The 2019 “A Kindness a Day” calendar, which recently arrived in Targum Shlishi’s office and is created by one of the foundation’s grantees, features uplifting messages that encourage us to extend kindness through concrete suggestions for action and a related piece of Jewish text. The calendars are daily reminders of the profound effect that acts of kindness can have. Produced by the organization Areyvut, the calendars are available physically or electronically, by email or by following the twitter feed
“The ‘A Kindness a Day Calendar’ is a moral guide and a roadmap to help make the world a better place,” says Daniel Rothner, founder and director of Areyvut. “It is a means though which people of all ages and from all walks of life can infuse their lives, and the lives of others, with true meaning and a sense of purpose by positively impacting those around them.”
Each month is dedicated to a theme, such as expressing gratitude or welcoming guests. Examples of daily messages are:
- “When you see a need, don’t keep walking. Stop and do something.” That advice is paired with the text, “It is incumbent upon every person to love each and every Jew as himself, as it is written, ‘And you shall love your fellow as yourself’”—Mishneh Torah, The Laws of Conduct 6:3
- “Have that difficult conversation that you have been putting off for too long. Bite the bullet, take a deep breath, and tell the truth.” The paired text is, “A time to keep silence and a time to speak.” —Ecclesiastes 3:7
- “Ask open-ended questions. Then listen to the answers with the attitude that you are here to learn.” The text is: “Heavens, give ear and I will speak; and that the earth hear the words of my mouth.” —Deuteronomy 32:1
- “Make a point to celebrate someone’s birthday beyond a message on Facebook. Bake a cake or sent an actual card,” is paired with the text “Be mindful of the honor of your friends.” —Talmud Berachot 28b
“This calendar is filled with practical ideas for living Jewish values, tied to Jewish texts, every day,” says Yossi Prager, executive director for North America for the Avi Chai Foundation. And activist and philanthropist Laura Lauder says, “Using this calendar will help make the world a better place, one day at a time.”
Areyvut has produced the calendar since 2005, and has distributed more than 35,000 copies; the calendars are widely used in classrooms, offices, and homes. In Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ endorsement of the calendar, he notes, “Change a life, and you begin to change the universe. That is how we make a difference: one life at a time, one day at a time, one act at a time.
Areyvut is a New Jersey-based non-profit that spearheads educational social action programs for youth that are designed to inspire young people, to help infuse Jewish values in their lives, and to reinforce that we each have the potential to make the world better.