Mitzvah Day has become a perennial favourite event for Ottawa’s Jewish community. It’s a day when people from all corners of the community come together to volunteer their time and energy in the spirit of tikkun olam.
On behalf of the Mitzvah Day Committee, I am thrilled to say that on Sunday, February 5, the rooms and halls of the Soloway Jewish Community Centre will once again be buzzing with the collective energy of people of all ages performing good deeds at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s 11th annual Mitzvah Day.
This year, as part of celebrating Canada 150, Mitzvah Day’s goal is to target the number 150 with most of our mitzvot. Our hope is to collect 150 of everything we are collecting, and to create at least 150, or multiples of 150 of the things we plan to make, decorate and organize to help those in need.
Here are just a few of the mitzvot highlights you can expect at this year’s event: making a dried soup mixture to feed the hungry; creating “Shabbat in a Bag” that includes decorating a challah cover, Kiddush cup, and Shabbat card; and designing a colouring/puzzle/activity sheet for kids at CHEO.
Back by popular demand is the sing-a-long for the residents of Hillel Lodge; decorating Tzedakah boxes to fill for your favourite charity; and making sandwiches to feed the homeless through Shepherds of Good Hope and the Ottawa Mission. We’ll also be braiding ready-to-bake challah to sell on-site with all proceeds going to the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank; and, in collaboration with One Match and Canadian Blood Services, we’ll be collecting swabs to become part of the bone marrow registry.
Mitzvah Day collections include non-perishable food items for the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank; boxes of crayons, markers and/or stickers to go with the colouring/activity book being created for kids at CHEO; and men’s socks, gloves, snacks, toiletries, new underwear, and winter boots as part of the “bracha bags” to distribute through Street Smarts. We will also be collecting magazines and DVD movies to send to Canadian troops deployed overseas.
Of course, no Mitzvah Day would be complete if we didn’t start the day with a haircut in support of Hair Donation Ottawa, a local not-for-profit that collects hair donations to create wigs for children who are suffering from medical hair-loss. Anyone interested in donating their hair for this worthwhile cause must donate a minimum of six inches and must to let us know in advance.
Mitzvah Day has also added a special component for PJ Library families that will include a PJ Library book swap and a PJ quiet zone for parents and kids to escape the chaos of Mitzvah Day and spend a little time reading a PJ book.
As always, Federation is thankful to GGFL Chartered Accountants who are the lead sponsor of Mitzvah Day 2017.
Needless to say, Mitzvah Day takes an army of dedicated people to make it a success, so, if you are interested in volunteering to lend a hand, please contact Rena Garshowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there are at least 150 reasons to participate in Mitzvah Day, perhaps the best reason is to be part of a fun-filled day with members of your community to help those in need.
For more information or to register, please visit www.mitzvahdayottawa.com.
My husband and I and our daughters look forward to seeing you on Sunday, February 5!