Jewish Federation Mitzvah Day 2012 to Engage 650+

Jewish Federation Mitzvah Day 2012 to Engage 650+

On December 25, more than 650 local volunteers from the Jewish community will provide services at some 65 social service sites throughout Pittsburgh for the annual Mitzvah Day of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

The event draws its name from the Hebrew word “mitzvah,” which commonly refers to a good deed.

Mitzvah Day is coordinated by the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center, which provides a network of meaningful opportunities to connect volunteers to the organizations and people that need them.  The event is sponsored this year by Giant Eagle, Huntington and Fragasso Financial Advisors.

The largest annual, organized volunteer effort by the Jewish Federation, Mitzvah Day, allows employees of the participating social service agencies to spend Christmas day with family and friends, while feeling confident that their clients continue to be served.

“Mitzvah Day gets bigger every year, and this time around we have well over 600 people registered already,” said Judi Kanal, Chair of the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center.  “With so many different volunteer options for children and adults and so many sites open at various hours throughout the day, there are all kinds of opportunities for people to be involved.

“Our new Volunteer Center, in fact, is modeled after Mitzvah Day,” she added.  “We find that, on this special day – and all year round – people want to help others and give back to the community.  By providing a wide range of choices to accommodate different skills, interests and schedules, we are enabling volunteers to tap into their hearts and do something great for themselves, their families and the community and city in which they live.”

Susie Shipley, president for Huntington Bank in the Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley Region, noted, “On behalf of our family at Huntington, we are pleased to honor and support the work of the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center. Mitzvah Day is a unique concept that embodies the spirit and meaning of the holiday season.”

Mitzvah Day projects encompass visiting and entertaining the elderly, delivering gifts to hospital patients, cooking and serving meals to the homeless, making toys for sick children, preparing food for distribution through area food pantries and much more.  Project sites are located throughout Pittsburgh and surrounding suburbs.

Volunteers can start their day by enjoying a free breakfast at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill, from 8 to 10 a.m. 

A full listing of volunteer opportunities is listed at the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center website,, where prospective volunteers can also refer to the wealth of opportunities for volunteering year-round.

Contact Jenny Jones at or 412-992-5209 for more information.