Mitzvah Day Impact Report Digital version 26th June - Page 4



04
05
Mitzvah Day
Impact Report 2008 – 2018
Our Trustees
OUR TRUSTEES
Mitzvah Day
Impact Report 2008 – 2018
My Reflections, Laura Marks OBE, Founder and Chair
MY REFLECTIONS
LAURA MARKS OBE, FOUNDER AND CHAIR
Laura Marks OBE – Founder & Chair
Laura was a planning director of AMV.BBDO,
before deciding to work full time in the
Jewish community. She set up Mitzvah Day
in 2005, which achieved charitable status
in 2008. Elected Senior Vice President of
the Board of Deputies of British Jews 20122015, Laura went on to become Chair of the
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in 2016 and
chaired the government’s interfaith project –
A Year of Service. Laura helped to set up the
Muslim-led day of social action, Sadaqa
Day and she co-founded the Jewish Muslim
Women’s Network, Nisa-Nashim. Laura was
awarded an OBE in 2015 in The New Year’s
Honours list for her work building
interfaith relationships.
Lady Daniela Pears – Interfaith Chair
Daniela qualified as a chartered
physiotherapist and returned to her
profession once her children had grown,
as a volunteer for Jewish Care. Thriving on
community engagement Daniela became a
trustee and Interfaith Chair in 2010. Daniela
was appointed Mayoress of Camden in 2014
as an acknowledgement of her work across
the interfaith and social action sector. In
2015 Daniela was recognised by the Prime
Minister as a Point of Light, for her work in
bringing faith communities together.
Lee Sidney – Vice Chair
Lee is a civil servant, having joined HMRC in
2008 after three years at JLGB, first as Grants
Officer and then as Operations Manager. Lee
was also a trustee of JLGB, where he remains
an active volunteer. He is a graduate of the
Adam Science programme and currently sits
on its advisory group. He also volunteers
for CST and is on UJIA’s Israel Experience
Bursary Committee.
Richard Laikin – Treasurer
Richard is one of New North London
Synagogue’s representatives at the Board
of Deputies. He works at Pricewaterhouse
Coopers (PwC) and is a trustee of the
Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM),
where he is also Chair of the Finance and
Audit Committee and Deputy Chair of the
Remuneration Committee. He also sits on a
number of other boards, advisory groups and
government committees.
Ben Rich – PR & Strategy
Ben is a strategic communications
consultant working across the Jewish
community with current and former clients
including Liberal and Reform Judaism,
JCoSS, Council of Christians and Jews, March
of the Living, Mitzvah Day, New Israel Fund,
JPR and Pears Foundation. He regularly
writes for the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish
News, as well as contributing to The Times
and Guardian, and is the creator of the JC
Power 100.
Emma Bondor – Marketing & Advertising
Emma is a former Mitzvah Day participant
who joined the board. With a background
in broadcast journalism, communications
and events, Emma brings more than a
decade’s experience from working with senior
stakeholders in international current affairs.
Michael Livingston – Governance
Michael is a civil servant and was a board
member of JLGB where he led a governance
review. His focus is on Mitzvah Day’s
governance and ensuring that we maintain
best practice.
Judith Falb-Mizrahi – Strategic Development
Judith is a strategic consultant and former
CEO of Idea Couture where she specialised in
luxury brands and innovation. She has been
the coordinator of Mitzvah Day in Mill Hill
for many years. Judith works with the senior
management team, focusing on our strategy
and how we drive Mitzvah Day forwards.
Edwin Shuker – International Development
Edwin is a Vice President of the Board of
Deputies of British Jews and Vice President
of the European Jewish Congress. He is an
international activist and public speaker
on the Middle East, particularly on the
subject of Jews from Arab countries, with
specialist knowledge of his native Iraq. Edwin
has engaged in and supported numerous
projects promoting human rights and
freedom in the Middle East.
In 2000 I moved to
Los Angeles with my
family, and there,
at Temple Israel of
Hollywood we took part
in a day of social action.
Our project was to go, with guitars,
tambourines and loud voices, to a care home.
That day changed my life as I realized that
not only could I make an instant difference,
but that everyone from my 2 year old
upwards could too, together.
In 2005 with the JCC (now the iconic JW3),
we set up Mitzvah Day, which in 2008
became a charity. We never looked back.
This year, as always I will be going to a care
home with my husband Dan, our grown up
children, volunteers, and people from other
backgrounds and faith groups. We will sing,
dance, have fun and love knowing that
together we are making a difference and
at the same time, building friendships and
celebrating similarities.
Over the past decade the world has changed,
and an atmosphere of mistrust and fear
of people who are different sometimes
prevails. So this Mitzvah Day, with over
40,000 magnificent volunteers taking part
in at least 1,200 social action projects in
30 countries, we will challenge suspicion,
celebrate collective action and demonstrate
that together, with joy, we can challenge this
narrative and help build a more caring and
inclusive world.
A huge thank you to everyone who has
helped us reach this point and do join us
on Mitzvah Day.
Laura Marks OBE
Founder and Chair of Mitzvah Day





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