Rabbi Bulka Kindness Project helps elevate everyday life

By Angelica Haggert

A website set up to honour Ottawa’s Rabbi Reuven Bulka has seen great success in just its first month of action. The Rabbi Bulka Kindness Project aims to collect 1,800 acts of kindness done in the merit of Rabbi Bulka and there have already been more than 330 acts submitted.

“The response has been amazing,” said Rabbi Idan Scher of Congregation Machzikei Hadas, who expects it to grow even more after a 30-minute special video airs on television the third week of February -- which just so happens to be Kindness Week in Canada. 

The video will feature community leaders, including the Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Canadian Senator Jim Munson. Rabbi Scher thinks it will be a “rallying cry” to get more people doing acts of kindness in Rabbi Bulka’s name.

“So far a lot of the different acts of kindness are ones Rabbi Bulka championed in his own life, like blood donations or calling lonely or shut-in people,” said Scher. “Those are the things Rabbi Bulka has lived his life by.”

Some of the acts of kindness include:

‘Shovelled snow for elderly neighbour after a snowstorm.’

‘Wrote notes to front line workers.’

‘Brought in all of the garbage and recycling bins for my in-laws so they wouldn’t have to get them in the snow.’

‘Delivered homemade bread and soup to an injured mother of three young children.’

According to Scher, Rabbi Bulka is “blown away” by how many people are doing acts of kindness to bring him comfort and strength. 

“These acts of kindness are so meaningful to him,” said Scher. 

A second section of the website is for people to submit stories about Rabbi Bulka specifically. About 150 stories have been submitted so far, and only Rabbi Bulka can see them until the end of the project. At that point, some of the stories will be compiled into a book to continue Rabbi Bulka’s living legacy. 

“There’s a lot in the works,” said Scher about the kindness effort. He expects to see various kindness-related organizations announce new initiatives and ways to recognize Rabbi Bulka’s work. 

“We’re taught about kindness as a basic thing as children, but we stop talking about it as we grow up,” said Scher. “What Rabbi Bulka’s managed to do is make kindness part of adult life and society. He shows that if we are all just a little bit kinder -- with even just one focused, thoughtful act of kindness in your everyday life -- we’d elevate the playing field.”

Submit your act of kindness at https://www.rabbibulka.ca.

This 30-minute program premiered Feb. 24 and will air again on Rogers TV, Cable 22 on:

Saturday, Feb 27 - 7:00 p.m. EST
Sunday, Feb 28 - 3:30 p.m. EST

You can also access it at any time by clicking here.