Secular world to inform youth mitzvah day

Congregations Or Chadash, Chaverim, and Anshei Israel will hold a community Youth Mitzvah Day on Sunday, Oct. 31, combining their religious school studies. The event, open to all Jewish students from pre-K through 8th grade, will be held at Congregation Or Chadash from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The theme of the day is “Living Jewish in a Secular World.” Students from pre-K through 5th grade will learn about Jewish values and mitzvot such as g’milut chasadim, kindness to others, and kavod kehillah, respecting others in our community, explains Rina Liebeskind, director of education at Or Chadash.

The students will engage in mitzvot focusing on a variety of holidays, including those of other religions, with a range of age-appropriate activities including collecting used books for children in need and creating cards as expressions of Thanksgiving gratitude. Students will receive boxes to collect tzedakah on Halloween for UNICEF.

Classes for parents will be offered concurrently. Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Or Chadash will teach “Creating Jewish Rituals at Home” and Hilary Lyons, director of education of Chaverim, will teach “Interfaith Families Raising Jewish Children.”

The 6th through 8th grade students will focus on tikkun olam, repairing the world, with a variety of projects to improve the children’s playground at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.