Above: PAL participants join VIA members to do community service Sept. 11 at Berman Commons, where they made 65 honey cakes with and for the residents. (Photo courtesy JF&CS)

Jewish Family & Career Services’ Volunteers in Action, composed of 21- to 40-year-olds, held Mitzvah Day on Sunday, Sept. 11. More than 200 VIA volunteers participated at 11 sites during Atlanta’s largest community service day for young Jewish professionals. The event included projects for the Families Inspired to Serve and PAL programs.

Besides Mitzvah Day, which started in 2002, VIA provides monthly community service opportunities for members.

Mitzvah Day occurred two weeks after 108 members of Atlanta Council BBYO, run through the Marcus Jewish Community Center, gathered at Camp Coleman for a weekend for the Leadership Training Institute.

The teens learned from guest speakers Suzanne Simkin, co-founder of PeaceLoveMom; Tamar Gez, an Israeli emissary; Scott Magat, a high school engagement associate with Alpha Epsilon Pi International; Hannah Boresow, a graphic designer with SeeMeDesign; and Michelle Krebs Levy, the founder and CEO of The Sixth Point. “It’s amazing to see what motivates these teens to do so many great things,” Magat said. “They all want to learn how to become better leaders, not just in BBYO, but in their community too.”

The BBYO members voted to advocate suicide prevention and teen suicide awareness in their programming this year.