Hundreds participated in Orlando's first Mitzvah Day


Young adult volunteers participated in a cleanup at Lake Killarney hosted by Our Jewish Orlando.

On Sunday, May 1, volunteers came together to serve the greater Orlando community and to perform tikun olam, "repair of the world." Mitzvah Day, a first-time, large-scale, community-wide event was coordinated by The Roth Family Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando and engaged hundreds of volunteers in a variety of projects at agencies throughout the city.

There were projects for four different age demographics: families with young children, college students, young adults and middle/high school students. A variety of different community service projects were hosted from planting a butterfly garden, to a lake clean-up, to food-packaging for food insecure families, to making birthday cards for children in the hospital, and everywhere in between, with opportunities for every interest and skill level.

"J-Serve has been very successful in providing service opportunities for Jewish 6th-12th graders, engaging nearly 100 teens each of the past two years," said Robby Etzkin, acting executive director of The Roth Family JCC. "This year, we expanded to additional age demographics in the first phase of starting a community-wide Mitzvah Day. Next year, we hope the religious schools will participate, along with active adults, and seniors. J-Serve will continue to be the anchor program that Mitzvah Day grows out of. We are very thankful for the support from Jennifer Cohen and Aleah Mathews from Our Jewish Orlando, along with Heidi Zissman, chair of the JCC's preschool parent advisory committee and the staff at Central Florida Hillel for partnering with us in our first year."

Mitzvah Day was made possible in part by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Save the date for Mitzvah Day in 2017-April 2. For more information, contact Robby Etzkin, Acting Executive Director of The Roth Family JCC, at

Teens in grades 6 through 12 volunteered at New Hope for Kids, one of the off-site service locations for Mitzvah Day.


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