From: Jeff Portman, Rabbi
Agudas Achim Congregation
602 E. Washington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
What: Third Annual Mitzvah Day
When: Sunday, April 3
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Locations: Agudas Achim Synagogue and Iowa City area
Contacts: Rabbi Jeff Portman 319-337-3813 or Sue Weinberg 319-679-3120
What is Mitzvah Day? In Hebrew, the word “mitzvah” represents ancient laws requiring Jews to perform acts of human kindness, among other commandments. On Sunday, April 3, hundreds of people from Agudas Achim, Shulman Hillel, Kingdom Apostolic Community Worship Center and The University of Iowa will come together to perform acts of kindness throughout the local community, across the country, and around the world in this annual service event.
This day of generosity and enrichment is an annual event led by the Tikun Olam Committee of Agudas Achim Congregation, Iowa City’s only synagogue, officially organized in 1916.
Mitzvah Day brings together families, friends, and neighbors in the Jewish spirit of “Tikun Olam” which means “repair the world”—a commitment Jews make to community service and social action. Some of the activities taking place on Sunday include food packaging for Outreach International, a group that is sending food to Africa, a blood drive, military service correspondence, fleece blanket tying, nursing home visitation, and more. As part of the project, several collections are being taken of food, household goods, pet food and supplies, bicycles, and money, for the Crisis Center, the Iowa City Animal Shelter, the Iowa City Bike Library, and Mazon—an international Jewish organization dedicated to stamping out hunger around the world.
For the second year in a row, the Iowa City Jewish community will be joined by Kingdom Apostolic Community Worship Community Center, a local church currently without a building that has been using donated space in the synagogue for Sunday services. Pastor Vincent Allen and other church leaders decided to cancel services that day to join in the Mitzvah Day activities.