Mitzvah Day

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What is Mitzvah Day?

Mitzvah means “good deed” in Hebrew. The Jewish Federation of Lane County, in conjunction with other organizations, has for many years sponsored an annual Mitzvah Day  – a day of mitzvot, or good deeds. Our goal is two-fold. First, we want to support local agencies working for the betterment of our community.  Second, we want to provide an opportunity for volunteers to experience the joy and satisfaction of helping others and serving the community.

Since its inception in 2009 Mitzvah Day has partnered with Food for Lane County, Friends of Mt. Pisgah, The Masonic Cemetery, Jewish Family Services, Womenspace, The School Garden Project, Bags of Love, Caps for Kids, Relief Nursery, Parenting Now!, The Science Factory, Head Start of Lane County and more.

Mitzvah Day Kick-Off Breakfast

May 21st, 2017, 8:45 a.m. at Temple Beth Israel

Come enjoy our bountiful bagel breakfast at 8:45 in the Temple Beth Israel Social Hall (1175 E. 29th Ave., Eugene).  Guest speaker: Carmen X. Urbina, Latinx Alliance of Lane County. After breakfast you’ll meet with your project leader and get started!

Read about this year’s projects and then register. For questions, contact Emily Heilbrun at 541-484-1371 or


Create Blankets for Children in Need

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

Volunteers will make blankets for Bags of Love. No sewing experience needed! Bags of Love is a Eugene organization which provides necessities and comfort items to children who are in crisis due to neglect, abuse, poverty or homelessness. Bags of Love works with over 50 agency and school locations throughout Lane County and beyond.

Visit Bags of Love for more information about this agency.

Compile Packets for Undocumented Immigrant Families

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

We will assemble binders of materials to help immigrant families prepare for the possible deportation of family members. The binders, a project of the Latinx Alliance of Lane County, support community members who are undocumented or have undocumented family members and who feel very fearful under our current federal administration. If you are a detail-oriented person, this is an excellent project for you! High School or older only, please.

Maintain Masonic Cemetery

10:00 – 1:00 at Masonic Cemetery

We will work at the Eugene Masonic Cemetery removing invasive species and doing various groundskeeping activities. Participants should be able to do light to heavy gardening and weeding. This community treasure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Remarkably, it is also an active, operating cemetery, with a Jewish section.

Visit Eugene Masonic Cemetery for more information about this agency.

Prepare Head Start Snack Bags This project is full

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

We will help Talmud Torah students decorate bags and fill them with healthy snacks. The bags will go to local Head Start students to supplement food on weekends and holidays.

Students who choose this project are invited to join in the delivery of the snack bags to Head Start one afternoon during the week of May 22. We need a parent who is willing to help with transportation. If you are interested, please contact us at

Visit Head Start of Lane County for more information about this agency.

Make Caps for Cancer Patients

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

Volunteers will make caps for cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. We’ll teach you how! The caps will be distributed through the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. No previous experience is necessary for this project.

Visit Willamette Valley Cancer Institute for more information about this agency.

Beautify Amazon Park

9:30 – 1:00 (9:30-11:00 for Talmud Torah Students) at Amazon Park

Working with 5th-7th graders in Talmud Torah, we will weed, mulch, paint and remove graffiti in Amazon Park. Please note that this project starts at 9:30.

Create Signs for 350 Eugene

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

Several adults will work with a group of students and members of 350 Eugene to make posters and banners for use at community events to raise awareness and inspire positive action. 350 Eugene is a local affiliate of, an organization working on a global level to fight climate change.

Visit 350 Eugene for more information about this agency.

Work at Local School Garden

10:00 – 1:00 at Camas Ridge Elementary School

We will help to maintain or improve a garden at Camas Ridge Elementary School, TBI’s neighbor, which will provide organic produce for students. This project will include Talmud Torah students.

Visit School Garden Project for more information about this agency.

Meals for Jewish People in Need This project is full

10:00 – 1:00 at Temple Beth Israel

We will prepare meals in the TBI kitchen and freeze them for Jewish people who are in need. Participants should plan to stay until 1:00 to help with clean-up.

Visit Jewish Federation of Lane County for more information about this agency.

Breakfast Crew Setup This project is full

7:30 – 9:30 at Temple Beth Israel

Help set up the Mitzvah Day kick-off breakfast.

Breakfast Crew Cleanup

9:00 – 11:00 at Temple Beth Israel

Help serve and clean up after the Mitzvah Day kick-off breakfast.



Talmud Torah and PJ Library Projects

Mitzvah Day is not just for adults. Talmud Torah and PJ Library participate too! This year, students will sign up for projects through Talmud Torah. Some will join projects with adults while others will participate in those listed below, which are exclusively for young people in Talmud Torah and PJ Library.

Parents, please consider signing up to help with these projects. Email

South Hills Rehabilitation Center

Talmud Torah students will go to the Rehab Center, just north of TBI, to join with residents on this inter-generational art & gardening project. Together, we will paint flower pots & then plant them with spring flowers. These will stay at the Center for the enjoyment of the residents, their families, and the staff.

Craft Bags for First Place Family Center

Students will assemble bags containing children’s craft items for First Place Family Center, which provides support to families facing homelessness.  These bags provide activities to keep the children at the Center occupied during long waiting periods. More information about this agency is at First Place Family Center.

Clean Up at Camas Ridge

Children will help make the playground and gardens around Camas Ridge Elementary School cleaner by picking up litter.  Students will be provided with gloves and trash bags and supervised by adults.

Bag Lunches for People in Need

Students will put together lunch bags for people in need. These will include peanut butter sandwiches made by the children, as well as other items.


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