Jewish Federation Event, Dec. 26, Keeps Charitable Service Flowing
Hundreds of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Volunteer Center participants will fan out across
Greater Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 26, to serve their neighbors on Mitzvah Day. The outpouring of help keeps charitable service flowing when many Pittsburghers are at home, celebrating holidays.
The event’s name comes from the Hebrew word mitzvah, which in informal use means “good deed.”
In Pittsburgh, the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center manages Mitzvah Day, typically the center’s largest event of the year. The event occurs Dec. 26 this year because the usual Mitzvah Day date, Dec. 25, occurs on the Jewish Sabbath. Linda and Jimmy Joshowitz and Jill Joshowitz and Jonathan (Yoni) Zisook are 2021 event chairs.
PNC Bank is the Diamond-level corporate partner; UPMC Health Plan is the Gold-level corporate partner.
“Volunteers tell me how grateful they are that, with COVID safety protocols, Mitzvah Day can be in person again, with several new partner organizations on board,”Mitzvah Day Co-Chair Linda Joshowitz
Mitzvah Day volunteers can help people from McKeesport to the North and South Hills and all through the city — and discover for themselves the rewards of volunteering.”
One of the new partners in 2021 is Goodwill Industries. By helping to sort donations at one of six Goodwill sites, a Mitzvah Day volunteer can give the “reuse” and training nonprofit a valuable boost. Another new partner, Zakiyah House, offers to volunteers who enjoy painting the chance to beautify a space for people in recovery or without homes.
Returning as a component of Jewish Federation Mitzvah Day this year, in both Squirrel Hill and the South Hills, is a blood drive staffed by Vitalant, a nonprofit agency. “On Mitzvah Day 2020, volunteer donors gave more than 100 units of blood,” reported Joshowitz. “Bettering that total this year is a worthy goal — we face a blood-supply shortage nationwide, because of COVID. If you can give blood, give on Mitzvah Day.”
Other Mitzvah Day projects — for individuals, families and groups — include visiting the elderly, cleaning up neighborhoods and serving food.
Registration for Mitzvah Day volunteering is open now until Tuesday, Dec. 14; visit jewishpgh.org/mitzvah-day. For information, contact David Chudnow at email@example.com or 412-992-5209.