Getting set for Mitzvah Day

WITH less than a week until Mitzvah Day, there is still time to get involved with the international phenomenon which is set to unite Jewish people in various voluntary pursuits for the fourth year running in Australia.

Speaking to The AJN, Mitzvah Day chair Judy Feiglin said that Mitzvah Day 2014 will bring together a cross-section of Australian Jewry.

“While we started off last year having some national programs, we’re actually reaching out further, in a more determined way [this year],” said Feiglin, noting that Adelaide is coming on board for the first time.

Last year’s Mitzvah Day saw 65 projects take place around the country – from cooking meals to be distributed to those in need, to toy collections, to clean-ups in outdoor public spaces.

With more than 40 projects registered so far in Melbourne, 11 in Perth and a growing number in Sydney, Feiglin expects to match and hopefully exceed the success of Mitzvah Day 2013.

“A number of organisations have more than one project going, which I think is fantastic. It means it’s not just tokenism, but they’re actually reaching out,” she enthused.

Feiglin, who first took an interest in the idea while in London a number of years ago, says Mitzvah Day is something anybody can get involved in – regardless of age, ability, or any other factor.

“Everybody can make a difference. It’s about giving of oneself and being part of the world around us, and being grateful for what we’ve got and sharing what we’ve got with others,” she said.

Drawing attention to a number of highlights, she spoke of initiatives which assist both the Jewish community and the wider community.

For example, B’nai B’rith in Melbourne will partner with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, by providing a barbecue lunch for the Brotherhood’s Coolibah Centre for Senior Citizens and residents of their Sambell Lodge Aged Care Residential Service.

“The thing I’d like to get across is that we’re working both within the Jewish and the non-Jewish world. That it’s young and old and people of all abilities together. That it’s different community groups working in tandem with each other,” Feiglin said.

Mitzvah Day is on Sunday, November 16. To register a project or for more information, go to


Challah baking at Melbourne’s Central Shul as part of Mitzvah Day 2013. Photo: Peter Haskin

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