Jews of Rhode Island challenged to do good together


Isn’t there always time for mitzvot? That’s one of the ideas behind the community Good Deeds Day, coming on April 2.

Good Deeds Day is an annual tradition around the world. Launched in 2007 in Israel by Ruach Tova (NGO), a part of The Ted Arison Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Arison Group, it has grown every year.

The first Good Deeds Day had 7,000 participants. It went global in 2011, with volunteers in 10 cities in four countries, including the United States. By 2012, residents of 50 countries were participating. In 2016, 1.5 million people in 75 countries joined in. The number of projects to date: 14,000, totaling 4 million hours of service.

“All over the globe, millions are trying to positively change the world,” said Kara Marziali, communications director of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

Here in Rhode Island, programs and activities already scheduled include an e-waste recycling event, a nature preserve cleanup, students helping local families prepare for Passover, a community service brunch, delivering handmade cards to the elderly, collecting Kosher food for the needy, a panel discussion and a blood drive.

Many of the events involve partnerships. For example, The Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Pantry will collect donated Kosher food. All food donated on April 2 will be matched by Sugarman Sinai Memorial Chapel as part of its annual Chametz Collection.

(401)j is working with the Barrington Land Trust to help clean the Osamequin Nature Preserve in town.

The Jewish Alliance is partnering with an e-waste recycler to collect and recycle e-waste.

The public is invited to participate in these events and many more scheduled for April 2.

Other good deeds are taking place at synagogues and religious schools in the area.

Providence Hebrew Day School students are helping area families with Passover preparations. Touro Hebrew School students are making cards and delivering them to area seniors. And teens from BBYO New England are partnering with JServe in the International Day of Jewish Youth Service.

For more information on volunteer opportunities and projects, go to

FRAN OSTENDORF is the editor of The Jewish Voice.