Trying to improve the world in some small way

  • Meyerson - This Sporting Life 1
Mitzvah Day in South Africa this year falls on Sunday November 16, but to accommodate participants of other faiths, activities will take place on November 14 and 16. Mitzvah Day activities are planned in various cities in 20 countries including the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Slovakia and Ukraine.
by Lynne Raphaely | Nov 05, 2014

The Youtube above is from the UK. See the SA production on the home page vid or VIDEOS

International Mitzvah Day, a Jewish-led day of social action, was launched in the United Kingdom in 2005 - born out of the belief that we can all make a positive difference to our world by taking action together. On Mitzvah Day, Jews, as well as people of other religions, inspired by the idea of a “good deed day”, try to improve the world in some small way. 

People collect and distribute food, sing to and befriend seniors and those who are socially isolated, clean up parks, prepare food and generally try to make a difference. The aim is to give time rather than money.

Mitzvah Day has been endorsed by many public figures in the United Kingdom, including Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chief Rabbi of the UK and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Joachim Gauck, president of Germany.

This will be the fourth year that all branches of UJW SA will be hosting various Mitzvah Day activities. The Johannesburg branch will be handing out gift packs to the elderly at five retirement homes, including Sandringham Gardens, Randjeslaagte Frail Care, and Queen Alexandra Retirement Home, and has arranged for choirs or individual singers to entertain the residents.

UJW MD-13-2RIGHT: Lynne Raphaely, Hannah Smidt.& Bev Cohen - PIC Ingrid Woolf

In addition, the residents at the Frida Hartley and Bethany House Shelters for abused women will be treated to lunch and entertainment. Lunch and entertainment will also be provided to a home in Alexandra township for disabled children. Some UJW members will be joining the SAJBD’s Interfaith Group on a Mitzvah Day visit to Leeuwkop Prison, where prisoners involved with a horticulture programme will showcase their vegetable gardens.

The Cape Town branch is appealing for help with their “Comfort Kits” for victims of rape and sexual assault. The kits include toiletries, underwear, a snack and drinks. The East London women will be donating food parcels to needy families at Southernwood Primary School, while UJW Durban plans to entertain the residents of Beth Shalom with a comedian/singer and a special tea, and plans are afoot to treat residents at a children’s home to a performance of Aladdin. Pet food is being collected for the SPCA.


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