A mitzvah is an act of human kindness. In the Jewish community, it is a way of life. Senior Mitzvah is doing a good deed for older citizens. Senior Mitzvah allows us to involve different generations with the seniors in our community. It allows us to understand their situation and different points of view.

Many elderly do not get the opportunity to spend their time in the manner in which many of us are accustomed. There is no money and family may not be available.

With open arms and an open mind, a volunteer group of Temple Beth El congregants began meeting the needs of seniors in our community. The Sisterhood began an outreach program by purchasing clothes, bedding, food and gifts for twenty-five Council on Aging's clients in 2005 and has grown to more than one hundred clients each year. This selfless act of caring is now called the Senior Mitzvah Project.

Not only does Senior Mitzvah assist area seniors during times of need, it also teaches young people about the needs of our elderly, gets them involved in the community, and connects them with those who want to be involved in the Jewish community but cannot.

In the past, Temple Beth El has purchased air conditioners and fans for clients, provided many volunteer hours delivering these items to the clients' homes and made donations to assist with the purchase of appliances for Council on Aging's clients.

Temple Beth El has met the needs of many seniors and has devoted an overwhelming amount of assistance to the Council on Aging Social Services Department. They have coined the phrase "I need some Jewish fairy dust" when all other resources have been exhausted. For all they have done, they were recognized as Council on Aging's 2010 Volunteer Group of the Year.

For more information concerning the Senior Mitzvah, please contact Linda Armacost at 850-432-1475.