Mitzvah Day is a day for social action and is built on three Jewish values of healing, righteousness and acts of loving-kindness and the O’s have visited the home, which prides itself on caring for older people, for the past seven years and the residents were not shy in expressing their excitement to see players returning once again.
Jewish Care, who formed back in 1990, are the biggest outlet for health and social care amongst the Jewish community in the UK with around 1400 staff and are supported by some 3000 volunteers and located in Ilford, Vi and John’s is one of the largest homes within the company.
Judd and Moncur were enthusiastic about interacting with residents as they were shown around the home and they enjoyed listening to their stories and experiences, the coming together of two vastly different generations adding a poignant element to the visit.
Oldest resident, Julia, 108, was pleased to get a photograph with the players whilst 94-year-old Monty Ward is an Orient fan and enjoyed telling tales of playing football in his local streets and watching the O’s with his friends.
Although Jewish led, Mitzvah Day is the largest multi-faith day of social action in the UK and is celebrated in over 72 countries worldwide. And the message is clear: “Time, not money, to make a difference to the community around us.”
Sid talked about his memories of Clapton Orient: “I remember the Orient when they were called Clapton Orient and I knew a fellow who played for them before he was transferred to Spurs but I forget his name.”
Former ‘O’ Scott Kashket’s great grandmother is a resident and although unable to attend the on this occasion, as he did last year, he asked Moncur, a good friend of his, to pass on his love and best wishes.
The admiration directed towards the young players was noticeable and prompted a spokesperson from Jewish Care to state: “You couldn’t meet nicer boys. They are very respectful and you (Leyton Orient) should be proud of them!”
On reflection, Moncur said: “I just think it was a really great experience. Everyone that we spoke to was so friendly and all the staff were so friendly as well. It was a really happy place and it was really good to be here; such a nice afternoon.” And when asked about Mitzvah Day, Judd said, “We’ve learnt something new. We didn’t know much about this before we came here and I’m really pleased we came.”
Howard Gould, LOFC Community Liaison Officer, commented: “Visiting Vi & John Rubens as part of the Mitzvah Day celebrations is always a pleasure and it’s hard to believe this is already our seventh year! It truly is an amazing place, full of humour and we always leave feeling inspired and with a smile."
And Momarr Camara, Care Manager, added: “We all look forward to seeing the players and I’d like to thank Howard, Freddy and Myles for coming. The visits brighten the resident’s day so much and we look forward to welcoming Orient back again. Always welcome.”