Temple Shalom’s social hall, sanctuary and meeting areas were bustling with activity on Sunday, May 4, as over 100 of the Jewish community spent the morning volunteering for the annual Mitzvah Day.
The morning began with breakfast provided by Colorado Springs Hadassah, and an opportunity to mix, mingle and get to know other congregants and their families.
“This is one of the most important and fun things Hadassah does every year in Colorado Springs,” commented Sue Mullin, president, Hadassah chapter of Colorado Springs.
Now in its ninth year, Mitzvah Day continues to evolve as an important part of the synagogue’s outreach effort to the local community and a ritualized way for the community to demonstrate tikkun olam.
This year, with trash bags in hand, many of the adult and teenage volunteers spread out to different parts of the city to clean up park and greenway areas with members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Dept.
Three different sections of parks were cleaned up by the volunteers during the morning.
Similar to many other cities across the nation, with budget constraints for nearly every city service, including park maintenance and upkeep, local parks and recreation staff welcomed the volunteer help. Several staff were on hand to help coordinate the volunteer efforts.
Kate Mirer, age 11 and a fifth grader at DaVinci Elementary School described Mitzvah Day as “just a great way to make the environment better.
“It’s just a good thing to do, give blood to save someone’s life or help clean up parks. Whenever you have a chance, you should do a mitzvah.”
Another group of volunteers spent the morning planting flowers and doing yard work for the Interfaith Hospitality Network in downtown Colorado Springs.
Preschool and elementary school aged children spent the morning creating artwork and cards for adults in a local assisted living facility.
Religious school teachers and parents worked together with the morning on various art projects which will be delivered to the assisted living facility.
Temple Shalom’s religious school includes approximately 88 students in addition to 16 in the preschool and a pre-B’nai Mitzvah class.