B’nai B’rith Victoria’s project for the 2012 Mitzvah Day was to collect books for Australian Books for Children of Africa (ABCA).  The ABCA will be distributing these books to children living in rural Africa.  We were totally overwhelmed by the generosity and response of B’nai B’rith members – our foyer was overflowing with books – we had boxes and crates stacked upon each other.  We even had to carve a pathway through the piles of books so that we could get to our offices.

Frances Stiglec Executive Officer-B’nai B’rith Victoria


Dear Working Bee Team

I was completely overwhelmed when I arrived at Access at 10 am Sunday morning to find so many people from Kehliat Nitzan busy and engaged in all their assigned activities.

Deb had asked me for a list and I gave her a varied and large range of jobs indeed that I knew needed attention. To be absolutely honest I didn’t think that the entire wish would be achieved but I am still completely dazed by the huge amount that was undertaken on Sunday and the enthusiasm and generosity of each of those who attended and gave their precious time to assisting Access Inc on Mitzvah Day.

Thanks to the extraordinary organisation of Debra Korman and her team leaders Thy, Diana, Gary, Reuben, Brenda and Maurice each area of activity had been categorised and delegated in a most professional and efficient manner. Cleaning, painting, repairs, gardening, decorating, sorting and feeding the team; all these chores were taken on by people of all ages and all abilities with smiles and willing hands.

Access Inc is an organization that supports people who have disabilities and their families. We are under resourced and receive no government funding and therefore are dependent upon the goodwill of our community. A parent of a child with Downs’ syndrome came to visit and work alongside the Kehilat Nitzan team. She burst into tears as she expressed to me her gratefulness of the extraordinary effort and kindness of all those who helped Access Inc and therefore helped her child.

Thank you to each and every person who performed such a huge mitzvah on Sunday 25th November. We are so very grateful that you chose Access Inc to be the recipients of your good deeds and we wish each of you a Happy Chanukah and wonderful summer and holiday time.

May Kehilat Nitzan go from strength to strength!

Kol Ha Kavod

Louisa Gibson (General Manager) and Deena Goldbloom (President) – Access Inc


Over the course of yesterday, more than 50 people popped in to help out.
Together we repurposed t-shirts to make funky scarves (we made over 150 of them), made felt broaches/hair accessories (we made 40 when we ran out of felt), and knitted squares to be sown into rugs.
On top of that, we also received $205 in donations!!
I think it’s fair to say we had an extremely successful and fun day.
Special thanks need to go to Ros Rogers, Rozy Blatman Lerner and Rhonda Nirens for their marathon efforts in terms of time, energy and inspiration. To Reuben Urban for being official photographer (you can see many of Reuben’s pix for the day) a huge thank you for making sure we each looked at our best and for having the skill to show fewer chins in our pictures than we really have. To EVERYONE who came, shared, created, laughed and donated – thank you. One other special thank you has to go to Lincraft who donated scissors, glue, trimmings and lots of other bits and pieces we needed.
Thank you everyone for making an IMPACT.
Looking forward to working with you again soon (perhaps at our Xmas hamper packing day on Sunday 9 December) to make a positive IMPACT to Victorian women & children fleeing extreme violence at home.

Kathy Kaplan OAM – Founder & President IMPACT for women inc


Thanks so much to you all and your amazing teams of volunteers for a wonderful Mitzvah Day at and around TBI yesterday!  I was immensely proud of our synagogue and of each of you for your contributions to a beautiful day of mitzvahs.  It was humbling to view such generosity and caring.

Rhonda and Alan, you were the best caterers any organisation could ask for.  From the beautiful bagel breakfast to the concluding BBQ, you provided the food that fueled the engines!  You were great.

Sue, I know how much effort and commitment went into organising the Veg Out BBQ and entertainment.  What a disappointment that the Aboriginal community didn’t respond as we’d hoped, for whatever reason.  But the event still provided everyone with a great opportunity to get together and enjoy the day, and I’m sure that it will pave the way for an even more successful gathering next year, not to speak of other possible activities with the Aboriginal community between now and then.  I so enjoyed experiencing everyone’s enthusiasm and friendship at Veg Out.

Michel, according to all reports you were extraordinary in the way you brought the singers together, rehearsed your choir and then performed for the Veg Out crowd and at Jewish Care.  My one big regret from yesterday was that I wasn’t able to hear the choir first-hand.  It sounds like it was a brilliant success.  I hope the evening “Night of the Stars” concert was equally rewarding for you!  You must be recovering your voice today with a well deserved rest.

Kathy, your IMPACT program seemed to go brilliantly well.  It’s such a clever idea to recycle shmattas into fashionable scarves – it hits every social action button!  And it’s wonderful how the program involved so many people.  We’re proud that TBI was associated with it.

Leya, everyone needs to know how successful the TBI Tamid program was, largely thanks to your organisational and creative abilities.  When I visited the Posh Op Shop I found about 30 TBI-niks busily sorting clothing, redesigning displays, selling goods and generally doing mitzvahs for this extremely worthy (and understaffed!) charity.  Rosalie was hugely grateful to everyone.  Even the littlies were busily making signs and enjoying helping out!  This was Mitzvah Day at its best.  Thank you for this, and for the bake sale, too!

Please pass my gratitude to all the volunteers who joined you in making Mitzvah Day 2012 at TBI such a wonderful experience.  We should begin planning now for next year!  (Maybe the coordinators will hold an open debriefing meeting for the whole Jewish community where people can share their experiences and insights from the day.)

With best wishes, Fred

Rabbi Fred Morgan – The Temple Beth Israel Community


On 25 November, The King David School participated in Mitzvah Day Australia by hosting“Mitzvah Minutes Walk-A-Thon”. Students at The King David School raised funds for three organisations -Very Special Kids, Angels Goal, and Reach – through sponsorship for Mitzvah Minutes. The day was exciting and uplifting, with fun relays, face painting, bake sale, sausage sizzle, and a jumping castle. Teachers, students and parents all volunteered their time to support The King David School students and these important causes that affect the community. Students raised $3500 for the event, as well as bringing awareness to the issues these organisations represent. The school is looking forward to continuing its awareness towards these causes, as well as continuing to do mitzvot for the community.

Stephanie Gratch


Wow ! what a day Sunday. I had to write to you because I cannot believe what amazing people the Kehilat Nitzan group attract. The Melbourne Community can learn……..

The more I think about what you achieved and how you all worked together, I am in awe. Every single person did something, nothing was a problem. No one left the mundane jobs for someone else, it was something to see. It was done with so much love and enthusiasm. Everyone was so kind & helpful to Lauren, Dani & Zac. I was so impressed to see how much they contributed & enjoyed themselves. I loved every minute being involved. Debra, you deligated so graciously & made everyone feel very much a part of the Mitzvah Day.

Kol HaKavod & a million thanks from all at Access Inc.

Lots of love, hugs & kisses from Zac

Sandra Chester