Mitzvah Day 2018 Projects

Mitzvah Day 2018 is coming, and we’d love for everyone to join YAD in giving back to our Houston Community. Mitzvah Day is all about inclusivity, environmental consciousness and building long-lasting engagement. In the spirit of being environmentally friendly, we ask that everyone brings a water bottle and wears a RED shirt. Projects will take place with nine partner organizations throughout Houston, ranging from Seven Acres to Aishel House to the Houston Food Bank, and more. Mitzvah Day is family friendly and is open to volunteers of all ages and ability-levels!

Join us for breakfast at the Federation before going to your project! We can’t wait to see the great things you’ll do!


YAD Mitzvah Day is on Sunday, October 21, 2018

Breakfast: 9-10 AM at 5603 S Braeswood

Projects: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM (see individual projects for alternative start times)

Please bring a gift for teens for the “Count Me In” Toy Drive!


YAD Chair: Kacie Penn

YAD Vice-Chair: Lila Chanin

YAD Jewish Life Co-Chairs: Danielle Alexander & Harris Benson

YAD Young Family Chairs: Jen Drob, Tovi Leibovitz & Mari Taksa

Mitzvah Day Event Chairs: Emily Estes & Erin Wright


Mitzvah Day Partners: Act Now Houston, Atid Beth Israel, HCRJ, PJ Library, Mishpacha and Me, Chabad Uptown, Friendship Circle Young Adults, Moishe House, Or Ami, Emanu El, Torch YP, Beth Yeshurun, and Brith Shalom


Plant It Forward

Partner: Atid Beth Israel    

Project Captain: David Siegman 

Plant It Forward trains and supports former refugees to operate their own urban farm businesses. We will help with farming/harvesting, produce processing and other market work which will assist farmers in their daily activities. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


Food Bank

Partner: HCRJ 

Project Captain: Sarah Robinson  

The Houston Food Bank is a solution to both hunger and food waste. The Food Bank distributes 122 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas. Amazingly, it feeds 800,000 individuals each year. Our volunteer projects at the warehouse will include inspection, sorting and repackaging donated food items for community distribution. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


Seven Acres (This project is filled)

Partners: PJ Library and Mishpacha & Me

Program Captains: Diane Kraitman and Lisa Zadok

Come sing songs, make art projects for and with the seniors, and sit together for a story. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and under!


Aishel House

Partners: Chabad Uptown and FCYA

Project Captain: Batami Baskin

Young professionals and young adults with disABILITIES will work together at Aishel House to create "Food for Friends". Volunteers will prepare soup, breads and dessert in the Aishel House kitchens for patients and their families staying at Aishel House or nearby hospitals at the Texas Medical Center. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


West Houston JCC

Partners: Moishe House and Or Ami

Project Captains: Daniel Huvard, Jake Schrager and Ryan Suhl

The West Houston JCC was severely affected by Hurricane Harvey and is getting back on its feet. Help build bookshelves/shelves in the kitchen, clean around the campus (trash, weeds etc) and paint the hallways. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


Undies for Everyone

Partner: Emanu El

Project Captains: Amanda and Marc Eichenbaum

Undies for Everyone enhances the self-esteem, dignity, hygiene, and success of Houston's disadvantaged students by providing them with clean underwear. It keeps kids in class and bullies at bay. Undies for Everyone has received an incredibly generous outpouring of support for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and now Florence. Help package the donations, so they can be distributed to those in need! This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


J Meals on Wheels

Partner: Torch YP

Project Captain: Rebecca Pillar 

J Meals on Wheels is a JCC initiative that delivers meals and groceries to individuals who are of age 60 years and older, those incapacitated or disabled, and those who are limited in meal preparation. Recipients are often nutritionally at-risk adults who may be disabled, living alone, or low-income earners. Come help deliver groceries and visit with seniors in need.


Celebration Company

Partner: Congregation Beth Yeshurun

Project Captain: Cara Rosenthal

Celebration Company is an entrepreneurial business site developed by JFS Disability Services to provide Jewish and non-Jewish adults with disabilities an entry into the workplace. Join us in rolling and packaging Chanukah Candles that are sold in Judaica stores around town. This project is open to young families with kids ages 6 and over!


K9 Angels Rescue

Partner: Congregation Brith Shalom

Project Captains: Ariel Lyons-Warren & Brian Reppart

Volunteers will work with staff to support daily operations and provide a healthy and enriching environment for the dogs. Help assist the care staff with ranch projects and dog care duties, which can include: cleaning kennels, grooming, sweeping/mopping, and more. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.

YAD Executive Leadership:


YAD Chair: Kacie Penn

YAD Vice-Chair: Lila Chanin

YAD Social Chairs: Jenny Croft & Wendi Reichstein

YAD B&P Networking Chairs: Sam Stein,

Tatiana Stein & Stephen Uzick

YAD Campaign-Development Chairs: Mike Drob, Daniel Barvin & Scott Friedman

YAD Young Family Chairs: Jennifer Drob, Tovi Liebovitz & Mari Taksa

YAD Jewish Life Chairs: Danielle Alexander & Harris Benson


YAD Director: Sara Sandhaus

YAD Associate: Galia Weber



Please join us at the Federation for breakfast at 9 AM and we will assign you to a project that has availability.

Questions? Contact Galia at







Questions? Contact Galia Weber at

For more volunteer opportunities throughout the year, contact Sacha Bodner, Program Manager, Act Now Houston at