Each One of Us Can Do a Good Deed

Good Deeds "Public Office", Kharkov, Ukraine

Some 130,000 Israelis and many thousands of others throughout the world will be going out this week to do a good deed for others as part of the fifth annual Good Deeds Day, which was initiated by businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison and is operated by Ruach Tova (Good Spirit), part of the Arison Group.

Celebrated in Israel today, 90 local authorities, including 30 Arab towns and villages, will be participating. Thirty academic institutions throughout the country will also be holding activities to benefit the community. Pupils in dozens of schools will participate in activities, as well as 5,000 Israel Defense Forces soldiers from 100 different units who have volunteered to do a good deed for others.

Workers from some 700 businesses have volunteered for a wide range of projects, including painting the homes of senior citizens, cleaning up beaches and parks, renovating centers for children at risk and creating public gardens.

Good Deeds Day is not limited to Israel – in fact, in Ukraine, Good Deeds Day has turned into an entire week of activities. With this year’s motto, ‘Hurry Up To Do Good Deeds’, Hillel has again taken a lead role and planned activities in Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Sevastopol and Simferopol.

This year the feature of Hillel’s approach is not only to appeal to people to do Good Deeds, but to raise funds in support of challenged children. In each city where events were planned, both the municipality and media played a significant role in planning.

Opening of GDW in Kharkov, Ukraine, where dozens of youngsters and students participated in a solemn opening on the largest public square in the country, Square of Freedom

According to Hillel’s Darina (Dasha) Privalko, “We at Hillel decided to join this fabulous initiative as we see it as a great idea to appeal to the best in everyone and provide tangible assistance to those in need. Hillels in Ukraine and beyond dedicate a lot of attention to various Tzedek projects, volunteering at local Jewish communities, Day Centers, orphanages, soup kitchens, at cemeteries cleaning, etc. At that we feel that this Day may have more profound impact on the society as a whole and also help Hillel to contribute into shaping of positive image of Jews, as this initiative stems from Israel and arrives to Ukraine via Jewish student organization.”

Coming up: Celebrating Good Deeds in Israel: a Photo Essay.