Each year on Mitzvah Day we commit to an entire year of changing the world. This year, we’re doing things a little differently. Mitzvah Day has become Mitzvah MAY!

Celebrate the culmination of all the ways in which our Stephen Wise Temple community has participated in acts of loving kindness and sought to make a difference in our local and broader communities.

Join us on Sunday, May 5 at Wise for a wide variety of projects to participate in–there is something for everyone!


Tikkun Olam Tot Shabbat

Friday, May 3

Join our Mitzvah May themed Tot Shabbat at 5 pm on Friday May 3. We will celebrate Shabbat together as a community and kids will participate in arts and crafts projects to support Beit Issie Shapiro and other Temple sponsored organizations.

RSVP here

Mitzvah Day Schedule

Sunday, May 5

11:00 a.m. | Kickoff
Join us in the main Sanctuary for a community tefillah led by our Wise Religious School students.

11:30 a.m. | Tzedakah Fair
Join our Center for Youth Engagement students for a fair to learn all about the organizations vying for their portion of a year’s worth of CYE tzedakah collections.

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Projects!
Disperse all over campus to support one or more of our many partner organizations.

Rosh Hodesh

Wednesday, May 8

Join other Wise Women for our monthly gatherings of learning, prayer, meditation, community as we mark the beginning of each new month. Rosh Hodesh, traditionally associated with women’s celebrations, offers us an opportunity to explore a new theme and intention for every month on the Jewish calendar.  Led by Cantor Emma and Rabbi Sari, we look forward to creating a time and space together for sacred reflection and meaningful connection. For Rosh Hodesh Iyyar, we are also marking Mitzvah May, and so we ask that you bring a box (or more!) of tampons or pads with you as support of the Tampon Project, created by our very own WTY’s Emily Jacobs.

Housing the Homeless with special guest Tommy Newman

Friday, May 24

Join Rabbi Ron Stern and Tommy Newman, Director of Public Affairs for the United Way’s “Everyone In” campaign for a Shabbat dinner to discuss the United Way’s role as the coordinator of L.A.’s comprehensive response to homelessness. These initiatives include prevention strategies, support for subsidized housing, construction of affordable housing, bridge and permanent supportive housing, and management of services for the homeless. This is the most important step that moves L.A. towards a coordinated and comprehensive approach to dealing with housing for the homeless in the community.

RSVP here

Beit Issie Shapiro

Join our youngest Social Action Super Heroes from our Wise School Early Childhood Center in supporting Beit Issie Shapiro, the leading provider of innovate therapies and services for children and adults with special needs in Israel, by participating in their annual Cycles for Smiles. Your $18 donation per child, or $36 per family, grants entry to the best Trike-A-Thon in town! So come cheer on our youngsters as they ride to raise money for their friend Nika at BIS in Israel.

ADOPT (Animals Depend On People, Too) an Animal – Los Angeles Zoo

Our Kindergarten students have spent the year studying animals and habitats and have even adopted special animals at the LA Zoo! So on Mitzvah Day we will continue the theme of helping our furry friends by making blankets and treats that will be donated to local shelters to help animals in need.


UNICEF Kid Power

This year our First Grade students took on a new chesed organization, UNICEF Kid Power, an organization that empowers children to make a difference in the world by getting active and learning to lead healthy lifestyles. Support this project by joining the kids by moving and dancing to videos that unlock digital currency which provides lifesaving nutrition UNICEF delivers to malnourished children across the globe.


The People Concern

Our Second Graders have been very busy this year with their visits to the People Concern (formerly Ocean Park Community Center), an organization that helps our local homeless rebuild their lives, helping individuals and families to restore their dignity, gain stability, and become contributing members of the community. On Mitzvah Day, learn more about how the kids have supported their chesed organization– from their field trips to Valentines Day and Easter goody bags – and help them pack sack lunches that will be donated to the organizations transitional living facility.


LA Family Housing

Our Third Grade students have been supporting LA Family Housing, an organization that helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty, through a continuum of services, into a more stable and supportive way of living. Stephen Wise Temple has long been a supporter of LAFH, providing their North Hollywood shelter with fresh vegetables from the harvests in our Pe’Ah garden, in additional to serving food to residents on various holidays throughout the year. Join this group on Mitzvah Day to assemble Mother’s Day baskets that will help bring a smile to a mom’s on their very special day!


Save A Child’s Heart

Fourth Graders at Wise School have been learning all about Save A Child’s Heart, an Israeli based organization that provides life-saving treatment and follow up care for children from developing countries regardless of their religion, gender or nationality. And on Mitzvah Day they will Jump Rope to Save a Child’s heart by having a jump-a-thon! Come sponsor and/or cheer on children as they jump to raise money for this amazing organization.


Homes for Heroes

For several years now, our Wise School 5th graders have been supporting Wise’s very own Homes for Heroes program. With nearly 5,000 homeless veterans, those that obtain housing often move in to a completely empty space, so our Wise community has taken it upon ourselves to do something about it! Throughout the year we are raising money to help make a house, a home. We purchase large items such a refrigerators, microwaves, pots and pans, etc. Earlier this year our 5th graders made Welcome Home baskets full of kitchen and cleaning items. Now for Mitzvah Day, we will be putting together Bathroom Baskets to help liven up and give needed items to veterans as a gift for their forever homes.


Israel Sport Center for the Disabled

Our most senior Wise School children, our 6th graders, have been very busy raising funds for their chesedorganization, Israel Sport Center for the Disabled. And for Mitzvah Day – they have a VERY exciting event in store … 6th graders have the opportunity to participate in a Student vs. Faculty basketball tournament where all proceeds benefit the ISCD, an organization the empowers children and adults with physical disabilities from all backgrounds to participate in physical and psychological rehab through sports … which all leads towards leading productive and successful lives in Israeli society. Students must raise $180 to participate and the community is invited to come watch the game at 1:30 pm in Katz Pavilion on Sunday, May 5th. There will be a $5 entry fee the day of. ALL proceeds go direct to benefit the ISCD.

To donate to the cause and support a 6th Grader to reach their goal of $180 to participate, click here.

To pre-purchase your tickets to attend the game, click here.


Save the Syrian Children Gently Used Item Drive

Of course Mitzvah Day wouldn’t be complete without a Gently Used Item drive. Time to spring clean your closets, garages, attics and offices and bring all of your items to Wise for sorting and donation to Save The Syrian Children.


City of Hope Blood Drive

Don’t forget to sign up to give the “Gift of Life” at our annual City of Hope Blood drive. Join us in Udko Annex from 9am to 2pm. From just one unit of blood, four individual components can be derived that could help save multiple lives!


Book Sorting for Wise Readers to Leaders

Join our own Wise Readers to Leaders for various ways to give back on Mitzvah Day. They will need help sorting books for each of their five sites into bins along with all their summer supplies. You can also help decorate and paint their new Gently Used Book Drop bin, or sign up to be a mentor for Wise Readers to Leaders youth. There are several different options for Mentoring – as a teen, you can sign up for their Remote Reading program – or for adults, you can sign up to be a Reading Mentor or lead a summer morning Reading Rally.


Check back often for more opportunities