By Ethan Davis, NFTY-MAR Member and DRTY Social Action Chair
My name is Ethan Davis and I am the Social Action Chair for Durham Regional Temple Youth (DRTY) in Durham, North Carolina. Tikkun Olam is something that has always been very important to me. In the past I have worked a lot with the ADA (American Diabetes Association), I have participated in the Bay Area Mitzvah Corps with NFTY, and I volunteer every week at UNC Memorial Hospital.
On Sunday, March 10, my temple, Judea Reform, held our Mitzvah Day. Through extensive planning with the DRTY board, (special shout out to Sarah Levinson, my Social Action Vice President) we had created a day of relaxed fun and volunteering. As I walked in, I was mesmerized. What I saw was a beautiful social hall filled with Jews that took some of their precious time to help. I saw kids, adults, and elders making bookmarks for our local school system and libraries. I saw a lot of people making birthday cards for people. I also saw people making and packing sandwiches for Meals on Wheels, an organization that brings food to people that don’t have the resources to get up, and schlep themselves down to the grocery store to make their own food. It was an amazing site.
My favorite part was witnessing it all happen at once. This was truly a place where there were no clicks, no exclusive groups everyone had to be in, and no drama. Everyone was together, helping. There were even kids who had special needs themselves that needed help, and that was the sight that brought a tear to my eye. These were kids, who couldn’t live by themselves. They needed someone, and will always need someone to help them get there basic needs, but they were here, making birthday cards and it was just amazing.
Mitzvah Day is by far one of my favorite days because it is the one day where an entire community, young and old, comes together to work towards a common goal that is not about themselves. It is the day where people stop worrying about work, or school and just work together to help others.
Whether your mitzvah day was March 10th, or not, happy Mitzvah Day! And remember, just because it’s not Mitzvah Day, doesn’t mean you should not do mitzvahs!!!
Want to hold your own Mitzvah Day? NFTY Mitzvah Day will occur Sunday May 12, 2013. Learn more about how you can participate, project ideas and to share your own plans at the Mitzvah Day website. See you May 12!