This Sunday, November 20, the first day of Interfaith Week, Jewish communities around the world will be leading Mitzvah Day - a day of social action in which thousands of people take part in hands on projects, without fundraising, to support charities and to build stronger communities.
The mission is to reduce hardship and poverty, to help our environment and to bring a little joy to everyone, regardless of affiliation, wealth, age, sex or nationality. Many activities will be taking place with synagogues om partnership with churches and mosques.
Mitzvah Day is based on the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedek (righteousness) and gemilut chassadim (acts of lovingkindness).
Rabbi Julia Nueberger, who gave the Tyburn Lecture in London UK earlier this year, explained: "It's not about doing a good deed one day of the year, but its about making a fresh start, doing something new which we hope will continue into the future."
In the US, similar days of social action are noted. Sunday, November 6, marked Mitzvah Day, the 14th annual volunteering event organized by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. Organizers got a turnout of some 1,300-1,500 volunteers at 40 sites in the area.