Mitzvah Day Letter 2012
"It is within our power to mirror God's unending love in deeds of kindness.” -
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Mitzvah Day 2012
April 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A special day dedicated to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
Please bring a donation for the Jewish Food Pantry
Dear BSKI Family and Friends:
The year was 2000. A small group – a newly formed Social Action Committee - decided it would be a good idea to join together as a congregational family to hold a “Mitzvah Day” to help others. Social Action Chair Marvin Beckerman and friends led an enthusiastic day of activities to help abused and neglected children and others as we tried to fulfill our Jewish obligation to “repair the world.”
Since then, the committee has led a Mitzvah Day every year, helping people who are homeless, who have mental illness or are physically infirm, who are hungry or who live in poverty. Our congregational family has provided cheer to neglected and abused women and children, to orphans, to senior groups and to people with developmental disabilities or terminal diseases.
We know that YOU will come through again this year with compassion and kindness. You’ll open your hearts and checkbooks. Come on in on Sunday and see where you can help!
Our own Harvey G. Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry is just one example of the great need in our community. Be sure to bring in food for the pantry!! We’ll also be making rice packets for the food pantry.
Our clothing drive will benefit the homeless at St. Patrick’s Center including women who want to look nice to try to find jobs. Long-time BSKI member Joyce Raskin came up with the idea to contribute our personal care items this year to the Missouri Girls Town Foundation, which runs a residential center that helps abused and neglected girls from about the age of 8 through the end of school years. Joyce, who’s on the board, says the organization helps “break the cycle of abuse.”
Some popular – and fun – projects are back. One is our “Happy Hats” program to help children with cancer. We’ll also brighten the lives of people with mental illnesses (at Places for People) with flower arrangements in hand-painted pots. We’ll fill backpacks for Project Backpack with items for children taken out of homes with domestic violence. Project Backpack, founded by by BSKI member Judy Pearlstone as a social service project of NA'AMAT., cheers up children and helps them feel loved during difficult times.
We'll make treat bags for homeless pets at the APA and decorate dog scarves for animals seeking adoption into loving homes. (The APA asked for this!)
Please bring in children’s books for Kids Place, serving at-risk children, and remember we’re collecting old eyeglasses, too.
A highlight will be a celebration of Earth Day with a presentation by the Jewish Environmental Initiative Teen Group on how families can be “green” at home. That will begin at 10:30 am. Two BSKI members who are retired teachers plan a very fun event for us to create a colorful community poster celebrating Earth Day – with lots of help from kids.
You can learn more about davening from our Ritual Committee. The Hamvas family will provide lunch for all volunteers!
We already have received from you generous donations of clothing, food and personal care items but we need more! One member is sending a pallet of kitty litter for the Animal Protective Association.
If you want to make a cash donation , please mail a check to the BSKI office or go online (www.e-bski.org) to make a financial donation to the Social Action Committee/Mitzvah Day. We'll use money for projects and items to donate to the needy. If there’s anything left over, it will go to charity. You can obtain a receipt from the BSKI office for cash or in-kind donations.
A special thanks to our wonderful project leaders – many help year after year - and to all the students, parents and staff of Shaare Shalom. Among our Mitzvah Day chairs or co-chairs through the years were: Karen Solomon and Zella Blum, Tobi Don, Rhona Lyons, Bev Fogelman, Cindy Payant, Al Weltman and Joyce Weltman , Deborah Leader, Diane Berg and Margaret Gillerman . Social Action chairs worked tirelessly: Marvin Beckerman , Tobi Don, Marilyn Dien and Shimon Ben-Poorat and Bev Fogelman. If we are forgetting anyone, please let us know and we will put your name in “The Shofar” along with our list of project leaders!
Mostly, thank YOU, congregation and friends, for rolling up your sleeves and helping on Mitzvah Days and for providing items and cash donations!! Thanks to the Men’s Club for making our deliveries each year. A special thanks to our beloved Rabbi Mordecai Miler, who often goes on Mitzvah Day to nursing homes or senior centers to play music and sing.
Margaret Gillerman and Diane Berg, co-chairs, and BSKI Social Action Committee Chair Bev Fogelman
P. S. As a bonus on Mitzvah Day, the BSKI gift shop will offer discounts to volunteers!