Tikkun Olam





Mitzvah Heroes

Through our Lend-A-Hand column,
we are fortunate to meet a small percentage of what Danny Siegel, of the Ziv
Tzedakah Fund, terms Mitzvah Heroes


This past summer, when Danny visited Israel, I was fortunate to spend a
morning together with him. We talked about people who’ve earned the status
of Mitzvah Heroes, some who I plan to interview this coming
year, and others who I’ve already met.


It is an honor to know people for whom tikkun olam, or
making the world right, is a way of life. Danny Siegel is one
of those people. When he sees a person in need, he helps. He doesn’t question
if, how and why, he simply does. Talking with him, gives you a feeling of
empowerment, a “can do” attitude. The author of numerous books, Danny highlights
the good deeds of others, opens your eyes and makes you realize how easy it
is to bring about positive change in society on a grassroots level.

Others in Israel who have
a similar “can do” approach have been profiled in @The Source Israel Online. They
include:

  • Janet Agassi,
    who runs a program to hand out toiletries to needy girls in Herzliyya;
  • Trudi Birger, z”l,
    who established Dental Volunteers
    for Israel
    , a free non-discriminatory dental clinic for children;
  • Joseph Gittler, of
    Table-to-Table,
    a volunteer organization which collects leftover food from catered events
    and provides meals to those in need; 
  • Ilana Banks,
    who discretely provides fresh hot meals to local families who would otherwise
    go hungry; 
  • Miki Shapiro, who established Almaz Homecraft Industries
    to provide employment for Ethiopian women;
  • Dr. Amiram Cohen, z”l, who founded the non-discriminatory Save-A-Child’s-Heart
    which provides sick children
    with lifesaving pediatric heart surgeries
    ;
  • Dr. Menachem Gottesman, who established the Meled School
    in Jerusalem
  • Zvi Meir, of Simchat HaLev,
    who through medical clowning, a children’s book and his follow-your-dream
    program, helps hospitalized children regain a feeling of empowerment from
    their hospital beds as they regain their self-esteem and dignity. 

The beauty of what these,
and other people do, is that they are solution-oriented. They see a lack of
balance and seek to set it straight. In the coming year, I hope that more
people become Mitzvah Heroes,
thus tipping the scales in favor of Tikkun Olam.

Text by Michele Kaplan-Green.




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