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The Impact of Mitzvah Day

The Temple has been able to transform its Mitzvah Day into a year-round opportunity for social action.

Temple Israel
14 Coleytown Road
Westport, Conneticut 06880
(203) 227-1293
www.tiwestport.org

Target Groups: Multi-generational Social Action Program, Adults

Many (if not most) Reform congregations have a Mitzvah Day.  Few have found ways to trasform 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 fo 1000 families).  Each month during the year, the synagogue collected different items: food at the High Holidays; eyesglasses, 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 visting seniors event, a pen-pal propgram 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.