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Eleventh Community Mitzvah Day

Sunday, November 17 - 8:30 am

A Day of Service for Gainesville 

The Jewish Council of North Central Florida, in partnership with Congregation B'nai Israel, Temple Shir Shalom, The Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center, UF Hillel, and many Gainesville area organizations, invites you to join us for the Tenth Community Mitzvah Day! 

Below is the list of Mitzvah Day projects. Click on the hyperlink (in blue) for the project that you wish to volunteer for. Please register for only one activity. Projects have specific registration numbers to accommodate the needs and limitations of each site. If you are able, feel free to donate supplies needed for as many projects as you would like to support! In many cases, gently used clothing, non-perishable food and other items are critical! 

Please contact the JCNCF office at 352.371.3846 or with any questions about Mitzvah Day. 

Program Schedule:

  • 8:30 Registration & Breakfast at UF Hillel
  • Welcome from Rabbi Jonah Zinn, Executive Director, UF Hillel
  • Opening Remarks from Sharon Hirshik, JCNCF Past President
  • Guest Speaker Marcia Conwell, President & CEO of Bread of The Mighty Food Bank
  • 9:45 Depart to Projects

Please note that some off-site projects have earlier start times. Please refer to the sign up for each project for full details.

Special Drives and Supplies Needed for Mitzvah Day

Drop off the items below at any Mitzvah Day project location and we will get them to their designated charities! Please note that household goods should  be dropped off at the JCNCF office ONLY and should be arranged before Mitzvah Day by calling the JCNCF office.

Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts: Help Us Help Others! Supporting the work of local groups, we are collecting items that will be transported directly to the Bahamas! Some of the items being collected: Batteries (D), trash bags, zip ties, tool kits, packing tape and boxes, deodorant, feminine hygeine products, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, condition, soaps, toothpaste,toothbrushes, mouthwash, bug spray, sunscreen, eye drops, brushes and hair ties.

Donate Your Eyeglasses: Looking for a place to take your used prescription glasses or hearing aids? We are happy to take those off your hands.

Rerun sneaker collection: Bring your slightly worn athletic sneakers that you no longer use so that they can be repurposed. 

Bread of the Mighty Food Bank: Please donate any non-perishable items for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. Here is a list of foods currently being sought: Boxed Stuffing Mix (like Stovetop), Instant Mashed Potatoes in boxes or packets, Jars of Turkey Gravy or Dried Gravy Mix Packets, Canned Yams, Cranberry Sauce, Canned Veggies (green beans, corn, peas), Cornbread Mix, Canned Pumpkin or Fruit Pie Filling, Pie Crust Mix, Salt and Pepper.

Winter Clothing and Bedding for Grace Marketplace: Seeking winter clothing (jackets, sweatshirts, socks, sweatpants, warm hats, gloves, scarves) and comforters/quilts for cold winter nights. Many people live outside of Grace Marketplace within Dignity Village and need these items to stay warm through the cold nights.

Household Goods: Family Promise of Gainesville provides homeless children and their families with compassionate care. They are in need of new or gently used mattresses, dressers, sofas, tables and chair. In addition, families also need all the necessary items for setting up a kitchen including  microwaves, coffee pots, pots and pans, skillets, baking sheets, oven mits and kitchen towels, sets of plates, bowls, and glasses. Silverware sets, baking dishes, kitchen utensils, measuring cups, can or bottle openers. If you have furniture or kitchen items that you wish to donate, please call the JCNCF office at 352.371.3746.

Toiletries: Small and travel sized toiletry items such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, tooth paste, mouth wash. insect repellent, sunscreen.

Projects at Congregation B'nai Israel (3830 NW 16th Blvd. 32605)

Casserole Brigade 

Volunteers will make casseroles for St. Francis House, GRACE Marketplace, and Helping Hands Clinic. Even if you are not volunteering for this project, please consider donating supplies. Click the link below for a list of needed supplies.

  • Team Leader: Ibti Hijazi 
  • Click HERE to sign up

Chavaya (Kindergarten - 7th grade) 

The goal of this project is to make DIY (Do-It-Yourself) toys and an accompanying card for other Mitzvah Day child-participants. Children will be guided through the process of making and giving a gift from start to finish. The hope is that each child participating in Mitzvah Day will gain a richer understanding of the experience of giving through both the act of gift making as well as gift giving. The project will consist of four elements:     Making a gift for someone else, Discussing the mitzvah of giving, Making a personal card, Giving the handmade gift/card to another participant

Suitable for elementary Aged Children

  • Team Leader: Shauna Sikron -
  • Click HERE to sign up

DIY Relaxation Gifts for Adults

Like our Hebrew school students, our adult Mitzvah Day participants will be presented with several options to create Do-It-Yourself gifts. Some of the gifts will go toward a gift swap and some will go to the Bikor Cholim Committee. 

In addition to the gift making tables, there will be another table set up for card making and discussion on the nature of giving and its connection to peace.

  • Team Leader: Shauna Sikron -
  • Click HERE to sign up

Tech Support for Senior Citizens

Sign up to offer tech support to a senior! Seniors will bring in their cellphones, tablets, laptops and general internet questions on Mitzvah Day. If you have a general knowledge of these devices, please consider signing up to offer your assistance.

  • Team Leader: Shauna Sikron -
  • Click HERE to sign up

Projects at Hillel (2020 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32603

Trash Clean-Up Around Campus: Here's a chance to show some of your famous gator pride by taking some time to clean up our beautiful campus.

  • Team Leader: TBA
  • Click HERE to sign up

No-Sew Fleece Blankets: Take some time to provide comfort and warmth to children in the community by making no-sew blankets to be donated to Shands Hospital. No-sewing skills necessary. 

  • Team Leader: TBA
  • Click HERE to sign up

Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry: Learn more about Gift of Life and their important work and how a simple mouth swab can make a difference. Stop by to learn more and get swabbed. 

  • Team Leader: TBA
  • Click HERE to sign up

JCNCF Sponsored Projects

Adopt-a-Street Clean Up: David Pawliger and his team will be cleaning up NW 8th between 13th and 22nd Streets. Necessary equipment, supplies and water will be provided.

  • Team Leader: David Pawliger -
  • Click HERE to sign up.

Cooking Breakfast at GRACE Marketplace: Volunteers will help to prepare and serve breakfast at Grace Marketplace, a center for services for the homeless at 3055 NE 28th Ave.  Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, and minor volunteers must be accompanied by an adult. Upon signing up, more information will be sent. 

*Please note, this project runs from 8:45 am -12:00 pm, so volunteers will not be able to attend the opening breakfast. Volunteers will meet at GRACE Marketplace. 

Team Leader - Eloise Harman -

  • Click HERE to sign up.

Cooking Breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House: Volunteers will cook a nutritious breakfast for the children and families at the Ronald McDonald House.(1600 SW 14th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608). 

  • Team Leader: Marcia Storch -  
  • Supplies Needed:  Donations of breakfast items are welcome.
  • This project is fully staffed.

Sorting Clothing at Temple Shir Shalom: Volunteers will sort clothing according to the needs of several area charities: ARC, Tacachale, Displaced Homemakers, Grace Marketplace, Pace, and the Helping Hands Clinic. All volunteers are encouraged to contribute to this project and may drop off their clothing donations on Mitzvah Day or before.

  • Team Leader: Sharon Hirshik - &                                Kim Feigenbaum -
  • Specific clothing items needed: Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, purses, new and used undershirts and t-shirts of all sizes, new and used socks, collared shirts, khaki pants teenage boys and young me, women’s clothing for job interviews and work, school uniform appropriate clothes for children and teenagers.
  • This project is fully staffed. You can still donate clothing by contacting the JCNCF office. 


Projects at Lubavitch-Chabad (2021 NW 5th Avenue, 32603) 

Thanksgiving Smiles: Students will bake, cook and prepare with love for Thanksgiving Smiles. During the holiday season, many senior citizens are alone and don’t have family to visit with them or share and prepare a holiday meal. Help us bring joy, hope and warmth to local senior citizens for Thanksgiving.  For more information and to help provide for Thanksgiving Smiles, contact Rabbi Berl

Chabad's Terror Victims Project Israel (CTVP): UF Chabad is collecting laptop computers (new or like new condition only).  All laptops will be sent to CTVP in Israel to distribute to terror victims and or their family members.  You can sponsor a new laptop computer for $300.  Laptops can be dropped off at the Lubavitch-Chabad-Jewish Student Center until December 30, 2019.  For more information, contact

PJ Library Family Projects at UF Hillel 

PJ Library Family Friendly Projects: Volunteers will have an opportunity to participate in one or more of the family friendly activities following the kick-off breakfast at UF Hillel.

  • Make greeting cards.
  • Assemble snack bags. 
  • Sorting travel sized toiletries 
  • Make dog toys
  • Team Leader: This project needs a team leader! 
  • Click HERE to sgn up


Projects Sponsored by Temple Shir Shalom (3855 NW 8th Avenue, 32605) 

Habitat for Humanity Build:  Volunteers will be working to help construct a safe and affordable house alongside the future owners of the property. No special skills are needed, and no need to bring tools or materials.  Lunch and water will be provided.  Minimum age is 16.  Upon signing up, more information and a volunteer form will be sent.  *Please note, this project runs from 8:30-2:30, so volunteers will not be able to attend the opening breakfast.

  • Team Leader: Nancy Parks -
  • The sign up for this project is now closed. If you are intersted in volunteering please email team leader Nancy Parks.

Pet Care Supply Packaging: Volunteers will take large bags of dog and cat food and distribute them down into quart and gallon sized bags to be donated to the St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic, which provides free and low cost veterinary care for Gainesville's indigent population.  

  • Team Leader: Julia Egan - 
  • Supplies needed: dog food, cat food, treats, leashes, collars, flea control, toys, towels, gallon and quart sized plastic ziplock bags.
  • Click HERE to sign up.


Organizing the Storage Room at Family Promise: Volunteers will help organize items in the Family Promise storage facility. Family Promise receives many household items throughout the year to support families facing homelessness. Please consider donating your time to help them manage these supplies. Volunteers for this project must be able to lift items over 20 lbs and operate a hand dolly. Please reach out to the team leader if you have questions about participating.

  • Team Leader: Chuck Egan -
  • Click HERE to sign up


TSS Religious School Students Project: The 6th/7th grade TSS religious school class is developing and running Mitzvah Day projects for the younger classes.

Contact Dr. Ross Van Boven with questions –