Social action and volunteerism are fundamental values of Hillels across the world. In this spirit, Hillel Israel leads Hillel's involvement in the global initiative Good Deeds Day, a project of the Arison Foundation's Ruach Tova (Good Spirit) organization.
This month, students around the world will join in good deeds projects with the knowledge that their efforts are being mirrored by other students in multiple continents.
Students from Hillels around the world are participating in Good Deeds Day, including those from Israel (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tel Hai, Emek Israel, Sapir, Beer Sheba, Haifa and Herzelyia), the US (Maryland, Orange County, San Francisco, Florida, Texas, Delaware and Pennsylvania), Latin America (Brazil), Russia, CASE (Moscow, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan), and the UK (UJS).
Hillel at Sapir College in Israel kicked off Hillel's 2013 Good Deeds Day events on February 27, with a focus on giving to and getting to know the elderly and their families in Sderot.
Throughout the day, 200 student activists carried out renovations, painted and cleaned about 20 homes of residents and the elderly. Simultaneously, a group of students packed and delivered food parcels for the upcoming Passover holiday.
As MyNet covers (article in Hebrew), the idea for the Sapir College event came in reaction to a poster exhibition about the status of the elderly in Israel, designed by students in the interactive communications program at Sapir College's School of Engineering. The dismal facts about how the elderly live in Israel inspired the social involvement division to work towards promoting their cause.
Division director Camilla Landskin-Milner notes, "This event is very meaningful for all the partners involved. It is a wonderful opportunity to pass on the message that we are part of a community in Sderot, that we care about the residents and they are dear to our hearts. Although this is a one-time activity… it will stay in the memories of all its participants and will be one of the most meaningful memories of the year."
For more photos and to learn what other students around the world are doing to make a difference on Good Deeds Day, join the Hillel Good Deeds Day Facebook group.