Temple, Center partner for Holiday Mitzvah program

By Sam Griswold

Congregation Ahavath Chesed and the Jacksonville Jewish Center have joined forces to make sure the Holiday Mitzvah program continues. The 24-year volunteer effort makes sure 400 individuals who receive home-delivered meals will have a hot meal on Christmas Day.
“After meeting with folks from Aging True, Rabbi Jesse Olitzky and I agreed that the Temple and the Jacksonville Jewish Center would support this effort,” said Wiatt Bowers, Holiday Mitzvah co-organizer and chair of the Worship Committee at Congregation Ahavath Chesed. “We see this as a great opportunity for the two synagogues to work together for the betterment of the larger Jacksonville community.  Christmas is also the perfect time, as our assistance allows the regular Meals-on-Wheels caregivers, most of whom are not Jewish, to be with their families.”
Since its inception in 1988, the Holiday Mitzvah program has prepared and delivered more than 8,500 meals to homebound elderly and the disabled. It is a great way for Jews in Jacksonville to practice the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, or making the world a better place.
Temple organizers are seeking volunteers for the delivery efforts on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
“The meals will be cooked and packed at Temple the morning of Dec. 24. We will need about 30 volunteers that day,” Bowers said. “We will also need about 30 drivers to deliver on Christmas morning.”
For more information on participating, contact Holiday Mitzvah co-chairs Mike Elkin at (904) 343-6329 or Rhoda Goldstein at
(904) 268-8124.

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