THE annual Mitzvah Day comes around this Sunday, providing an opportunity for members of the community to perform a good deed for those who need it.
It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect as we emerge from months of lockdowns.
This special day brings the Jewish communities of Australia together in all their diversity.
In fact, worldwide, more than 40,000 people across 24 countries participate each year.
To become involved, organisations, informal groups or individuals need first to decide on an activity they will perform or a charity they will aid. It could be a “cookathon” or a “collectathon”, a cleanup of a local park or beach, or maybe just baking a cake or writing a card to bring a smile to someone who could use one.
Projects from past Mitzvah Days have focused on reducing poverty, helping the environment, supporting victims of abuse and bringing joy through volunteering.
As a result of hardship in the community, several organisations are requesting basic items especially of food, toiletries, nappies and gift packs.
A number of organisations have indicated they’d appreciate hands-on assistance.
In Melbourne these include C-Care, Community Info and Support Glen Eira, Community Blood Drive, Igniting Change, Impact, Mazon Australia, Port Phillip Community Group, Socks4Support, Souper Kitchen, and St Kilda Mums.
In Sydney, for example, B’nai B’rith NSW will conduct a Mitzvah Day cookoff, with B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation teens cooking for Our Big Kitchen. Emanuel Synagogue will be making latke gift bags for Chanukah.
In Perth, among many communal activities, Carmel Primary School students will conduct a stationery drive for Give Write, which distributes stationery to under-privileged children for the start of the school year.
This is just a small sample of mitzvahs planned for November 21.
The past two years have seen many of us – and many of our fellow citizens – doing it tough.
Offering a helping hand is what bonds us as a community, especially in these challenging times.
Be sure to check out the website, mitzvahday.org.au, to see how you can get involved.