Community-wide day of service
The entire Orlando community is invited to participate in Mitzvah Day on Sunday, May 1. In past years, The Roth Family Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando has hosted J-Serve, an International Day of Jewish Youth Service, for Jewish teens in sixth through 12th grades. This year, the service projects have expanded to incorporate different age groups other than teenagers, including young adults, families with young children, and college students.
"Mitzvah Day was created to start to bring the Jewish community together through community service," said Robby Etzkin, acting executive director of The Roth Family JCC. "This year we added service projects for different demographics to supplement our annual teen J-Serve day. We look forward to our families with young children, central Florida college students, and young adults contributing this year. Next year we hope to complete the puzzle by having children in religious school participate in projects with their classes and possibly adding opportunities for active adults without children. The impact of our united Orlando Jewish community on the community we live in we will be very visible on Sunday, May 1 and even bigger in 2017!"
Some of the community service projects will be spread throughout the greater Orlando area with anchor projects being hosted at The Roth Family JCC. Young adults will meet at 9 a.m. at Lake Killarney to do a lake clean up along with paddle boarding. Families with young children can sign up for different 45-minute shifts starting at 9 a.m. at the Jewish Academy of Orlando for an arts and crafts project making birthday cards for children in the hospital. Teens in grades 6-12 have options of doing service with different local nonprofits including Impower, Welbourne Avenue Nursery, New Hope for Kids, or making kits for the homeless at the JCC.
"The focus of Orlando's Mitzvah Day this year is making a positive impact on kids," said Rebecca Michel, J-Serve teen leader and junior at Winter Park High School. "The J-Serve Teen Task Force has been working since August on project planning, fundraising, and marketing. We feel more connected to the projects because we're all young people ourselves and we hope to help the community as much as we can. The best part is we can inspire everyone to continue to serve their communities beyond May 1st!"
Participants will be able to register online in advance and choose the projects that interest them for their age group. To learn more about the projects, visit http://www.orlandojcc.org.
Mitzvah Day is made possible in part by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. For more information, contact Robby Etzkin, acting executive director, at RobbyE@orlandojcc.org.