Annual Mitzvah Day Falling on the Sabbath Sparks New Program
Bloomfield Hills, MI. What happens when a community day of volunteerism falls on Sabbath? Create a whole month of community volunteer opportunities.
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, along with the Jewish Community Relations Council, has implemented an annual Mitzvah Day on December 25th for nearly twenty years. The annual day of volunteerism within the Detroit Jewish community provides work-relief for the non-Jewish community on Christmas day with families with children, teens, young adults and seniors participating in a variety of activities including visits to nursing care facilities, preparing and serving holiday meals at soup kitchens, sorting and packaging at food banks, and delivering toys and gifts to families in need. Nearly nine-hundred volunteers have participated in this program in previous years.
This year December 25th falls on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, which prompted Federation to create other ways for members of the community to volunteer their time.
Welcome Mitzvah Month 2010, a month-long community service challenge for members of the Detroit Jewish community. This year, Federation is asking community members to provide a total of 1,800 hours of volunteer service during the month of December.
Participating community members will have access to an internet database with over 75 volunteer locations and the types of volunteers they need, Information on planned community volunteer programs and a place to log on how many hours they have completed. Access the database at jewishdetroit.org/mitvah.
“We are turning to community organizations to become partners for this event asking synagogues, day and congregational schools, youth groups and social action committees to get together and participate,” said Gail Greenberg, Federation’s Mitzvah Month Coordinator. “It doesn’t matter how you choose to help, just that you help.”
Individuals, groups and organizations interested in planning an activity or participating in any way can contact Gail Greenberg at 248-205-2536 or at Greenberg@jfmd.org.
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit is the central communal organization of the Detroit Jewish community. In partnership with its agencies Federation plays the leadership role in identifying needs within the Jewish community and in mobilizing human and financial resources, engaging in communal planning and allocation and advocating to meet those needs. Federation seeks to further the relationship between the Jewish community and the community at large in the Detroit metropolitan area. Working with other local institutions, Federation is committed to ensuring the continuity of the Jewish people here, in Israel and around the world.
Michael Benghiat is the Director of Community Marketing at Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, a non-profit fundraising arm and communal planning organization working to answer the health, welfare, educational, cultural and spiritual needs of the Jewish Community.