On Sunday, February 8, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa will host our 9th annual Mitzvah Day – a day members of Ottawa’s Jewish community come together to perform mitzvot to help make the world a little bit better, one good deed at a time.
Mitzvah Day is all about kindness and helping others. It’s about teaching our children to become involved and to put others before themselves. It’s about the Jewish concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Mitzvah Day is about going beyond the boundaries of our community to help those less fortunate. It is Jewish values in action.
Last year, the community took part in such amazing mitzvot as Locks of Love, for which two brave and selfless young girls had their ponytails cut and donated them for hair pieces for children suffering from medical hair loss. We also wrote letters of support and encouragement to Israel’s lone soldiers; made sandwiches for the Ottawa Mission and Shepherds of Good Hope; collected a ton (almost literally) of hockey equipment for the Canada-Israel Hockey School, a terrific bridge-building program for Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze boys and girls; and raised over $1,000 for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada through our Extreme Football Challenge.
This year’s mitzvot promise to be even more exciting and include such past favourites as Challahs for Hunger, in which challah dough is braided and donated to the Kosher Food Bank, and creating birthday celebration kits for children living in shelters to ensure that, despite very difficult circumstances, they do not miss out on birthday celebrations. We will also be putting together care packages for Canadian troops serving overseas, as a way of saying “thanks” for protecting our freedom.
A new addition to this year’s program is the Jewish Family One-Stop Info Shop – taking place in the Soloway JCC social hall – which will showcase the family-oriented programs and services offered in Ottawa’s Jewish community. This will include a showcase of the amazing schools, shuls and summers camps our wonderful community has to offer.
As always, we are collecting such items as new toys for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, laundry detergent and dish soap for Ronald McDonald House and canned goods for the Kosher Food Bank. For more details about Mitzvah Day or to register, visit our website at www.mitzvahdayottawa.com.
We are grateful to Ginsburg, Gluzman, Fage & Levitz (GGFL) Chartered Accountants for their continued support of this amazing community-wide event. As lead sponsor, they provide the funds necessary to buy supplies for the mitzvot, and a sizable contingent from GGFL comes out, rolls up their sleeves and participates!
Mitzvah Day has something for everyone, regardless of age. Join us for this meaningful and rewarding experience helping those in need.
We look forward to seeing you there,
Linda, Warren, Jacob and Michael Melamed