Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee (JCRC/AJC) will mark its 25th Annual Mitzvah Day, which takes place on Christmas Day, by hosting it for the entire holiday weekend, beginning Friday, December 24 and ending Sunday, December 26. The traditionally daylong event is held in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Called Mitzvah Weekend this year, volunteers of all ages and faiths, including Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christian, will visit organizations throughout Detroit and its surrounding communities providing services to fill staff shortages or allow nonprofits to reduce staffing for the holiday.
“As the Christmas holiday takes place on a Saturday this year, we knew it would be beneficial to both the participating organizations and volunteers to expand the program’s length,” said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee. “For the nonprofits offering opportunities, we have found that some are planning different or expanded activities since Christmas is not during the week. For our more observant volunteers who mark the Sabbath, this change will allow them to give back on Friday before sundown or the day after Christmas.”
Volunteer opportunities, which will include activities like serving meals and building clean-up, are slated to be available at organizations such as Brilliant Detroit, Pope Francis Center, Michigan Humane Society and Samaritas.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, JCRC/AJC will inform the public of available opportunities through weekly eblasts and social media postings, which will begin the week following Thanksgiving. These announcements will include a description of volunteer activities, a contact person at the organization and any mask or vaccination requirements. Those interested will then register and finalize details directly with the selected nonprofit.
Mitzvah Day, which is historically the single largest day of volunteering by Detroit’s Jewish community, was founded in 1996. The word “mitzvah” is Hebrew for “commandement,” and commonly refers to performing a good deed.
“While the pandemic has affected this beloved community tradition, we know that the spirit of giving is stronger than ever. We hope people of all backgrounds, ages and faiths take advantage of this beautiful opportunity to come together, safely, to give to others,” added Rabbi Lopatin.
How to receive Mitzvah Weekend information: Option 1: Visit www.jcrcajc.org and add email to sign-up bar at bottom of the page; Option 2: Follow JCRC/AJC on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JCRCAJC or Instagram at @jcrcajc.
For more information, contact Sandy Lippitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JCRC/AJC’s mission is to represent the metropolitan Detroit Jewish community, Israel and Jews throughout the world to the general community, and to establish collaborative relationships with other ethnic, racial, civic and religious groups. JCRC/AJC educates and advocates on important issues, seeking consensus with a commitment to Jewish values. For more information visit www.jcrcajc.org.
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