Today, our entire family participated in Valley Mitzvah Day 2004. As the Valley Alliance writes, “Over 3,000 volunteers from synagogues and organizations throughout the Conejo and West valleys will participate in more than 150 community improvement projects as part of Mitzvah Day, an annual celebration of tikkun olam, repairing the world, organized by The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance. Activities such as blood drives, clothing and food collection and distribution, tree planting, visiting the elderly, arts and crafts and handyman projects are designed to help the disabled, seniors, the homeless, the environment, children, animals and others in need in the Greater Los Angeles area. Projects are offered for all age groups and family-oriented activities are available.”
In our case, we participated at Temple Beth Hillel. The following is a list of what our congregation did; the ones we participated in are in bold:
- Blood Drive
- Cleaning up the Temple grounds
- Preparing Thanksgiving Gift Bags for the homeless. Background: In addition to its year round food pantry, we have a large operation feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving.
- Entertaining at a local convelescent hospital
- Singing at the Jewish Home for the Aged
- Planting trees with Treepeople
- Making Kippot for Cuban Jews
- Making backpacks with school supplies for needy students
- Making toys for children with cancer
- Making photo albums for foster children
- Making and planting flower pots for residents of a convalescent hospital
- Decorating lunch bags for lunches for the homeless
Many of these projects were done by religious school classes. It’s nice to see the variety of projects; at our former congregation, we usually just cleaned up the street in front of the congregation.
Be one with our family and our congregation. Share what you’ve done to make the world a better place today.