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Doing Good Deeds to Meet Community Needs: Mitzvah Day 2013

October 22, 2013 – 10:34 amNo Comment

By Judith Feiglin:

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Jewish Aid picnic in the park 2012

On Sunday November 17, people across Australia’s Jewish communities will get together to work for variety of worthy causes in celebration of Mitzvah Day.

A ‘mitzvah’ is commonly recognized as doing a good deed, based on the Hebrew word for a commandment of Jewish law. On this day, regardless of age or affiliation, people are invited to take part in a project that will in some way better the community they live in.

The Mitzvah Day philosophy is based on the Jewish values of ‘tzedek’ (righteousness), ‘gemilut chassadim’ (acts of loving kindness), and ‘tikkun olam’ (repairing the world).

This is the third year Australia is taking part in Mitzvah Day, a phenomenon which was established in the United Kingdom and exists in a number of countries worldwide. While the last two years have just involved Melbourne, this year Mitzvah Day Australia is going to Sydney, Perth and Brisbane as well.

In 2012, more than 1000 members of Melbourne’s Jewish community took part in the day, with 36 registered projects run by a variety of Jewish organisations. Projects included collections, entertaining residents in aged care facilities, community outreach, and cleaning public spaces — to name just a few.

Registered projects for 2013 so far include group blood donations, toy drives conducted by Jewish day school students, cooking and meal distributions to those in need, space makeovers, collectathons, and a community garden project. It is hoped that some of the projects can be ongoing throughout the year.

Mitzvah Day chair Judy Feiglin said that getting involved in Mitzvah Day is something which is easy to do, but has a great deal of significance behind it.

“It’s about bringing the community together. It’s heartening to see people young and old, from many diverse backgrounds, coming together for the common good,” Feiglin said.

Member for Caulfield and Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick has been involved in Mitzvah Day since its inception in Australia, and insists that it is a worthwhile day for all involved.

“Mitzvah Day challenges us to take good intentions and turn them into good deeds. This is a fantastic initiative that makes a real difference in people’s lives,” Southwick said.

For more information or to register a project, visit www.mitzvahday.org.au.

For enquiries, contact Judy Feiglin on 0402 263 806 or email info@mitzvahday.org.au.

Mitzvah Day is a Galus Australis Sponsor

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