It was a day for celebration and good deeds on Mitzvah Day at Temple Avodah in Oceanside on Oct. 30. Boxes were overflowing with donated good for various local charities, with coats going to Martin Luther King Center in Long Beach, collected toiletries and canned goods to Long Beach Soup Kitchen and holiday gift wrap and decorations to Five Towns Community Center.
Caryle Katz, member of Temple Avodah since the 1964, was at the event helping collect items donate by members and the community. She said her good deeds are continuous, “My good deed is just to be the very best person, I try to do good throughout my life. I also encouraged many people in the congregation to vote.”
Mitzvah Day is also a time for remembrance, Katz expressed just how important that is to the faith, “We have to know our history, who have to know who we are, just as children growing up, and saying ‘this was your grandfather, or this is the village that our family came from’ this is what we went through to get here. You can’t know who you are unless you look back at history.”
Helping organize the donation drive-by Betsy Meyerson said before the pandemic, the temple used to spread kindness by visiting hospitals or nursing homes. But in recent years they’ve switched to utilizing the parking lot as a drop-off spot for toiletries, clothing, and essentials.
For the day, the choir joined together in singing “I have a voice,” led by Cantor Amelia Fox. In unison congregation members sang the lyrics, “I have a voice, my voice is powerful, my voice can change the world.”
During the days collection for neighboring organizations, member Charles Liebov led a study about the ancient beliefs about the Jewish New Year. Group discussion ensued about interpreting what was written in biblical times. Followed by a playing of the Leonard Cohen song, “Who shall I say is calling?” which is based off a Hebrew prayer sung on the day of atonement.