Mitzvah Makers Volunteer Program


What is Mitzvah Makers?

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara has recently joined forces with Shalom Corps—a global Jewish volunteer movement dedicated to humanitarian activism—to fill Santa Barbara with more mitzvot. Shalom Corps is a collaborative program of the Government of Israel, the Ministry of the Diaspora, and the Jewish Agency for Israel. With their support and guidance, we are jump-starting our own unique volunteer program called Mitzvah Makers.


Meaningful volunteer service advances social responsibility and deepens intercultural understanding. JFGSB is devoted to providing impactful people-to-people community service opportunities that are grounded in Jewish values such as Repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), Community (Kehillah), Jewish learning and learning from everyone (Talmud Torah and Lomed M’Kol Adam), Visiting the sick (Bikkur Cholim), Honoring senior citizens and connecting generations (Kibud Zekaynim and L’dor Vador), Protecting animals (Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim)….and more.


Miztvah Makers commit to completing 60 hours (approx. 1 hour per week) of volunteering a year and we will work with you to determine the best mitzvah projects for you and your schedule.


Why Should I Become a Mitzvah Maker?

You will benefit from opportunities for learning and other mitzvot for individuals and families, and work on meaningful projects that will evoke personal satisfaction and growth.


You’ll also help strengthen our local Jewish community, help those in need (perhaps deliver food or challah to isolated seniors, or send artwork to seniors at medical or assisted living facilities), increase engagement in our Jewish community, and get to know (better) your fellow Jewish community members.


Did you know that mitzvah making is a meaningful form of self-care? Studies find that dedicating just a bit of time each week to helping others increases an overall sense of contentment and well-being. It is also the best way to raise empathetic and socially aware children. The benefits are truly endless for everyone involved.


Who Can Join?

Pretty much anyone who would like to gain Jewish knowledge and perform good deeds can join. We are inviting Jewish community members of all ages. We will offer projects suitable for young adults, seniors, teens, empty-nesters, singles, couples, and families.


What Projects Will I Work On?

Projects will focus on Jewish values including Jewish learning, celebration of holidays, and other Jewish traditions.


We will offer a variety of projects for individuals, groups, or families. Joining as a family is great for parents of young children who are looking for meaningful activities that will complement their Jewish upbringing. This is a wonderful way to have fun family time while instilling Jewish values and traditions. One week you could celebrate a Jewish holiday together and the next might involve baking some challot to enjoy and share with neighbors, friends, or a local retirement home resident.


Current Opportunities:

  • Weekly meal packaging (Schmooze in a Box)
  • Weekly meal delivery (Schmooze in a Box)
  • Weekly challah delivery
  • Caring Visitors
  • Library re-organization
  • Gift shop


How Will Projects Be Made Available?

Ideas for projects will be tailored to the different groups of volunteers, young families, seniors, young adults, etc. We will provide videos and learning opportunities via Zoom that will count towards your volunteer hours. We promise to provide a variety of projects and activities.


Can We Participate if We Are Not Comfortable Going Out During COVID?

Absolutely! Mitzvah projects include Jewish learning and activities that can be performed at home.


How Do I Become a Mitzvah Maker?

Fill out our online interest form and we will contact you for next steps.


Contact Ruby Vargeson for more information at