UPDATE: Mitzvah Day has been moved to the Sunday, May 19 rain date.
The Hebrew word “mitzvah” translates to “commandment,” but its greater meaning is understood as a good deed done out of religious duty. Bringing people together to build a community through such acts of caring and compassion are at the core of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, especially for their 11th annual Mitzvah Day.
This Sunday, May 5 (rain date, Sunday, May 19), from 9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Jewish Center at 44 Woods Lane in East Hampton will celebrate this annual event by performing activities to help those in need. People of all ages and faiths are welcome to participate in their community outreach effort.
“The inspiration for Mitzvah Day is to help less-fortunate individuals in our area, while providing an opportunity for volunteers of all ages to experience the joy and reward of helping others,” the Jewish Center of the Hamptons shared in their Mitzvah Day announcement, asking the community to join them in celebrating this day of volunteerism, activism and unity through thoughtful acts of kindness.
Participants can feel good and help others with a variety of activities, such as:
Preparing the Garden
The Jewish Center’s community garden offers families the opportunity to pick their own vegetables, herbs and berries. Each year old plants must be removed, the soil requires tilling, and new crop must be planted. Visitors will learn what it means to be stewards of the earth (shomrei adama), and take part in bringing the garden back to life.
Clothing Drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters
Participants will have an opportunity to directly support families in the community by donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters. As the Jewish Center explains in the announcement, “Teaching the importance of donating your lightly used clothing to those in need instills the lessons of compassion for those less fortunate.”
Main Beach Cleanup
As East Hampton Village’s most well-known beach, Main Beach is a precious resource, so what could be better than helping maintain its beauty? “To help keep our beaches clean and safe from debris, we’ll round out the day by tending to its beautification as we look forward to summer days and Shabbat on the beach,” the Jewish Center explains.
Collect Food for the Hamptons Food Pantry
The Jewish Center of the Hamptons regularly collects non-perishable foods to donate to needy souls within the community. Donors can learn the value of helping those less fortunate by searching their cupboards for items to bring for Mitzvah Day (and any day, really), including canned and/or dry beans; peanut butter or other nut butters; rolled oats; canned fruit, not in light or heavy syrup; canned vegetables with no or low-sodium; low-sodium soups; canned tuna in water; canned chicken; brown rice; quinoa nuts; unsalted seeds; unsalted, shelf-stable milk and milk substitutes; whole grain pasta; low-sodium pasta sauce; canned stews; unsweetened apple sauce; whole grain, low-sugar cold cereals; olive or canola oil; canned tomatoes; dried fruits; and honey.
To learn more, including how to volunteer on Mitzvah Day (you must complete the form), visit jcoh.org.