1137557

War Child: Registered Charity No. 1071659

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Sponsor Warren Lipman as he embarks on a 7-day jungle trek

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Warren Lipman might be one of The Together Plan’s most dedicated supporters. Tomorrow, the director of Storm IT and a member of the BNI networking group (to which The Together Plan belongs) embarks on a seven-day trek through the Cambodian jungle in aid of The Together Plan. So far he has raised over £3000! Warren describes the challenge on his fundraising page:

My charity challenge starts in Siem Reap, to explore the ancient capital of the mighty Khmer Empire. I will trek over the hills, through the valleys and dense forests of the surrounding area, ascending to the upper plain of Kulen Mountain. Rich not only in history, but in beautiful landscapes and the rural way of life, little changed for centuries. My challenge will be gruelling, hot and dusty, but the famous smiles of this remarkably friendly country will carry me to my finish point at Angkor Wat, one of the most renowned and impressive sights in Southeast Asia.

You can sponsor Warren online through his BT MyDonate page

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The Together Plan’s Director recognised with prestigious award

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The Together Plan’s Director in Belarus Artur Livshyts this week won the prestigious JVN Volunteering Award for Overseas and International Volunteering. The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday night at the ArtsDepot in north London.

His nomination recognised his ‘passion and determination’ and for being ‘the people’s champion as he raises attention when communities are struggling to exist’. Through The Together Plan, which he co-founded in 2013, and our Minsk-based partner organisation Dialog set up by him, Artur has been indispensable in realising our vision of sustainable, vibrant communities across Belarus.

The Together Plan’s youth movement, Youth for Youth, also made a shortlist of three in the category of Young Adult Leadership in Volunteering. Represented at the ceremony by seven of its most active members, Youth for Youth brings together young adults from the UK, Belarus and elsewhere, facilitating collaboration and exchange of ideas, cultures and expertise. The nomination praised Youth for Youth’s annual summer camp, which as well as being the highlight of the year for many of its participants, also teaches Belarusian young adults youth leadership skills and empowers them to lead their community to new heights.

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