In the time of year when so many think about giving and giving back, Sojourner House is blessed with a great deal of love and support during the holiday season. One of the annual holiday traditions the residents and families enjoy is a Christmas dinner prepared and served by Mitzvah Day volunteers.
Mitzvah Day is a holiday tradition where Pittsburgh’s Jewish community volunteers on Christmas Day. “We have Mitzvah Day on Christmas because we recognize that this is not our holiday and we want to make other people’s holiday better,” explains David Chudnow, the Volunteer Center Manager of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “Sometimes that is in the form of a friendly face at a fun event like the dinner at Sojourner House or by helping out so that the staff at an organization can take time off to spend with their family,” says Chudnow.
At Sojourner House, 15 volunteers will prepare and serve a holiday meal for the residents and their families. That group of volunteers is made up of four families and other individuals. Christmas is a family day on so many levels, so it makes sense for the volunteer families to join the families at Sojourner House.
“The common understanding is that a mitzvah means ‘good deed’ but that’s a mistranslation. Mitzvah actually means commandment. On Mitzvah Day, we focus on those commandments that focus on showing kindness to your fellow human,” explains Chudnow.
The families and staff of Sojourner House are grateful to be a recipient of this kindness again this year.