Mitzvah Day 2017 was a big success and Mitzvah Day 2018 is coming.
Mitzvah Day 2016 saw activity and good works in every corner of CBI, and in the community. Big thanks go to all the many hard working volunteers who made Mitzvah Day 2016 so much fun and such a success. If you didn’t get a chance to participate, or just want to continue to do good works, Food Bank collection barrels are still in the foyer near the office, ready to receive your donations of non-perishables food. Envelopes for monetary donations for both The Food Bank of Monterey County and for the Jewish food project Mazon are available on the table by the gift shop. More electronics to donate? We can get you in touch with Loaves, Fishes and Computers.
While there is always more that can be done, on Mitzvah Day 2016 we accomplished a lot! By the numbers: 800 lbs of rice and beans packaged and transported to Rice, Plus for donation to the needy in our community, over 75 toiletry bags assembled and delivered to shelters, 500 book plates placed in new High Holiday prayer books, a four course meal for I-Help prepared by our religious school students under the direction of our in-resident Chef (and CBI President) Malina Breaux, over 25 place mats hand decorated for the I-Help dinner, and “too many bags to count” of donated clothing for men, women and children sorted and delivered to Joining Hands Interfaith Resale Shop.
On Mitzvah Day, we also learned a lot: Our third grade class prepared a presentation for all grades illustrating the meaning of mitzvoth and how each of our projects represented particular mitzvoth or commandments. We were reminded that mitzvah means “to command” and that a commandment might be defined as something God tell us to do. At each mitzvah project station, our adult volunteers taught the students why and how they were serving a need and following a commandment. Our students were taught about good nutrition and how their work cooking for I-Help, or packing rice and beans would help alleviate hunger. The mitzvah of caring for the elderly and those who may be ill was the basis for the activities performed by 6th and 7th graders who sang and chatted with seniors at Cottages of Carmel, and by all the students who made cards for the Caring Committee to be included with deliveries to folks unable to leave their homes.
Beyond the numbers and deeds themselves, we also had great sharing, and often among groups that don’t always get chance to work together. We experienced some wonderful intergenerational communication. Not only did some projects serve other generations, but our own volunteers ranged in age from pre-schoolers to senior citizens. Some folks who perhaps hadn’t even planned to volunteer, found themselves invited, drafted or almost dragged to participate, and your Social Action trustee Susan Schwartz is so grateful that each of you stepped up to the task. Everyone brought good ideas and different skills, and as things were pasted and packaged and schelped to vehicles for delivery, folks got to work together and got to know each other. Religious school parents got to work with seniors; kids got to work with adults of different ages, children became teachers and leaders.
Hopefully, along with continuing to bring in food, and make donations, and help out in the community , we will also continue this mitzvah of friendship and fellowship within our own CBI family. Contact the Caring Committee, offer to serve at an I-Help dinner, visit new friends at Cottages, ask the Rabbi or the office staff what you can do to help here at CBI, and just check in and plan an activity with the new friends you met at Mitzvah Day. Let’s carry forward our good work from Mitzvah Day 2016 and get ready with new ideas and plans for the summer and all year long.
How You Can Help
Dorothy’s Place on Soledad Street in Salinas welcome volunteers for the following program:
The Immersion Experiences is a period of three days to two weeks when groups of youth groups and young adults from high schools, youth groups, or universities come and stay at Dorothy’s Place. The students participate in the daily activities of the Hospitality Center as well as in our other projects.
The primary goal of the Immersion Experience between young people and those who we serve. These very human connections form the framework for understanding the reality of poverty, hunger, homeless, and marginalization. This understanding will, we hope, lead these young people to both a commitment to social justice and to a lifelong commitment to service. It is also our hope to someday go out of business! We want the future leaders of our community and nation good and to the well-being of everyone, especially the most powerless among us.
For more information about Dorothy’s Place or to become a volunteer, contact
30 Soledad Street
Salinas, CA 93901
And remember — It’s a mitzvah!