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This year we are back live at the synagogue!

Sunday, November 12, 2023


Congregation Beth Sholom is once again sponsoring MITZVAH MALL!

It is a holiday gift from Congregation Beth Sholom to the Anchorage community.

Think about a non-denominational bizarre bazaar that is an alternative gift fair. In a room filled with decorative and informative tables, there will be 30 non-profit organizations with representatives to share their stories of the assistance they give to those in need. 

The non-profits range from

  • those supporting the arts to animal welfare agencies
  • from health and food assistance to safe places for troubled youth
  • several international aid groups
  • and many more.

Although most of the organizational representatives are human, we will have birds, both rehabilitated wild and pets, and therapy dogs to help shoppers learn about three of the organizations.

What could be better than the gift of helping those agencies who help others?  And isn’t that better than another candle or pot holder? It is a fun event. Performers play acoustical music during the event.

“Gifts” are in various price ranges beginning at $5. Donors can receive a lovely card, filled out by a calligrapher, to send to the person honored by the gift.


Here's how you can volunteer to make this a successful event:

1. Set-up: Heavy lifting NOT required. We need 1-2 people to set up coffee items, ensure cold water is available, check on cup availability; put papers on tables, etc... Arrive at 11:30am. Time commitment 2 hours.

2. Be a greeter: Great for teens! Assist organization reps find their tables and get set up. Arrive at 11:00am. Time commitment: 2 hours

3. How's your handwriting? We need calligraphers to write the donation notes. Arrive at noon. Time commitment: 3 hours.

4. Hosts: We need 3 people to be the liaison to the reps to make sure they know what to expect, forms to fill out, answer questions, and generally be available for support during the event. Arrive at 11:00am. Time commitment: 4.5 hours.

5. Quality a pet peeve of yours? We need 1-2 people to check receipts for completion, count receipts and add to spreadsheet, answer questions from runners & non-profit reps, and general help with organization. Arrive at 11:30am. Time commitment: 3.5 hours.

6. Clean-up. Yeah, it's necessary. Chip in and we'll get it done fast. Start at 3pm. Time commitment 1-1.5 hours.

For more information, or how you can help, contact Penny at 907-240-2170 or

2023 Mitzvah Mall Organizations

AK Child and Family

Alaska Bird Club

Alaska Botanical Garden

Alaska Innocence Project

Alaska Rescue Kitties

Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation

Bean's Cafe & Children's Lunchbox
Bridge Builders

Catholic Social Services

Choosing Our Roots

Clear Creek Cat Rescue


Food Bank of Alaska

Friends of the Library

Habitat for Humanity

Historic Recrudescence Guild (HRG)

Lemong'o  Project

Malawi Children's Village

Mobile Medics International

Nice Necessities

Queens Guard

Turnagain Arts Community Alliance (TCAA)

Zonta Yellow Rose Foundation



Maimonides on Tzedakah:

A description of charity by the 12th century Jewish scholar and physician, Maimonides.
Take a moment to read this and see how profound it was. So profound they named a hospital after him. 

Maimonides wrote a code of Jewish law based on the Rabbinic oral tradition,
and he described charity (or “tzedakah”) from the least to the most honorable as follows:

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than they should, but does so cheerfully.

6.When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient’s identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

This is a beautiful and succinct way to think about giving. It is incredible how words from the 12th century continue to ring true today.
Fundamental human nature and values have not changed. Regardless of our faith, each of us can find value in these statements and apply them to our own life this giving season


Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784