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Bring a Little Joy – A Day for Everyone

November 12, 2012 – 12:18 pm5 Comments

Bringing people together, Mitzvah Day 2011

By Judy Feiglin
Following the success of last year’s initiative, Mitzvah Day activities will again take place this year across Melbourne on Sunday, November 25.

Born out of the belief that we can all make a positive difference to our world by taking action ­– Mitzvah Day is based on the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedek (righteousness), and gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).

The idea of a Mitzvah Day originated in the US more than 20 years ago, and Mitzvah Day International was launched in the UK in 2008. Last year 25,000 people in 300 communities in 22 countries took part in the Jewish-led day of social action.

On Mitzvah Day, Jews – as well as those touched by the Jewish world – improve the world, in some small way, by taking part in a range of activities, such as collecting and distributing food and clothing, singing to and befriending seniors and people who are socially isolated, joining refugees in picnics, donating blood, making over public spaces, making and sending gifts to needy children and more.

The great thing about Mitzvah Day is that EVERYONE, be they of religious or secular inclination, can perform mitzvot in a fashion that suits their being.

Our vision is to reduce hardship and poverty, help our environment, and to bring a little joy where it is needed, all through hands-on participation. It is a way for people to take an active part regardless of their affiliation, age, sex, location. Mitzvah Day brings new and enthusiastic volunteers to those who need support.

The afternoon I spent volunteering at the South Melbourne Family Day last year was fantastic. People were laughing, singing, dancing, eating, involved in art and craft activities and more. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, make friends and learn much more about people I knew already.

The power of that positive experience is indescribable – it was elating and enriching – and I came away feeling I had gained so much for what I had given. I encourage anyone who has even the slightest interest to get involved this year – the experience will certainly be well worth the effort.

Michelle Perl
Mitzvah Day volunteer

Helping out; hanging out, Mitzvah Day 2011

Mitzvah Day serves as a platform for creating local relationships, both within the Jewish community, and with those from other faiths and communities. By working together for the common good we build stronger communities, making them better places to live.

During Melbourne’s inaugural Mitzvah Day last year, 500 people got involved. This year on November 25, we hope even more people will participate.

There are already 20 registered projects for this year’s Melbourne Mitzvah Day. To get involved in one of these projects, to suggest a new project, or simply to find out more, visit the website or contact info AT mitzvahday.org.au

Judy Feiglin is one of the organisers of Mitzvah Day.

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