Over 160 members of The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong (UJC) rolled up their sleeves for “hands-on Tikkun Olam” during the “UJC Make a Miracle Mitzvah Day” on December 9.
The day began with breakfast at the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre to awaken spirits with shakshuka and songs. Congregants then ventured out to locations around Hong Kong to volunteer at charities and non-profit organizations.
”The dedication in the room was palpable,” said Rachel Fleishman, UJC ExCo member charged with Tikkun Olam. “I’m always impressed by the members – individuals, families and teens – who show up every year. They arrive ready for a little adventure and a lot of hard work. And they leave with a sense of humility and purpose: humility from heightened awareness of the plight of those less fortunate; and purpose from the confidence that they have made a real contribution.”
UJC Mitzvah Day participants, who ranged in age from toddlers to seniors, volunteered in a variety of activities: decorating cookies and making first-aid kits for ImpactHK; singing to and visiting with the elderly residents of the China Coast Community; cleaning elderly residents’ flats with Habitat for Humanity; and hosting the ever-popular “Tikkun Olam Olympics” sports competition for children from the Boys’ & Girls’ Club. UJC members also generously contributed items to a supplies drive for ImpactHK, a charity that works with the homeless in Hong Kong.
“During Hanukkah, we often speak about big miracles, like the miracle of the oil,” explained Rabbi Stan Zamek. “We hope that by taking part in Mitzvah Day, everyone will learn that they have the power to help make small miracles every day.”
Now in its eighth year, UJC Make a Miracle Mitzvah Day was created with the encouragement of parents who sought to shift their children’s focus from receiving gifts to giving to others. Since then, Mitzvah Day has grown to become a UJC tradition for all ages.
The UJC is a constituent of Asia Progressive Judaism which will hold its regional summit in Singapore from January 24-27, for more information and to join the conference, click here. For more information contact Rabbi Martha Bergadine at Rabbimartha@ujc.org.hk.