The term “mitzvah” means good deed and is an important part of Jewish culture. This event brings local volunteers together to honor both the Jewish spirit of doing a “mitzvah” and the legacy of service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, the OFJCC is hosting over 25 different hands-on service projects, ranging from making soup for wounded veterans to creating colorful joke books for children battling serious illnesses.
Last year, volunteers came from as far as Santa Cruz and the East Bay and ranged in age from 2 to 80 years old.
Sandy Lee Chen, a past participant, states, “My children couldn’t believe how much fun it was to help out. In fact, we are looking forward to doing more beach restoration volunteering in the future.”
“Many families have made Mitzvah Day their annual tradition,” says Luba Palant, OFJCC Event Manager. “We’re proud to be a part of the generous spirit that thrives in our community. It’s a terrific feeling.”
Participants work in small groups on projects addressing issues of poverty, hunger, housing and homelessness, aging, the environment and more. New projects this year include working with 10 Books A Home, which provides under-served children with books and book shelves in their homes, and cleaning up Palo Alto Baylands, focusing on the removal of non-native plants and trash. “Our goals for Mitzvah Day are to teach kids and families the joy of volunteering, and to showcase our local nonprofit partners,” says Luba Palant.
Mitzvah Day 2013 is possible thanks to the generous support of Whole Foods Market, the Corporation for National Community Service and Service for Peace, Inc. OFJCC Mitzvah Day community partners include: BBYO, Congregation Beth Am, Congregation Etz Chayim, Congregation Kol Emeth, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Hillel at Stanford, Keddem Congregation and Kehillah Jewish High School. In kind sponsors include: Philz Coffee, Peet’s Coffee, Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels, Esther’s German Bakery.
For more information about the event, and to register, please visit www.paloaltojcc.org/
About the Oshman Family JCC
The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center (OFJCC) on the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life serves the South Peninsula through educational, social, cultural, fitness, sports and other programs. The OFJCC is a multi-generational Jewish neighborhood where all are welcome and which fosters new personal and community connections through rich and rewarding experiences. The OFJCC provides a common ground for Jewish institutions, other local groups, organizations and individuals to work, learn and play together for the betterment of the whole community. For more information, visit www.paloaltojcc.org or call (650) 223-8700.
Press is invited to cover this community-wide event. To receive pictures, arrange interviews or attend service projects, contact Jessica Brooks at (650) 223-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.