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Mitzvah Day and Special Lunch Honoring Rabbi Biatch

Sunday, April 14, 2024 6 Nisan 5784

9:15 AM - 4:30 PMTBE

Have fun while doing good for our community!

  • 9:15 am - Bone marrow donor registration with NMDP (formerly Be The Match) and other morning mitzvah projects begin
  • 11:30 am - Dane County Trash Lab
  • 11:45 am - Special lunch honoring Rabbi Biatch
  • 1:00 pm - Afternoon mitzvah projects begin
  • 1:00 pm - Learning Workshop: Moving From Charity to Justice: A Workshop in Faithful Advocacy
  • 2:00 pm - Kehillah Café: Join us in the Weinstein Community Court for some nosh, community connection and reflection, and more. Stop in anytime after or between Mitzvah Day projects.

The Temple Beth El kehillah (community) will once again come together for a day of tikkun olam (repairing our world), n’divut (generosity), g’milut chasadim (acts of lovingkindness), and y’didut (friendship) on Sunday, April 14 for Mitzvah Day. Activities will be held at Temple Beth El and around the community. Whether you enjoy cooking, crafting, gardening, or just having some quality time with other Temple members, Mitzvah Day offers hands-on activities for everyone.

Quick links:

Lunch Honoring Rabbi Biatch:

Photo of smiling Rabbi Jonathan BiatchOur Mitzvah Day lunch will have added significance this year as we honor Rabbi Biatch’s 19 years of service and dedication to tikkun olam, highlighting his passions for advocacy and social justice. Since he began his tenure at Temple Beth El he has championed and supported actions and dialogue on a wide range of issues to make our local, national, and international community a safer and more just place.

Our lunch honoring Rabbi Biatch will offer members an opportunity to learn about the many important projects and initiatives he has undertaken. The first recipient of the new Rabbi Jonathan A. Biatch Tikkun Olam Award will be honored on Mitzvah Day during lunch. There will be an exhibit of some of Rabbi Biatch's personal and congregational actions and involvement promoting tikkun olam. 

In this spirit, lunch will feature Afghani food by Bakht Mohammad, owner of Afghan Kabul Cuisine, a local Afghan refugee chef. Lunch is $10 per household. Register below along with your Mitzvah Day projects.

The meal will include: 

  • Vegetarian Kabuli Pulao, the national dish of Afghanistan, featuring fried basmati rice, carrot, raisins, almonds, and spices.
  • Chicken Biryani, featuring rice, chicken, and aromatic spices including garam masala.
  • Bean Karaye, a dish that includes beans, onions, tomato, and aromatic spices, including coriander.

In addition, Rocky Rococo individual pizzas will be served.

Learning Workshop: Moving from Charity to Justice: A Workshop in Faithful Advocacy:

This workshop for teens and adults starts at 1:00 pm. We’ll explore tools and strategies for effective advocacy and practice writing a letter to the editor. Reproductive rights will be used as an example subject; participants are also invited to come with an issue of concern to them. This workshop is being offered through Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice and in honor of Rabbi Biatch’s advocacy and social justice work. We also have a more youth-friendly project associated with advocacy as well.

Dane County Trash Lab

This fully accessible cargo trailer was created by the Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables in collaboration with Madison Children’s Museum to educate, advocate, and motivate us to create less trash and rethink our relationship with waste. It will be parked outside of Temple from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Everyone of all ages is invited to stop in to explore its playful interactive stations, engaging stories, and a wealth of data, along with compelling photography and video footage. Stop in for five minutes or fifty, it's up to you. Learn more.

Bone Marrow Donor Drive:

The biggest mitzvah of all is pikuach nefesh, to save a human life. NMDP (formerly 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 or sharing this important opportunity with others. 

The following items are being collected to support our Mitzvah Day projects:

  • Ronald McDonald House care package items
    • $5 coffee gift cards (EVP Coffee or Dunkin) 
    • Tea bags 
    • Mugs 
    • Sleep masks 
    • Fuzzy socks
    • Fragrance-free lotion
    • Stress ball or fidget “toys”
    • Refillable water bottles
    • New decks of playing cards
    • Other small card games
    • Puzzle books (crossword, sudoku, etc.)
  • Worsted weight yarn and knitting needles size 7–9 to be used for projects distributed to those in need by Madison Knitters’ Guild
  • Nail care items: nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton balls, nail files
  • Magazines (or similar media) with pictures of common household or food items (to be cut out for vocabulary flash cards)

Kehillah Café

Join us in the Weinstein Community Court from 2:00 to 4:30 pm to enjoy a snack, view the exhibit on Rabbi Biatch’s social justice work, view pictures from Mitzvah Day, make cards with the TBE Caring Committee and Project Gratitude, catch up with friends or meet new ones, share your Mitzvah Day experiences, and more. 


Register below, or click here to open the form in a new window [coming soon]. View the Mitzvah Day Project Quick Guide PDF to learn about all the project options. Registration for projects is on a first come, first served basis. Please reach out to Aleeza at with any questions. 

Mitzvah Day Projects:

There are 20 different Mitzvah Projects view the Mitzvah Day Project Quick Guide PDF to learn about all the project options. Space is limited for most projects, so don't delay, register today!

Activities at Temple Beth El:

  • Bone marrow donor registry
  • Advocacy workshop
  • Make a special Mother's Day item for F.O.S.T.E.R. mothers
  • Make connection cards with our Caring Committee
  • Make vocabulary cards for refugees
  • Tie knots to create fleece blankets
  • Cook meals for the Catholic Multicultural Center
  • Make “Jews for Social Justice” flags
  • Write (or draw) notes of appreciation for military personnel and first responders
  • Knit or crochet your own project to be donated to those in need
  • Put together care bags for Ronald McDonald House families with PJ Library
  • Assemble “safer sex” kits to be donated to Planned Parenthood
  • Dane County Trash Lab
  • Help with Mitzvah Day

Off-Site Activities:

  • Assemble Mother's Day baskets for F.O.S.T.E.R. at Fountain of Life Church
  • Cook dinner at the Ronald McDonald House
  • Spruce up the grounds at the Goodman Community Center
  • Spend time with and offer manicures to seniors at Capitol Lakes
  • Clean up invasive plants in the Arboretum across from TBE
  • Clean up Camp Shalom

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

Find our accessibility measures and visitor guide on our in-person information page.

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February 27, 2024 18 Adar I 5784