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Mitzvah Day

Sunday, April 23, 2023 2 Iyar 5783

9:15 AM - 6:30 PMTBE & Offsite locations too

On Mitzvah Day, we’ll get to know each other better across generations as we work together for the greater good of the Madison community and the world. Please join us for a wide range of projects (Click here to view all projects at a glance.) suitable for all ages and abilities, as well as a donation drive, Social Justice Fair, and community dinner. 

Often referred to as “good deeds,” mitzvot (plural of mitzvah) are literally translated as commandments, the deeds that Jewish people are required to do. See the TBE blog to read more about the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and g’milut chasadim (acts of lovingkindness) that Mitzvah Day is all about. 

Several Mitzvah Day projects will help repair our physical world, while others will emphasize social relationships and inclusion. Picture yourself knitting at Café Panim, painting the walls at Just Bakery, or writing letters to veterans, soldiers, or children in Israel. Maybe you can see yourself cooking at the Ronald McDonald House, cleaning up the shore of Lake Wingra, or providing manicures and visiting with seniors at Capitol Lakes. These are a few examples of the many projects you can register for. Registration is first come, first served, so please register early and let Aleeza know if your plans change.  Click here to view all projects at a glance.

We’ll also have a collection drive for diapers, toiletries, food, school supplies, and yarn in the weeks leading up to Mitzvah Day. Some of these items will be used in projects, and others will be donated directly to partner organizations such as the Mt. Zion Food Pantry or Village Diaper Bank. We’re also doing a friendly competition among our Religious School grades to help collect some of these items. Learn more and donate items now.

The biggest mitzvah of all is to save a human life. Be The Match will be available on Mitzvah Day to help those ages 18–40 swab their cheeks and be added to a life-saving stem cell transplant registry. Those who are not 18–40 can help by registering people for Be The Match during Mitzvah Day or sharing this important opportunity with others. 

Thanks to our Youth Education Committee, our Religious School families will have a vegetarian lunch of pasta and sandwiches donated by Adamah and Great Dane. Students are encouraged to write letters to students at our sister congregations in Israel during lunch. Please register for lunch by April 16. 

Our Social Justice Fair from 3:00 to 5:30 pm is open to the public, so please invite your friends to come to support the nonprofit organizations selling their products, including ArtWorking (artworking.org), Just Bakery (justdane.org), and Porchlight Products (porchlight.org). For details, please visit our Social Justice Fair page. As you finish your afternoon projects, please come stop by the Social Justice Fair, then join us for dinner.

We’ll end our day of service with a community dinner in the Swarsensky Social Hall. We’ll reflect on the day, share meaningful moments, and schmooze with friends over pizza donated by Rocky Rococo. Thanks to TBE Sisterhood for helping with dinner. Please register. 

Schedule for the day:

  • 9:15 am – Religious School and Café Panim with Be The Match bone marrow donor registration and knitting for Madison Knitters' Guild
  • 9:30 am – offsite projects for teens and adults (see registration for time and details)
  • 10:45 am – PJ Library Tots and Tunes for families with kids ages 0–5, where we’ll be making cards in partnership with Operation Gratitude.
  • 11:45 am – lunch donated by Adamah and the Great Dane (please register), where students will write letters and cards for Israeli schoolchildren
  • 12:30 pm – afternoon projects begin on-site and off-site (see registration for details)
  • 3:00 pm – Social Justice Fair open to the public 
  • 5:00 pm – congregational dinner and Mitzvah Day wrap-up

Questions? Contact Aleeza A. Hoffert, program coordinator, at engage@tbemadison.org or 608-238-3123, or one of our Mitzvah Day Chairs: Lynn Renner, Linda Reivitz, and Staci Rieder.

Please register below for lunch, dinner, and Mitzvah Day projects.  Click here to view all projects at a glance.

 

Register


LUNCH 11:45 am–12:30 pm

   Number of people age 13 and up who will enjoy the vegetarian sandwiches and pasta lunch on April 23
   Number of people age 12 and under who will enjoy the vegetarian sandwiches and pasta lunch on April 23
   Number of people in my party who will bring our lunches to enjoy with the TBE community (please no pork or shellfish)

DINNER 5:00–6:30 pm

   Number of people age 13 and up who will attend the pizza dinner at 5:00 pm
   Number of people age 12 and under who will attend the pizza dinner at 5:00 pm

PROJECTS

Please read through the project options below. You are responsible for transportation to the project location. Project leads will follow up with those who register in the weeks ahead of Mitzvah Day. All projects listed below will take place on April 23. 

Arts and Crafts

Community Knit-a-thon for Knitters Guild

  • We will gather together to knit simple projects that will be donated to Madison Knitters' Guild, who will distribute the projects throughout the Madison area to those in need. If you’d like to knit in advance, please reach out to Melissa to get pattern information and drop off completed projects in the TBE office during regular office hours. We’re also collecting worsted weight yarn and knitting needles in sizes 7–9 to be used for these projects.
  • Requirements: Kids in 3rd grade and up can participate with an adult. Basic knowledge of knitting. If you have your own knitting needles, please bring them.
  • TBE Project Lead: Melissa Osborne
   9:30–11:45 am in the Weinstein Community Court at TBE during Café Panim - 10 of 15 Left
   12:45–5:00 pm in the Frank Adult Lounge at TBE (can attend for part of this time) - 10 of 15 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Project Linus Blankets

  • Assemble fleece blankets that will be distributed to babies and children in need through the Madison Project Linus chapter in partnership with local hospitals.
  • Requirements: Must be able to tie a knot in fabric. Younger kids should have an adult with them.
  • TBE Project Lead: Pam Robbins
   12:30–1:30 pm in the Frank Youth Lounge at TBE - 4 of 12 Left
   1:45–2:45 pm in the Frank Youth Lounge at TBE - 10 of 12 Left
   3:00–4:00 pm in the Frank Youth Lounge at TBE - 2 of 12 Left
   4:15–5:00 pm in the Frank Youth Lounge at TBE - 12 Open
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Make Mother’s Day Gift Item for FOSTER

  • Help make 60 specially crafted inspirational items to include in Mother’s Day baskets to be distributed to Black mothers through FOSTER (fosterdanecounty.org) at their pre–Mother’s Day brunch.
  • Requirements:High school age and up. Participants should enjoy crafting and be able to follow directions of a lead.
  • TBE Project Lead: Betsy Abramson and the Racial Justice Action Team
   9:30–11:30 am, Frank Youth Lounge at TBE - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Bone Marrow Donor Registry

Bone Marrow Donor Registry

  • You’ll be answering questions and registering those eligible for the bone marrow donor registry including collecting their cheek swabs. All materials will be provided by Be The Match. A brief training will be provided.
  • TBE Project Lead: Angie Gary
   9:00–10:30 am in the Weinstein Community Court at TBE during Café Panim - Fully Booked
   10:30 am–12:00 pm in the Weinstein Community Court at TBE during Café Panim - Fully Booked
   2:45–4:30 pm Weinstein Community Court at TBE during the Social Justice Fair - 1 of 2 Left
   4:15–5:30 pm in the Weinstein Community Court at TBE during the Social Justice Fair - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Cooking

Prepare Dinner for Ronald McDonald House

  • Together, in the kitchen at Ronald McDonald House, we’ll prepare dinner for about 30 residents. Ingredients and recipe provided. You provide the cooking skill, camaraderie, and cleanup.
  • Requirements: Must be 14 and over, be vaccinated, and wear a mask.
  • TBE Project Lead: Jane Armstrong
    1:00–3:30 pm, Ronald McDonald House, 2716 Marshall Ct., Madison - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Prepare a Meal for the Catholic Multicultural Center

  • Gather in the TBE kitchen to cook a meal for neighbors in need served by the Catholic Multicultural Center. Ingredients and recipe provided. You provide the cooking skill, camaraderie, and cleanup.
  • Requirements: For 7th graders and up.
  • TBE Project Lead: Sue Levy
   9:15–11:30 am in the TBE kitchen - Fully Booked
   12:45–3:00 pm in the TBE kitchen - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Indoor Cleanup

Paint Walls at Just Bakery

  • We’ll be painting a hallway near the kitchen at Just Bakery. Prep and patch walls as needed.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 or older. Ability to climb low ladders. No professional painting experience required.
  • TBE Project Lead: Vic Levy
   9:15–11:30 am, Just Bakery, 1708 Thierer Road, Madison - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

GSAFE Office Help Including Furniture Assembly

  • Help GSAFE with some projects in their offices, particularly assembling a shelf/book display for one of their larger community spaces.
  • Requirements: Adults only please. Participants should be comfortable helping with IKEA-style furniture assembly (not too heavy).
  • TBE Project Lead: Karin Horler
   12:30–4:30 pm, GSAFE, 122 E. Olin Ave., Suite 100, Madison - 3 of 5 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Outdoor Cleanup or Gardening

Arboretum Cleanup

  • We will clean up Cedar Buffer, across the street from Temple Beth El. This project will be canceled in the event of heavy rain.
  • Requirements: An adult for every 3–4 kids. Bring your own gardening gloves. Please wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Closed-toe shoes.
  • TBE Project Lead: Tiz Ihnchak
   1:00–3:00 pm, meet on the front steps of TBE - 10 of 25 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Lussier Center Grounds Cleanup

  • We will be spreading mulch around the fenced-in playground and gardens at Lussier Community Education Center on Gammon Road. You can expect a good workout. This a great project for families since younger children will have a safe place to play while their parents and older siblings work (when registering, please count workers only; do not include kids who will be playing).
  • Requirements: Please wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Please bring your own gardening gloves, rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow (whatever you have available).
  • TBE Project Lead: Marcia Vandercook
   CANCELLED: 1:00–4:00 pm, Lussier Community Education Center, 55 S. Gammon Rd., Madison - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Mensches Spreading Mulch

  • We’ll be weeding and topping off mulch at Beit Olamim, the Jewish cemetery on Westfield Road north of Mineral Point Road. Organized by the TBE Men’s Club in partnership with the Jewish Burial Association of Madison. In case of inclement weather, the work will be completed on Sunday, April 30.
  • Requirements: Wear gloves and bring tools if you have them (wheelbarrow, small rake, shovel). Water will be provided.
  • TBE Project Lead: Marty Megeff, Men’s Club
   9:30–11:30 am, Beit Olamim at Sunset Memory Gardens, 7337 Tree Ln., Madison - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Wingra Park

  • Adults and children will be led on a cleanup of Wingra Park and the shore by the park in partnership with the Clean Lakes Alliance. Adrianna Gorsky, PhD candidate at the Center for Limnology of UW–Madison, will give a short, fun, and engaging talk on how aquatic plants contribute to lake water clarity and possibly greenhouse gas emissions. Adrianna’s research is focused on water quality in urban freshwater systems across space and time. She is particularly interested in sharing her Lake Wingra research with the broader community as a board member of the Friends of Lake Wingra.
  • Requirements: Youth in 3rd grade and up with adults. Please wear closed-toe shoes or boots and clothes that can get dirty or wet. Please bring your own gloves.
  • TBE Project Lead: Marta Karlov and Liz Whitesel, Environment and Climate Change Action Team (ECCAT)
   12:30–2:30 pm, meet on the front steps of TBE - 6 of 20 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Some projects in other categories are also youth friendly. Please see project details for specifics.

Youth Activities

Operation Gratitude: Part of PJ Library Tots and Tunes

  • Families with children ages 0–5 are invited to join us for songs, a PJ Library story, and decorating and writing (with our grown-ups’ help) cards of thanks and appreciation to first responders, soldiers, and others in service that will be included with Operation Gratitude care packages.
  • Requirements: Participate in PJ Library Tots and Tunes.
  • TBE Project Lead: 4K teachers and Aleeza Hoffert
   10:45–11:45 am in the Swarsensky Social Hall at TBE - 10 of 30 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Diaper Sorting

  • We’re collecting open packages or new packages of diapers/pullups in all sizes ahead of Mitzvah Day to be donated to the Village Diaper Bank. Help us sort them by sizes and bundle them for delivery.
  • Requirements: Great for younger kids with a grown-up.
  • TBE Project Lead: TBE Young Families Group
   12:30–1:30 pm in Room 105 at TBE - 3 of 5 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Pen Pal Cards for Israel

  • Religious School students are invited to write a letter to students in one of our two sister congregations in Israel (materials will be available during lunch). We hope this starts a back-and-forth correspondence; future messages may be digital.
  • Requirements: Religious School student, able to write or have a grown-up to help.
  • TBE Project Lead: Joanna Berke, Kesher Israel Committee
   11:45 am–1:00 pm in the Swarsensky Social Hall at TBE - 33 of 40 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

School/Craft Supply Bags for Refugees

  • We’re collecting markers, scissors, and other school/craft supplies ahead of Mitzvah Day to go into welcome bags for new refugee kids. Being able to draw or craft can help them express themselves while learning English. Help us sort the collected items and fill our welcome bags (sewn by Pam Robbins).
  • Requirements: Great for youth ages 4–10, with a grown-up.
  • TBE Project Lead: To be determined
   12:30–1:30 pm in Room 106 at TBE - 2 of 10 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Other

Give Manicures at Capitol Lakes

  • Visit with residents at Capitol Lakes senior living community while giving them a manicure to brighten their spirits and hands. Nail polish will be provided.
  • Requirements: Teens and up, able to paint nails and hold a conversation at the same time.
  • TBE Project Lead: Jennifer Kimberl
   1:00–3:00 pm, Capitol Lakes, 333 W. Main St., Madison - 3 of 4 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Assembling Mother’s Day Baskets for FOSTER

  • Help organize, pack, and decorate Mother's Day baskets for women served by FOSTER, for their pre–Mother's Day Brunch. Stuff the baskets with personal care and pampering kinds of items, then wrap them in cellophane and add bows! All materials will be provided.
  • Requirements: 6th graders and up.
  • TBE Project Lead: Betsy Abramson and the Racial Justice Action Team
   1:00–3:00 pm, Fountain of Life Church, 633 West Badger Rd., Madison - 1 of 12 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Catholic Multicultural Center Indoor and Outdoor Cleanup

  • We’ll be cleaning the food pantry and doing outdoor grounds care at the Catholic Multicultural Center.
  • Requirements: Teens and up. Please wear clothing that can get dirty and possibly wet. Closed-toe shoes. Bring your own gardening gloves since we may be doing gardening work.
  • TBE Project Lead: Lynn Silverman, Erica Serlin, and the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Action Team
   1:00–2:30 pm, Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St., Madison - Fully Booked
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Spruce Up Goodman Community Center’s Ironworks Building

  • Get a brief tour and overview of the Goodman Community Center before helping to spruce it up. We'll work on projects outdoors if weather permits: getting garden beds ready for planting, cutting back and raking dead brush and leaves, and generally sprucing up the grounds. If the weather doesn't cooperate, we'll move inside and split up into teams helping to spring clean the classrooms, organize the food pantry, and make the windows sparkle.
  • Requirements: Wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. Bring gardening gloves and tools if you have them (there are tools on site as well).
  • TBE Project Lead: Andy Tran
   1:00–4:00 pm, Goodman Community Center Ironworks Building, 149 Waubesa St., Madison - 6 of 15 Left
Name and email will be shared with project leaders to provide you with further details.

Donations of $18 or more will be recognized in the Giving Spotlight.
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February 27, 2024 18 Adar I 5784