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Make Community a Better Place on Day of Giving

Temple seeks help on goodwill projects from restoring habitat to helping homeless

Volunteers at Congregation B’nai B’rith’s Mitzvah Day create baskets to deliver to seniors who are unable to leave their homes.
Volunteers at Congregation B’nai B’rith’s Mitzvah Day create baskets to deliver to seniors who are unable to leave their homes. (Congregation B’nai B’rith)

Congregation B’nai B’rith (CBB) invites the community to come together during the temple’s annual Mitzvah Day — a communal day of gathering and giving back, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at 1000 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara

More than 20 goodwill projects will be offered at the synagogue as well as throughout the greater Santa Barbara area, in partnership with numerous nonprofit organizations.

“One of the core values of Judaism is ‘tikkun olam,' a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world,” said Monica Steiner, Mitzvah Day co-chair.

The phrase is found in the Mishnah, a body of classical rabbinic teachings and it’s often used when discussing issues of social policy, ensuring a safeguard to those who may be at a disadvantage.

“Mitzvah Day has been an annual tradition at CBB, yet after taking the past two years off, we are coming back with improvements and a desire to stay current with projects that are most needed in our community and across the globe,” said Franny Freund, who is co-chairing the event with Kimi Cohn.

Fundraising efforts will focus on natural disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Mexico, as organized by CBB teens. There will also be opportunities to help the Ubumwe Center and Preschool in Rwanda (CBB’s sister school) and offer aid to refugee families in Greece.

The majority of the projects will stay closer to home and include.

» Building play structures in partnership with Habitat for Humanity that will be transported to Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County.

» Habitat restoration at Elings Park.

» Sorting donations for the Planned Parenthood book sale.

» Beautification projects at Transition House.

» Making lunch bags for Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

» Support for the Mental Wellness Center through crafts and baking opportunities.

There will also be improvement, landscaping and safety projects at the temple building on San Antonio Creek Road.

The Women of B’nai B’rith will focus attention on L’Chaim (to life) projects that include CPR training, a blood mobile and organ donor registration. The Men of of B’nai B’rith will oversee the installation of new lighting for the parking lot.

The temple’s youngest will be busy baking treats for shelter dogs, planting flowers and campaigning against bullying.

To see a full list of projects or to register, visit or contact Mariela Socolovsky, community engagement coordinator, 964-7869, ext. 04, or [email protected]

— Ann Pieramici for Congregation B’nai B’rith.


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