Leading Israeli volunteering project goes global April 3, 2011.
The leadership team of Ruach Tova (Good Spirit), part of the Arison Group, has completed a highly successful visit to the United States to promote Good Deeds Day, Ruach Tova’s flagship
project in the Jewish world. Initiated by the Group’s owner, businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison, Good Deeds Day each year brings together tens of thousands of Israelis to do a good deed for someone else.
The trip’s highlight was the team’s visit to the United Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans, where they met with representatives of Jewish communities from around the world in order to extend the day’s global outreach in 2011.
More after the jump.
In its eye-catching specially created display area, the team met with more than 50 representatives of different federations and organizations that were interested in hosting the upcoming Good Deeds Day in their communities, as well as with student organizations from more than 40 campuses that looked into including Good Deeds Day in their activities.
Following the tremendous success of Good Deeds Day in Israel, where it has become part of Israeli culture, Shari Arison has made it her mission to turn the annual event into an international day of good deeds. Since its inception in 2007, Good Deeds Day has touched the lives of many thousands of people; last year alone, more than 70,000 volunteers throughout Israel and several locations in the Jewish world took part in more than 1,000 different projects in cooperation with dozens of municipalities and leading organizations.
Among last year’s many exciting projects, hundreds of gardens were planted in social services facilities around the country and 5,300 gallons of paint were used to brighten up clubs for troubled teens, schools for the disabled and nursing homes. Soldiers organized activities for senior citizens, and schoolchildren cleaned up parks and packed food packages for the needy.
Good Deeds Day is organized and implemented by the Arison Group’s Ruach Tova nonprofit organization, which is supported by the Ted Arison Family Foundation.
As Shari Arison says, “the Good Deeds Day project began with thinking about the opportunity and the privilege that have been given to us to do good deeds for our fellow human beings, for the community by placing the emphasis on the abilities that abide in every one of us. A good deed is anything, large or small, that moves us to give and afterward to feel good about having given. Even a smile given to another person is a good deed.
“Good Deeds Day has turned into the leading day of such giving. Many companies and private individuals have joined the activities and contributed greatly for the benefit of others. This year, I am seeking to expand the activities from Israel to the entire world and to fulfill the biblical injunction ‘For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah.’ As part of my calling and my vision of a better world, I ask that through Good Deeds Day, we will work to influence people all over the world to act to make the world better – a world in which people can help other people and their communities by doing a good deed.”
The International Good Deeds Day will take place on Sunday, April 3, 2011 to enable volunteers from all over the Jewish world to take part in the Israeli initiative. In Israel, Good Deeds Day will be held two days later on Tuesday, April 5.
Ruach Tova’s Chairman Rafi Elul notes that “based upon the wonderful work of past years, more and more individuals, groups, businesses and organizations are inspired to join in Good Deeds Day each year. Everyone seeks a path to social action whose focus is to be more involved and to bring about change for the benefit of others. Ruach Tova’s volunteer activity every day of the year has grown immeasurably and constantly reminds us anew of the importance of Good Deeds Day.”