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Chavaya Slideshow 2017

This year, Congregation B’nai Israel launched a year of focus, study, action and inspiration in declaring the Jewish year of 5779 (which began in September, 2018) as “A Year of Kindness and Compassion.” Throughout the year, our mission has been guided by the values of our Jewish tradition: chesed (kindness), g’milut chasidim (deeds of loving kindness) and kavenah (intention).

We made a significant impact across our community in our commitment to these values. Much of our programming was planned with the intention of giving back to the greater Gainesville community -to the veterans, homeless and children in need of food and back to school supplies. From our community-wide collections for the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, the Partnership for Strong Families Wish Upon a Star Gift Drive and Veteran’s Day Care Package Drive, to our hands-on volunteer efforts at the St. Francis House, Grace Marketplace and Swallowtail Farm -we have striven to extend righteous deeds of kindness beyond the walls of our congregation.

Certainly, many of these projects have been a part of our social action program for years. Other projects sprung up through community-led initiatives to address needs unforeseen, such as the TSA agent relief fundraiser and Operation Airdrop, in which our community members sent relief to victims of Hurricane Michael in the panhandle.

As we reflect on this year of kindness and compassion, we are so proud of our community for their dedication in building a world where the dream of mutual respect, empathy, giving and caring are the guiding principles of our lives. We are serious in our responsibility to be a guiding light for the entire world as we strive, in our small way, to build a world rich in kindness and compassion. 



A Year of Kindness and Compassion - Social Action Programs in 5779

  • Partnership for Strong Families’ Back to School Supply Drive
  • Lev Tov with the Youth Group, Chavaya, millennials, and staff
  • Operation Airdrop
  • Veterans Day Care Package Drive
  • Benefitting Volunteers of America
  • Bread of the Mighty Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • Partnership for Strong Families’ Wish Upon a Star Gift Drive
  • Mitzvah Day
  • Hanukkah Program for Visitors from the Village at Gainesville
  • Hanukkah Goodie Bags for Local Schools
  • Cookies for Champions
  • Pajama Program Drive
  • Breakfast at Grace Marketplace
  • Dinner at Ronald McDonald House
  • TSA Agent Relief Fundraiser
  • Staff Volunteer Days at Food 4 Kids 
  • Swallowtail Farm