On Sunday, May 1, Port Washington’s own Community Synagogue held another successful Mitzvah Day. The annual event was run by the synagogue’s clergy, administration, and over 250 volunteers, which aimed to help the community in various ways.
In addition, over 20 nonprofit organizations helped throughout the day, guiding volunteers to projects, such as crayon recycling and cooking lasagnas. These organizations included the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry, the North Hempstead Animal Shelter, the Stepping Stone Preschool and many more. Finally, many holocaust survivors closed out the day, telling those present their stories, and passing on their knowledge and history to the youth.
In the Jewish religion, a Mitzvah is a commandment to do a good deed or charitable service. The Torah has 613 commendable actions, ranging from visiting and helping the sick to donating money and items to those in need. Donations like these were one of the main focuses of Mitzvah Day.
Collecting food was a great success; over 800 cans of food were donated to Israeli families in need, 300 snack bags filled with healthy food were brought to Our Lady of Fatima, 40 lasagnas were made for local EMT workers and the Littig House, and 40 challas were baked. Over a thousand pounds of cleaning supplies and food were donated to a local food pantry, $300 was collected for the WUPJ Ukrainian Relief fund, and 120 bags with feminine care products were provided to the Long Island Women’s Shelter.
While the success of Mitzvah Day is in part due to the number of donations that occurred, the community’s enthusiasm is what makes Mitzvah day great. The 258 volunteers that assisted, with a wide range of ages, show how amazing Port Washington’s community truly is. Many children helped out throughout the day, displaying the willingness of youth in Port Washington to be mensches, a Yiddish word meaning a person of honor.