Not sure what Mitzvah Day is all about? On this page you will find all the information needed to get you, your families and your friends involved.
Mitzvah Day co-chairs Myra Spindel and Melissa Netkin and Tamara Donnenfeld, Program Director,
welcome you to Temple Beth Sholom’s 18th annual Mitzvah Day Weekend.
3.If you want to get reimbursed, complete this form, attach your receipts and present it to Tamara. (Remember, the Temple can only reimburse up to $100 per project)
This year, Mitzvah Day Weekend is February 8-10, 2013. Mitzvah Day is Sunday, February 10, 2013.
What Is Mitzvah Day?
Mitzvah Day is a wonderful opportunity to participate in the holy task of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Mitzvah Day is a concerted effort, on a single day, to bring the entire congregation together to spend one day volunteering with social justice projects/activities in the community. Congregants choose from a variety of projects that cater to diverse interests, capabilities and ages.
What is the schedule of events of the weekend?
We start off the weekend with a Shabbat dinner and special Shabbat service. We often have a guest speaker who will inaugurate the weekend with some words of wisdom.
Shabbat School is full of activities related to the theme. Students bake their personal challah and participate in a variety of activities related to Mitzvah Day.
Sunday is the big day. We wake up early and come to the Temple for a community breakfast and Opening Ceremonies. On that day, more than 800 children, teens, adults and seniors, pour into the community in small groups to offer a helping hand. They might be schmoozing with seniors, planting a garden at a women’s shelter, playing sports with underprivileged children, feeding the homeless or bringing dogs to do pet therapy with seniors.
After the project, volunteers come back to the Temple for a Mitzvah After-Party.
Who is Mitzvah Day for?
Mitzvah Day is for the young and old, the physically weak and strong. It is for those who have spent years helping others, or those who have only dreamed of helping others. Mitzvah Day is for those in need and for those with plenty. Mitzvah Day is for all of us.
Who plans Mitzvah Day?
Hundreds of people are involved in the planning and execution of Mitzvah Day. Mitzvah Day Co-chairs – Myra Spindel and Melissa Netkin are responsible for all aspects of planning and carrying out Mitzvah Day 2013. Program Director, Tamara Donnenfeld, is responsible for the various administrative tasks associated with planning Mitzvah Day.
Project Captains – Each Project Captain is responsible for one Mitzvah Day Project. They will be the contact person for the agency and the volunteers for that project and will need to make sure all supplies, directions and transportation are arranged in advance.
Do you belong to a group? Mah Jongg, Scouts, Havurah, Mother-daughter, CSA, or any other group? Why not captain and do a project together?
Publicity Chair – Karen Sepsenwol is responsible for informing as many people in the congregation about the event as possible, as well as media and community leaders who may want to support your efforts (other faith leaders, elected officials, coalition partners, and local foundations).
Volunteers – Mitzvah Day is open to the community. Everyone can participate in a project. Every participant must register in advance in order to partake in a project.
Who can participate in Mitzvah Day?
Mitzvah Day is open to the whole community. Members and non-members of Temple Beth Sholom can participate in any of the projects. All participants need to register in advance as some projects have a number quota and they fill up. Children, teens, adults and seniors can be part of Mitzvah Day. Some projects have age restrictions as they are not kid friendly or there are certain requirements from the organization we are serving.
How do I get involved?
There are many ways you can get involved. You can be a captain, a volunteer or a donor. Please read the captains’ responsibilities for detailed information about the position.
About 5-6 weeks before Mitzvah Day Weekend, you will receive a brochure with details of all the available projects. You can register on-line for your favorite project at www.tbsmb.org. Don't delay as many projects fill up fast! When registering, please give your top three projects as some projects may already be closed.
A few days prior to Mitzvah Day, your captain will contact you with pertinent information about your project.
Why do we need donations?
Mitzvah Day is a major undertaking, which costs thousands of $$$. In prior years, many generous contributors have underwritten some of the cost of running Mitzvah Day. Sponsorships are needed for the community breakfast, as well as Mitzvah Day giveaways and the cost of running the Family Fun Day at our adopted school, Shadowlawn Elementary School in Little Haiti. Captains can sponsor by donating the materials or other items used in projects. Up to $100 will be available for reimbursement on costs laid out, provided the captain supplies the receipt. All purchases used for the projects are TAX EXEMPT. Captains may request the Tax Exempt Form from the office.
We ask you that you help us underwrite a project or support our efforts through any of the following sponsorship opportunities available:
Family Fun Day $ 500.00
Giveaways or Mitzvah-After-Party $1,600.00
Breakfast $ 500.00 (sponsored)
Oneg Shabbat $ 300.00
Individual Projects $ 218.00
Other $ $$.$$
To become a donor, contact Tamara Donnenfeld at 305.538.7231 ext 232.
What are the captains’ responsibilities?
• Come up with an idea for a project or assume responsibility for a project that was done in the past
• Attend Mitzvah Day Captains' Meetings on Wednesdays, October 17, 2012, December 5, 2012 and February 6, 2013. All meetings are at 7:00 p.m.
• Organize the project
• Correspond with the organization that they are working with for Mitzvah Day
• Obtain sponsors or agree to underwrite costs involved in running the project (there is a $100 reimbursement allowance per project)
• If appropriate, create and fulfil a wish list for your organization to be delivered on Mitzvah Day
• Encourage friends and family to participate in the project
• Confirm project with organization with whom co-captains are working on Mitzvah Day
• Communicate with Co-Chairs and/or Tamara Donnenfeld if co-captains need assistance prior to or on Mitzvah Day
• Attend Opening Ceremonies
• Be an enthusiastic leader
• Attend and encourage participants to return to TBS for Mitzvah-After-Party
• Report to Co-Chairs of Mitzvah Day about how the project went in order to make necessary changes for the following year
• Have fun and feel fulfilled by performing a mitzvah...
Who is the Mitzvah recipient? Every year, Mitzvah Day captains vote on the recipient of the money raised during Mitzvah Day weekend. In the past, money was donated to Ayuda, Inc. (2012), Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital NCU (2011), Victim Response (2010), The Leo Martin March of the Living (2009), The Wellness Community of Greater Miami and ALYN Hospital (2008), Frederick Douglass Elementary School (2007), The Daily Bread Food Bank (2006), the Jewish National Fund and Green Corps (2005), ALYN Children’s Hospital in Jerusalem and the American Red Magen David for Israel (2005).
What is the Mitzvah-After-Party? After volunteering at a Mitzvah Day project, volunteers return back to the Temple to end the day with a community celebration. Volunteers are treated to neck and back massages, The Frieze ice cream social, entertainment for the children and informational booths about Mitzvah Day’s theme. Lunch is available for purchase at our Mitzvah Café and all proceeds benefit the Mitzvah recipient.
What are some project ideas?
Outdoor and Indoor maintenance/beautification
Clean-up a local park or public school
Clean-up a Jewish cemetery
Gutter repair work
Paint offices of non-profit organizations and shelters
Renovate apartments of homebound seniors
Repair furniture, beautify shelters with plants, posters, and other artwork
Create or refurbish a recreation area
Create mural for children’s room at local hospital
Provide volunteer assistance to local agencies
Glean at an area farm and donate crops to a food bank
Sort food at local food bank
Sort and prepare inventory at non-profit thrift store
Stuff envelopes for mailings Inventory and organize a public school library or resource center
Advocacy – write letters to elected officials
Write letters to Jewish prisoners
Assemble information kits on child immunization
Sort, bag, and deliver items donated on Mitzvah Day: food, clothing, furniture, books, and school supplies
Stuff hospitality bags for shelter residents and group home residents (travel size toiletries, hats, mittens, t-shirts, stuffed animals, small games, candy, paper, crayons, note pads, pencils)
Cook and deliver meals to AIDS patients
Jewish entertainment/holiday celebrations for seniors
Visit the sick in hospitals and hospices
Visit local VA hospitals to talk with and entertain patients
Prepare traditional Jewish food with disabled residents
Serve meals in a soup kitchen
Collect books-on-CDs for the blind
Deliver food for Meals-on-Wheels
Host party or story time for children in area shelters
Assist clients in back-to-work programs with interviews and resume building skills
Dolls for Darfur (www.dollsfordarfur.org)
Decorate hats for kids with cancer
Make toys and dolls for children with chronic illnesses
Make get well cards and bring them to patients in a local hospital
Photograph Mitzvah Day events
Childcare for children of volunteers
You can create your own project as long as there is a Mitzvah component in the activity.
Yes, I would like to submit a project for Mitzvah Day!
Who are the Mitzvah Day Past Chairs?
Nancy Kipnis Ratzan
Ronni Litz Julien
Shelley Niceley Groff
Ann Marie Lilenbaum
Lisa B. Cicero
Myra, Melissa, and Tamara are available to speak to you and discuss your area of interest and any questions you may have about this amazing day. You can reach us via e-mail and through the office. Looking forward to hearing from you.
305.538-7231 x 232