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Mitzvah Day

Washington Hebrew Congregation's Mitzvah Day on April 22, 2018, represents the culmination of our yearlong focus on community service and our long-standing commitment to helping the homeless, sick, hungry, and underprivileged in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. community.

On Mitzvah Day, our volunteers, young and old working together, lend their time, energy, and compassion to social service agencies working to improve the lives of people in need. In keeping with Judaism's teachings of tikkun olam, to repair the world, Mitzvah Day inspires participants to pursue justice through social activism.

Washington Hebrew Congregation initiated Mitzvah Day in 1991 under the leadership of Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig and a devoted group of lay leaders who wanted to make a difference in the greater Washington, D.C. community. In the years since its inception, Mitzvah Day has evolved into one of the Congregation's largest annual undertakings and serves as a national model, adopted by synagogues around the world.

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Gift of Life

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This year during Mitzvah Day, trained cheek swabbers will be at Temple and JBSC to register people for the Gift of Life Marrow Registry. A simple swab from the inside of your cheek is all it takes to determine if you are someone’s life-saving match. Adults between the ages of 18 and 45 are invited to get their cheeks swabbed. It’s a painless, easy, and fast way to make a difference.

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Jeans for Children, Women, and Men

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Jeans are one of the clothing items most requested by shelters, due to their warmth and durability. This year, we’re helping Central Union Mission by collecting jeans for children, women, and men. All sizes – including plus sizes – are needed. Drop off your gently used (but still useful!) jeans in the bins at Temple and the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center.

Sign up to donate items!

WHC Collects

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Our work for Mitzvah Day starts now as we begin to collect the items that we'll sort and pack as part of our volunteer projects.

Now through Sunday, April 22:

  • All-purpose cleaning spray, dishwashing liquid, and sponges
  • Gently used jeans for children, women, and men
  • New socks and underwear for all ages
  • Personal care products for homeless women
  • Travel and regular-sized toiletries
  • Unexpired non-perishable food

Late March through Sunday, April 22
Storage trailers will be coming to the parking lots at Temple and JBSC in late March for the collection of these items.

  • New or gently used clothing
  • Sports equipment
  • Small household goods (no large, heavy items)
  • Shoes and cleats
  • Bikes for all ages

Sign up to donate items!

We are unable to accept large items like sofas, refrigerators, and dressers. For more information, contact Naomi Gohn, 202-895-6328.

BRAWS: Bringing Resources to Aid Women's Shelters

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BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women's Shelters) supports homeless women by providing them with new (tags on, only) bras and underwear, as well as feminine hygiene supplies.

Unbeknownst to many people, these are some of the most requested critical needs by women in shelters. New bras and underwear and tampons, pads, and pantyliners are rarely donated, expensive items for a shelter to replenish, and not covered by food stamps. Insufficient access to these items often leads to unsanitary conditions and health problems.

To help BRAWS with their critical mission, we're encouraging our community to donate these items for Mitzvah Day. Please visit our Amazon Wish List and make a purchase to help this important cause. Please place your order now through Mitzvah Day - Sunday, April 22.

Click here to visit the Amazon Wish List.

Home Restoration with WHC Brotherhood and Yachad

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WHC Brotherhood is teaming up with Yachad to help restore a family's home in Prince George's County. There is a huge loss of affordable housing and a crisis in homelessness in the D.C. metro area. Yachad helps preserve existing housing owned by lower income families who don't have the resources to keep up with costly repairs. No construction skills or expertise is necessary. This project is open to anyone ages 14 or older who is willing to lend a helping hand.

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