With the High Holidays just behind us, what better time is there to think of Mitzvahs?  There are many opportunities to perform a mitzvah in our area.  A good start would be joining the Corners of the Fieldgarden team. They supply vegetables to Temple Emanuel Food Banks well as the Baxter Center Food Pantry (where canned and paper goods are also always welcome.)  Another worthwhile cause is Meals on Wheels; they can always use volunteers.

There is no shortage of places to volunteer in Grand Rapids. Additional organizations that provide help and assistance to many Grand Rapidians include Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, Michigan Home for Veterans, Gilda’s Club, God’s Kitchen, Kids’ Food Basket, and Women’s Resource Center. Ahavas Israel Members have been and still are involved in helping most of these organizations.  Don’t be afraid to join your fellow congregants and get involved.

If you want to stay closer to family and friends, then visit the young and old, help those who need help with grocery shopping, getting to doctor and/or dentist appointments, or just bring them a treat -- fruit, dinner, or a dessert.

If you would rather help them while staying in the comfort of your own home, instead of spending hours at different locations, then all you have to do is mail out a donation.  One good place to start would be Ahavas Israel for Operation Isaiah, which provides Thanksgiving baskets to needy families. Last year over 40 families received a Thanksgiving basket.  In addition, all the above organizations are certainly worthy recipients of any donations you would like to make.

So, what’s a Mitzvah?  My answer is that a mitzvah is a blessing to those who receive as well as those who give.

Mort Hoffman, Ahavas Israel Board Member