by Tamar Davis, CEO, Gateways
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” asked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., famously. At Gateways, we decided to answer this question by instituting our own “Day of Service” this year on MLK Day, instead of holding our usual office hours.
At our staff meeting the following day, on the heels of an intensely tough week with a COVID surge and a terrifying hostage situation in Texas over Shabbat, many of us shared how rejuvenating the act of volunteering had been. It was a breath of fresh air to hear about staff members’ experiences donating clothes, giving blood, baking lasagnas and banana bread for families experiencing food insecurity, cleaning up a park, knitting hats and scarves, and even working on a digital memorial project archiving names and details of individuals persecuted by the Nazis.
Our Day of Service was a welcome reminder that when we take the time to step back from the everyday, to seek out opportunities to help others in need, it benefits our own well-being. And to truly honor a man who dedicated his life in service to others, we should do this not only once a year, but incorporate it into our everyday lives.
Thank you to the volunteers everywhere who partook in our nation’s Day of Service, and to all of our Gateways volunteers who show up throughout the year in service of our mission to enable our children to participate meaningfully in Jewish life and learning.
Tamar Davis, Chief Executive Officer