Season of Mitzvot

Season of Mitzvot

A Season of Mitzvot – A Beth El Social Action effort to help those in need. During April, May and June this program will focus on raising awareness of the importance of mitzvot and offer opportunities for our members to advocate for and engage in projects that will help our greater community.

May – June Projects Sponsored by Gratitude Generation
Drop off: Tuesday, May 25 – Friday, June 4

We will be working in partnership with Gratitude Generation which is  an organization committed to instilling gratitude into future generations through education and service. Their extensive outreach programs are family-based and provide services to a wide array of community organizations from foster children and homeless youth to food pantries and  homeless shelters. 

Below are three different projects. Two are purchase and drop off, and one requires you to sign up to participate. Purchase (new) items from the lists below, and drop them off (labeled for the specific project) to Beth El between May 25 – June 4.  Bring items through main entrance vestibule, there will be tables beyond the double doors. Place bags with purchased items on the tables. Many items can be purchased from a dollar store. We highly recommend describing the projects to your children and bringing them with you as you shop. Questions? Contact Terri Gordon at, or Pam Schlosberg at

  1. Gratitude Gifts (for children whose families can’t afford to buy them a cake or create a birthday party) Here is the complete list of what should go in the Gratitude Gifts. All of these items should be put inside a gift bag:
  • Cake mix
  • Frosting
  • Birthday candles
  • Festive napkins
  • A small goodie bag filled with 4 small toys/pieces of candy
  • A $5 gift card to Walmart or Walgreens
  • A handmade birthday card 

The items should all be gender neutral.

2. Bye Bye Boredom Bags (a summer gift for children who aren’t going to summer school or camp) Please consider buying at least 5 – 8 items on either the Elementary School list or the Middle School High School lists below. 

Options for Elementary Bags:

  • Pail and shovel
  • Ball
  • Jump rope
  • Puzzle
  • Yo-yo
  • Games/card games
  • Legos
  • Book
  • Play-doh*
  • Chalk*
  • Bubbles*
  • Crayons and coloring book*
  • Snacks/candy*
  • Paint, paint brush and paper*

Options for Middle/High School Bags:

  • Frisbee
  • Games/card games
  • Yo-yo
  • Ball
  • Fidget/stress ball
  • Book
  • Puzzle
  • Gift card
  • Chalk*
  • Journal*
  • Snacks/candy*
  • Paint, paint brush and paper*
  • Adult coloring book and colored pencils/markers*
  • Puzzle book*

*these items must be new. The items in the bags should be gender-neutral.

Shop & Share – Families Must Sign up to Participate
Shop & Share is a Gratitude Generation original program benefitting a different food pantry each month. This program provides families and groups the opportunity to see how difficult it is for a family of 4 to purchase groceries with just $50 for the week. 
The next open date for participation is Thursday, June 3 for the mandatory zoom meeting, food purchases over the weekend with your kids, and drop off to the West Deerfield Food Pantry on either June 6 or June 7. 

To sign up for Shop & Share, click here.


Thank you for joining us on Sunday, April 18 for our Kick-off event!

Click here to see pictures from the event! 
To Learn More About the Organizations that Participated in our Kick-off Event see below: 

Used Donated Bikes – We collected 36 bikes! 

Working Bikes is a Chicago based 501(c)(3) distributing 100,000 bikes to local and global communities. Many bikes are shipped to our partner organizations in Africa and Central America where they provide jobs and essential transportation for work and school. Our volunteers repair about 1500 bikes a year that are given out in the Chicago area mostly through community organizations. To find out how to volunteer, donate a bike, make a financial contribution click on the link to the right. Click here if you will be donating a bike.


Old Electronic Equipment – Recycle and Support Special Needs Community – We filled a van with electronics! 

Founded in 2009, Blue Star Recyclers is an award-winning 501c3 social enterprise. Their mission is recycling electronics and other materials to create local jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities. They will accept: all computers, laptops and desktops, TV’s and monitors, flat screen displays, rear projection and cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, household electronics, printers, keyboards, DVD and VCR players, stereos, video game players, cell phones, printers, fax machines, AV equipment, small appliances, microwaves, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and fans.

Donate Personal Hygene Items to the ARK’s Pantry – We filled 2/3 of a POD!

The ARK was founded in 1971 through the efforts of an Uptown doctor and a local rabbi, who were approached by community members advocating for the doctor’s clinic to provide more services to the poor. In March, 1971, The ARK opened as a free medical clinic in Albany Park. Soon, The ARK’s cause began attracting volunteers who were interested in contributing their time and professional skills to help their less fortunate neighbors. Throughout the years, services and programs were added one-by-one; a kosher food pantry was opened; rent and utility bills were paid; a free pharmacy opened. Donate the following items to the ARK: Baby wipes, 3T/4T and 4T/5T children’s pull ups, Toilet paper, Paper towels, Facial tissue, Hand soap, Bar soap, Dish soap, Sponges, Cascade dishwasher pods, Alcohol free mouth rinse, Sunscreen

Sign up and Volunteer to Support Porch Communities – We had 23 volunteers sign up!

Let’s work together to fight hunger in our own backyard…join the Chicagoland North Porch Community! PORCH is a simple and easy way to make a big difference with very little commitment! It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. We send you a message once a month listing the needs of the local pantries that we have partnered with
  2. You grocery shop and then leave the food items outside your front door ( your “PORCH”) on our designated pick-up date 
  3. PORCH picks up your food items, sorts them and delivers them to the pantries. Click here to sign up and participate. 

Volunteer to Support Waukegan to College

Waukegan to College (W2C) began in response to an urgent plea from the Waukegan community: “I don’t want my son to be stuck doing landscaping or my daughter working long, hard hours cleaning hotel rooms because they didn’t go to college.”

These Waukegan parents knew they had neither the experience nor expertise to guide their first-generation college bound children on the pathway to college graduation. The school system was equally inadequate to meet their needs. Help by becoming a tutor, mentor or coach.

Volunteer or Donate to Highwood Public Library

The mission of the Highwood Public Library is to be an innovative and collaborative anchor of the community, providing educational support, engaging services, and inspirational collections. The Library has dedicated its purpose to assessing and responding to the intersectional structural barriers impacting individuals and families through programming, service, and community building. Learn more and volunteer through our website.


Make a Donation to Season of Mitzvot at Beth El and Help Support All of These Organizations.