For Potomac resident Len Goldman, March 14 was a culmination of a year of planning. Goldman was one of dozens from across the Washington area who participated in “Mitzvah Day,” a day of doing good deeds for the community.
In the Jewish tradition, there are many ways to perform mitzvahs, and helping the community is one of them.
Members of Washington Hebrew Congregation, in conjunction with other synagogues, fanned out across the region, doing a variety of projects.
Goldman and his group were helping clean up and refurbish Hadley’s Park on Falls Road, which he and his family use frequently.
“Our family felt it was important to give back to the community,” he said.
Others shared Goldman’s sentiment. “I think it’s a great idea,” said Jonathan Salant, a Bethesda resident and member of B’nai Israel. “It’s a thank you for what they are offering us.”
Salant’s group engaged in general cleaning up around the park. They swept and raked up the dirt, brush and trash which was littering the park, and spruced up the flower beds around the children’s play area.
Since Montgomery County has begun to implement a carry-in, carry-out policy for trash, there are no bins where the workers can dispose of the refuse they collect, so Wayne Berman of Gaithersburg, also from B’nai Israel, volunteered to take the bags of collected trash to the dump.
Berman chose to help at Hadley’s Park because he prefers the outside activities. “It’s a pretty active day,” Berman said. He compared it to clean-ups in the past and said that this year, there wasn’t as much debris.
Goldman and his group took on a different task. With the help of Good Earth Garden Center, they replanted the area in front of the Hadley’s Park sign. “We took out a sorry-looking bush,” Goldman said. In its place, they put in some new plants and flowers.
After several hours of work, the groups dispersed and went back to their normal activities, but some of them left feeling better about having helped beautify their neighborhood.
“It’s nice,” said Benjy Rogers, 16 of Potomac. “It feels good to help out.”