On Monday, Jan. 20, Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council hosts its biggest-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. They’ve partnered with organizations like PJ Library, Vilna Shul and The Rashi School for events throughout the Boston area, but sign up soon: young adult social justice program manager Shoshana Edelson says that while they typically welcome about 200 volunteers, they’ve already tripled that number this year.

They’ll host programs for kids, teens and adults.

“It’s an important day in the broader community. One of our main goals is to not just be visible in the Jewish community, but visible in the broader Boston community, living out Martin Luther King’s values of giving back through the Jewish lens of tikkun olam,” Edelson says.

Here are a few of their fantastic family-friendly offerings (and be sure to check out their opportunities for teens and grown-ups, too!).


Little Hands, Big Hearts
For families with children ages 3-9, siblings welcome
Time: 12-3 p.m.
Partner: MetroWest Jewish Day School
Location: Temple Shir Tikva Wayland

Get your hands dirty with friends from MetroWest Jewish Day School as we engage in service-oriented craft projects designed to spread kindness and compassion to the greater MetroWest community.

Welcome Blanket Knit-In With Inspo:Expo
For families with children ages 2 and up
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Location: Congregation Kehillath Israel

Put your knitting skills to the test at this Welcome Blanket knit-in! Each blanket will be displayed in a pop‐up exhibit (March 20‐21) at KI, as part of HIAS National Refugee Shabbat, and then sent to local resettlement agencies to be delivered to our newest neighbors. No knitting skills are required! There will be volunteers on site to help field knitting questions. There will also be no-sew fleece blanket-making available as well.

St. Stephen’s Youth Programs at Blackstone Elementary School
For families with children ages 4 and up
9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. volunteering, followed by an optional lunch and learning at noon
Location: Blackstone Elementary School in the South End

Volunteers will be working on beatification and revitalization projects throughout the elementary school. After volunteering, there will be a lunch and discussion about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and why this day has become a day of volunteering.

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare
For families with children ages 5-15
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Partner: Epstein Hillel School

Gather at the Shapiro-Rudolph Adult Day Health Center at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare in Peabody for an engaging intergenerational program. Individuals of all ages will work together in small groups to create an art collage reflective of the values of MLK. A group sing-along will conclude the program.

Feeding Boston Through Action
For families with children ages 2-12
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Partner and location: Vilna Shul

Join the Vilna to make sandwiches for Pine Street Inn. Pine Street Inn partners with homeless individuals to help them move from the streets and shelter to a home and assists formerly homeless individuals in retaining housing. They provide street outreach, emergency services, supportive housing, job training and connections to employment. Pine Street Inn provides over 150 sandwiches daily to those in need across the city.

Birthday Wishes
For families with children ages 3-9, siblings welcome
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Partner and location: JCC Greater Boston

Join JCC Greater Boston as we make birthday wishes come true for children experiencing homelessness and their families. We will be decorating handmade cards and packing up Birthdays-in-a-Box filled with all the supplies a family would need to celebrate their child’s birthday with joy.

PJ Library MLK Day Peace Mural Project
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Partner: JCC Greater Boston
Location: Ready Set Kids in Arlington

What does peace look like? Participate in a special artist-led peace mural project based on kids’ visions of peace. Honor Martin Luther King by coming together to spread a peace-loving message through the power of art.

Many Helping Hands 365
For families with children ages 5-15
2-4 p.m.
Partner: The Rashi School
Location: Cambridge City Hall

Join The Rashi School families and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to work on projects including creating personal care kits with toiletries for homeless teens and adults, creating activity kits for children waiting in hospital emergency rooms and making Valentine’s Day cards for elderly and homebound adults.

Find more information and register here.

Happy volunteering!