December 19, 2014 · 27 Kislev

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The Impact of Mitzvah Day

Temple Israel

14 Coleytown Road
Westport, Connecticut 06880
Temple Israel's website
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Many (if not most) Reform congregations have a Mitzvah Day. Few have found ways to transform the energy that comes from Mitzvah Day into a year-round social action program. Held in conjunction with the nation-wide Make a Difference day and Westport's Make a Difference Week, Temple Israel's Mitzvah Day draws 600 people (in a congregation of 1000 families). Each month during the year, the synagogue collected different items: food at the High Holidays; eyeglasses, cell phones, books and videos in October; toys in November and December, etc. The congregation has also now established on-going relationships with several of the agencies it first came into contact with through Mitzvah Day. For example, at the local shelter, hundreds of meals were made for Mitzvah Day, and now members cook at the local shelter three times each month. From a one-time visiting seniors event, a pen-pal program has been established throughout the year. From working on a Habitat for Humanity house on Mitzvah Day, members now volunteer to work on Habitat houses once a month. These are just a few of the ways that Temple Israel has found a way to transform its annual Mitzvah Day into a year-round opportunity for social action.

Is your congregation looking for more ways to reach out to the community? Check out the Religious Action Center Program Bank.

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