Mitzvah Day 2024 Recap

To stay involved and continue to serve, regularly check the Tikkun Olam calendar and webpage and contact your program captains to learn more.

Our annual, flagship day of mitzvot is coming! While we as Jews serve our communities year-round, Mitzvah Day is an opportunity to act together as a congregation to make positive change. On February 25th, learn about new ways to help, share your passion for service, or reignite prior volunteer commitments all the while meeting and connecting with your fellow congregants. With dozens of organizations to support and opportunities both on- and off-campus, there’s an opportunity for everyone at Mitzvah Day.

For up-to-date information and project registrations, please register here. This site is frequently updated with new projects, scheduling information, project-specific requests and more!

If you’re interested in learning more about what this annual day of coordinated volunteer service engagement looks like, check out the list of programs from last year here and the 2023 photo album here.


What we accomplished during Mitzvah Day 2024!

  1. Served lunch to 500 people at Camillus House
  2. Made a homemade lunch for 63 residents at the Ronald McDonald House.
  3. Enjoyed fun and food at the Miami Children’s Museum with over 30 moms and kids of Lotus
  4. Prepped and donated 85 tote-bags-worth of hygiene-products for Chapman Partnership
  5. Prepped and donated 50 hurricane-preparedness kits for CLEO’s Empowering Resilient Women
  6. Purchased and collected tons of food donations for JCS’s Kosher Food Bank.
  7. Improved the facilities (and spread love to newborn pups!) at Redland Dog Sanctuary.
  8. Fostered awareness and educated ourselves about:
      • Food insecurity
      • Global warming and sustainability
      • Clean water
      • Unhoused and displaced populations
      • Shelter animals and rescues
      • Children with varying learning and processing abilities
  9. Collected and donated:
      • Art supplies and sports equipment for the Kendall Boys & Girls Club
      • Sneakers for Sneaker Impact
      • Hundreds of books for the Everglades Men’s Correctional and Homestead Women’s
      • Correctional facilities
      • Pillows for the foster children of Voices for Children
      • Hygiene products for the residents of Chapman Partnerships
      • Pet supplies for Redland Dog Sanctuary
  10. Cleaned our beaches and supported clean water advocacy with Miami Waterkeeper.
  11. Sold self-published books and jewelry to support pet shelters, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and
  12. Wrote cards, decorated pillowcases and sent supportive video messages for the soldiers of FIDF.
  13. Wrote cards and sent supportive video messages to the children of Tikva House.
  14. Knitted and crocheted items for our clergy to gift to sick community members and made “plarn”
    to be used as mats for people experiencing homelessness.
  15. Donated lots of blood and platelets.
  16. Planted gardens for the children of PATCHES.
  17. Planted a sensory garden and food forest for neurotypical children at Sylvania Heights Elementary.
  18. Beautified the TBAM Garden while centering ourselves with Sisterhood as we decorated mosaic stones with messages of solidarity for Israel.

Saturday, February 24

Tikkun Olam Minyan with Rabbi Aklepi

10:30 AM

Temple Beth Am Chapel

Sunday, February 25 

Mitzvah Day* 

8-9 AM: Come to TBAM and grab a nosh or head straight to your project.

9 AM -12 PM: On campus projects including donations.

9-12 PM: Off campus projects.

*Start and end times are project-specific. Please confirm scheduling details online and with project captains.

Friday, March 1

Mitzvah Day Celebration Shabbat Honoring Mitzvah Day Leaders and Participants

6 PM

Temple Beth Am Sanctuary

Questions about a specific project? Contact the captain(s). 

Captain email addresses are included in project descriptions.

Questions in general? Contact us at [email protected]

Please share your Mitzvah Day photos & videos with us.
We’ll repost & feature at Shabbat!

Instagram/Facebook: Follow & tag us @tbam_tikkunolam

Mitzvah Day is made possible by Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am and has been an annual event since 1989.

Project Captain Contact Information

Captains: Susan Rosenthal ([email protected]) + Pam Misrahi ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (Big Red Bus in parking lot/ Platelet in house “bus”-The Hub Multi-Purpose Room)

Time: 8 AM-1 PM

Ages: 16+

Donate blood to enhance the health and well-being of others through OneBlood’s work with blood and stem cell products and by facilitating scientific research.

Note to platelet (not blood) donors: Platelet collection takes approximately 1-hour. Please plan accordingly

Captains: Marty Elfenbein ([email protected]) + Danny Elfenbein [email protected])

Location: TBAM (social hall & drive-thru)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

This year’s b’nai mitzvahs–as well as our older and younger kids and teens–will showcase those initiatives and causes they’re supporting at Mitzvah Day. You can support these young philanthropists on their service journeys by donating requested items and purchasing their products to raise money for various causes.

Click here to learn more about our young leaders and the causes they’re championing.

Landon Elfenbein, Collecting sneakers to support Sneaker Impact:

For my Mitzvah Project, I am asking the community to collect and bring lightly worn shoes to Beth Am during Mitzvah Day (sneakers, cleats, crocs – but not high heels). Partnering with Sneaker Impact (, we can help less fortunate people in Miami start businesses while providing transportation and protection from soil borne diseases to those in developing countries. Most of us usually throw away our old shoes, where they end up in a landfill. Instead, I encourage you to help me turn our trash into someone else’s treasure.

Landon Elfenbein is a seventh grade student at Ransom Everglades Middle School. He loves all sports and particularly loves playing football, soccer, and lacrosse.

Greg Eisenson, Raising money for cancer research and rescue dogs

For my Bar Mitzvah project, I am combining my passion for art with my compassion for helping those with cancer as well as helping abused animals, specifically dogs. I illustrated, wrote and published a book called The Chronicles of Pluto which tells the true story of a boy and his dog.

All proceeds from my book will be donated to the oncology department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. We will also make a separate donation to the organization that rescued our dog, “God Made Dog Rescue and Adoption.” My book can be right now bought on in a paperback coil-binding version (and eventually hardcover on Amazon!). You can find a summary of my book here.

Julia Diemar, Selling bracelets to raise money for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF)

For my mitzvah project, I am selling bracelets that I designed to raise funds for the FIDF. I was so saddened and horrified after the events of October 7th and wanted to help the people of Israel and the brave men and women who are fighting for its existence. I have always loved making and designing bracelets, so I turned my passion into purpose. I have already donated $4000 from selling to friends and family and I will be selling my bracelets in other venues. I hope this mitzvah project inspires others to help causes that are important to them.

Emmy Beraha, Making plarn for the unhoused:

For my mitzvah project, I am making plarn which is plastic yarn. The plarn is made out of recycled plastic bags. The plarn is woven into mats for the unhoused by crocheter volunteers at the Country Walk Branch of the Miami Dade Public Library.

Captains: Brenda Kilmer ([email protected]) + Jeff Rosenberg ([email protected]) + Betty McClasky ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (drive-thru)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Donate your gently used children’s books (baby books, first readers and picture books), young adult books, and adult books. Children’s books will support the Read to Learn and Books for Free literacy initiatives of The Children’s Trust. Young adult and adult books will support Exchange for Change, a program that offers educational and community skills-building courses to incarcerated individuals.

Captain: Brittany Addams ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (drive-thru only)

Time: 10 AM-1 PM

Ages: All ages

The Boys and Girls Club focuses on enabling all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Please support the Boys and Girls Club’s afterschool programming by donating new or lightly used art supplies, games, and sporting equipment.

  • Construction and drawing paper
  • Acrylic paint sets
  • Finger paint sets
  • Paint brushes
  • Canvas boards for painting
  • Markers (regular, poster, and sharpie)
  • Lightly used or new board/card games
  • Lightly used or new footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, etc.

Captain: Jacki Altman ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (social hall)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages (parent supervision required for children under age 13)

Buddy System MIA is a community organization that combats food insecurity by creating avenues for food access through homebound food deliveries, food pantries, and community fridges. Support Buddy System MIA alongside the Social Justice Teen Fellowship by making sandwiches, engaging in a food justice reflection led by Repair the World Miami, and transporting the food to various community fridges around Miami following the program. Your efforts and donations of non-perishable food will help stock several of Buddy System’s food pantries and community fridges in Miami.

Captain: Melissa Peerless ([email protected])

Location: 1603 NW 7th Ave (for lunch service) & TBAM (drive-thru for donations)

Time: 11 AM-2 PM

Ages: 14+ (parent/guardian supervision required)

Camillus House provides tools, guidance, and a pathway to help those experiencing homelessness create a better future. Join us by preparing and serving lunch to Camillus House residents.

Additionally, please help by donating toiletry items for Camillus House guests:

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes
Feminine-care products

Capacity limited to 14 volunteers.

Captains: Lisa Heller Green ([email protected]) + Monica Warman ([email protected]) + Alexis Brodie ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (social hall & drive-thru)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Please donate the following, much needed full-sized items and prepare them into hygiene bags for the residents of Chapman Partnership, Empowering the Homeless. Kids are also invited to craft kindness cards while we assemble.

  • Shower Gel
  • Deodorant
  • Shave Gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Single Blade Razors
  • Feminine Care Products
  • NEW socks
  • NEW undergarments
  • Other new, full-size personal-care items

Need to drop off your donations early? Bring them to the office of Phylicia Cook in the TBAM Administrative Offices as of Monday, February 5.

Captains: Lindsey Wolfson ([email protected]) + Randi Wolfson ([email protected])

Location: Chapel, Lewis Family Religious Life Complex

Time: 10 AM -11:30 AM

Ages: All ages (geared towards pre school and younger with their families)

It’s never too early to start planning for hurricane season! Enjoy a family friendly morning to support The CLEO Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to educate and empower communities to demand climate action, ensuring a safe, just, and healthy environment for all. In this two-part activity, you’ll first grab your shopping bag and stock-up on essential supplies to create hurricane kits for vulnerable community members. Once you find everything and purchase the supplies, you’ll bring them to TBAM and join the assembly line to package the kits with other items collected from the community! Hurricane kits will be shared with community members who participate in CLEO’s climate education programs.

Captain: Carol Flicker ([email protected])

Location: Terrace, TBAM Administration Building

Time: 9 AM -12 PM

Ages: 8+

Let’s infuse our TBAM Garden Sanctuary with words, symbols and the creativity of our TBAM families utilizing mosaics. Robyn Abrams, renowned Mosaic Artist, and experienced Sisterhood members will instruct us as we lift our spirits in support of Israel during these challenging times.

Captains: Hagit Fefferman ([email protected]) + Miriam Zadok ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (social hall)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: 8+

Support Israel Defense Forces (IDF) via the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) by writing cards, decorating pillowcases, and recording supportive video messages to send to the soldiers. The FIDF is a non-political, non-military organization that provides for the wellbeing of the IDF, veterans, and family members. Every day, the young men and women of the IDF put their lives on the line to protect the Jewish homeland. FIDF is whole-heartedly committed to providing these courageous young men and women with a better life and brighter future. Their job is to look after Israel–ours is to look after them.

Captains: Rooney Brodie ([email protected]) + Laura Greer Haim ([email protected])

Location: Milam’s Market, 11701 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest Plaza

Ages: All ages

Enjoy a family-friendly morning to support JCS and the Kosher Food Bank with this activity perfect for families with children of all ages! First, grab your Milam’s grocery cart and go on a scavenger hunt to stock-up on essential groceries to replenish the Kosher Food Bank. Once you find everything and pay for the groceries, then load the items at Milam’s for distribution to local families in need.

Capacity limited to 20 families of volunteers from 9-10 AM.

Capacity limited to 20 families of volunteers from 10-11 AM.

Captain: Caroline Miller ([email protected])

Location: Miami Children’s Museum (980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132)

Time: 2:45-5 PM

Ages: Families with children 4-12 years old will have the most fun! Lotus House attendees will primarily be 4-10 years old.

Lotus House aims to improve the lives of women, youth and children experiencing homelessness by providing sanctuary, support, education, tools, and resources. Come be a kid again at the Miami Children’s Museum, alongside our Lotus House neighbors. Beth Am families and Lotus House residents together will explore and enjoy the magic of the Museum through a craft activity, playtime in the museum exhibits, and pizza.

Participant fee: $40 per Beth Am family (this covers entrance into the Miami Children’s Museum for a family of 4, playtime in the Museum exhibits, a craft activity, and pizza).

Monetary donations requested: Costs to organize this Mitzvah Day project exceed the participation fee. Additional donations are greatly appreciated!

Capacity limited to 10 families of volunteers.

Captains: Anne Becker ([email protected])

Location: Chapel Lobby. Chapel, Lewis Family Religious Life Complex

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Bring your knitting needles, yarn, or whatever crafting project you’re working on as we make–together–works of art, love and comfort that’ll then go to our Clergy to give to congregants and local organizations to let them know that TBAM cares.

Captains: Lindsey ([email protected]) + Todd Friedman ([email protected])

Location: Virginia Key

Time: 9:30 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Volunteer with Miami Waterkeeper, a non-profit dedicated to clean water, ecosystem protection, and sea level rise resiliency. Volunteers will learn about the negative impacts of marine debris and microplastics before embarking on a citizen science marine debris clean-up on the beach with beautiful views of the Bay and Downtown Miami. Miami Waterkeeper will provide all materials but volunteers can bring their own gloves (not required). Participants should wear proper sun protection, closed toed shoes, and comfortable clothes that can get wet and dirty.

Captains: Jennifer Resnick ([email protected]) and (Susan Malca ([email protected])

Location: PATCHES 335 Krome Ave Florida City 33034

Time: 10:00 am

Ages: 8 years old and up! Parents are welcome!

We are looking for 10 -15 volunteers to help refurbish our Garden of Eden at PATCHES Pediatric Nursing Center.

Join us to refurbish and replant our two bed vegetable garden and butterfly garden to delight the children at PATCHES. This non-profit provides nursing care for children in poverty, birth -21 years, with complex medical conditions. Our partnership with this organization this year involves helping to refurbish the garden so that the children will continue to experience the joy of growing their own vegetables. This beautiful project began in 2022 and has continued to delight the children at PATCHES as they have learned about new fresh vegetables, picked and sampled them!

Supplies will be provided – loving care and enthusiasm is needed to help “get the vegetables growing off the ground” We will need 10 able bodied people, ages 8+ Please come with your gardening gloves!

Please join us for 2 1/2 hours of fun and mitzvah!

Community service hours are provided.

Captain: Kadie Black ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (drive-thru)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Voices For Children Foundation serves as the safety net for children in foster care in Miami-Dade County. To lessen trauma for children who are removed due to abuse, abandonment or neglect, Voices For Children Foundation ensures that children receive a comfort kit including a new pillow and pillowcase of their very own to lay their head on at night. We need NEW pillows in original packaging and unused full-size toiletries and sanitary products for the children in foster care.

Please help by donating:

NEW pillows in their original packages
Unused full-size toiletries
Sanitary products for the children in foster care.

Captain: Steven Safren ([email protected])

Location: 25800 SW 182nd Ave, Homestead and TBAM (drive-thru)

Time: 10 AM-1 PM

Ages: 9+ (parental supervision required for volunteers ages 9-17)

Redland Dog Sanctuary is a no-kill, nurturing animal shelter in Homestead/The Redlands that works diligently to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned and in-need dogs so they may be adopted into forever homes. Come spend time with the dogs and participate in clean up, organization and other projects as needed. Specific tasks will be determined based on group size.

Please also help by donating:

Towels, blankets, dog beds
Wee-wee pads
Dry and wet food for cats and dogs
Cleaning supplies

Capacity limited to 50 volunteers total.

Captain: Alyssa Gold ([email protected])

Location: 1145 NW 14 Terr.

Time: 10-12:30 PM

Ages: All ages (children must be accompanied by their parents)

Prepare a home-cooked lunch and participate in a craft project for out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital. RMHC supports the well-being of critically ill children and their families by providing lodging, meals, activities, and a community of care.

Capacity limited to 12 volunteers.

Captain: Yonah Janowitz ([email protected])

Co-Captain: Susan Fusfield ([email protected])

Location: 5901 SW 16th St

Time: 9:00 AM – 12 PM

Join the TBAM Garden Sanctuary off-campus at Sylvania Heights Elementary School to service the school’s sensory garden and food forest for neurotypical children, and prepare a play area and garden for children on the autism spectrum. Sylvania Heights has a large ASD (autism spectrum disorder) unit, and the children will have a safe play area by April, Autism Awareness Month 2024. Tasks will include weeding and planting of existing gardens, as well as more labor intensive tasks such as clearing the space for the future ASD Garden. This mitzvah is great for school age children and families. Grab your gloves, and let’s help the school keep the grounds beautiful and ready for their new ASD Garden!

Captain: Jennifer Warren Medwin ([email protected])

Location: TBAM (social hall)

Time: 9 AM-12 PM

Ages: All ages

Create and send handwritten letters or cards of love and hope to the children from TiKVA Children’s Home who have been displaced from their home by the war in Ukraine and now live in Romania. Many of the children at TiKVA Children’s Home have experienced great turmoil, abandonment, and fear in their lives, which has been enhanced since the war started. Additionally, participate in a variety of short iPhone video clips sharing encouraging words such as, “Thank you for your service,” or “We are standing with you now and forever” to graduates from Tikva who are living in Israel and serving in the IDF. The clips will be edited and compiled into a video for the soldiers.

Quick References and Guides:

Mitzvah Day Leadership

Rebecca Hölljes, Chair of Tikkun Olam & Mitzvah Day

Jessica Steiner, Captain Coordinator

Caroline Miller & Jess Newberg, PATIO Liaisons to Tikkun Olam

Ashley Tinstman, Tikkun Olam Socials

Rabbi Rachel Greengrass, Clergy Liaison

Sharon Socol, Tikkun Olam VP, TBAM Board of Directors

Phylicia Cook, Mitzvah Coordinator

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