Doing Good Together: The Inspiring Impact of Good Deeds Day in Israel

A heartwarming day of hope, healing and unity.

(Photo courtesy @ Good Deeds Day)

During one of the most challenging periods in Israeli history, Good Deeds Day 2024 stood as a testament to the power of collective goodness, where people came together to create positive change and foster a sense of togetherness that transcends boundaries. More than two million Israelis recently participated in Good Deeds Day, engaging in thousands of projects that brought communities closer and hearts fuller. This annual event, initiated by the visionary businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison 18 years ago, is orchestrated by the nonprofit Ruach Tova of the Arison Group. Throughout the year, Ruach Tova serves as a bridge between nonprofits seeking volunteers and individuals or groups eager to lend a helping hand.

United in Good
This year's theme, "United in Good," resonated deeply as people from all walks of life united under the common banner of kindness and positive change. The call to action was simple yet profound: do a good deed, big or small, with the intention of spreading joy and strengthening the bonds of unity.

Amidst the challenges of recent times, the message of unity and compassion carried even greater significance. Good Deeds Day initiator, businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, emphasized the importance of coming together in times of need, believing that our collective efforts to do good can truly make the world a better place.

“On Good Deeds Day, scores of good people and good organizations stepped out to do a good deed, creating a critical mass of people who are united in good. Especially now in these times, and in addition to spreading good, it is important for us to also emphasize the issue of unity amongst our people. We are more united, loving, giving, and rallying to volunteer for others. I believe that if we think good, speak good, do good, and safeguard our togetherness, our world will be a better place,” Shari Arison, told the Jerusalem Post

Nationwide impact of good
The impact of Good Deeds Day was felt across the nation, with over two million participants engaging in acts of kindness. From busy city streets to the serene landscapes of rural areas, individuals and groups came together to make a difference. The involvement of local authorities, nonprofits, youth movements, and corporations highlighted the widespread commitment to building a better society. In the framework of these activities, more than two million Israelis stepped out to do good this week, including half a million people from Israel’s south and 680 thousand people from the Arab sector. 

“When we set out this year, we had no idea how things would go. But the turnout was astonishing. Apparently, the idea of volunteering was very relevant to so many people. The volunteers, from all walks of Israeli society, were like points of light shining through the darkness,” Yael Rippel - Rubin, Director of Good Deeds Day Israel and Head of the Municipalities Department, Ruach Tova, explained to Goodnet. “There were many volunteers who themselves were evacuated from their homes, and were happy to have the chance to give back, to strengthen communities and the weaker elements of society. It was a day of rehabilitation, rebirth and renewal. It was a day of great hope.”

Participants took action for good as individuals or in groups, some in the framework of their workplace, others in schools and kindergartens. Almost 95 percent of the country’s local authorities were involved in this special day, joined by more than 300 nonprofits, youth movements, and hundreds of corporations. Good Deeds Day has also become an international day of good celebrated by millions of people in 115 countries across the globe.

Among the many varied Good Deeds Day activities that took place, some examples include kite flying at Ashkelon beach with hundreds of children, Bat and Bar Mitzvah children from Kibbutz Gvar’am painted portable protection units for Gaza border towns, evacuees from Shlomi along the northern border ran a fair for the staff at the hotel where they have been temporarily housed, a boarding school was renovated in Rishon LeZion, in Shefayim a bus was transformed into a mobile scout’s unit for evacuated children from Kfar Aza, Ramat Hasharon held an animal adoption event, kindergarten children prepared food baskets for soldiers, and more.

“One volunteer emotionally expressed to me, ‘thank you for granting me the opportunity and strength to dream again’,” Rippel-Rubin conveyed. 

Volunteer force for good
Throughout 2023 and in the beginning of 2024, volunteering in Israeli society grew in popularity. Since the war broke out, an impressive force for good has been noted across Israeli society, with people wanting to extend assistance in numerous ways. Compared with last year, October 2023 saw a 300 percent rise in the number of volunteers interfacing with Ruach Tova.

One of the remarkable aspects of Good Deeds Day this year was its alignment with the month of Ramadan. Arab society in Israel embraced this special time with a week dedicated to doing good deeds, culminating in a heartfelt event where volunteers prepared iftar meals in 116 locations simultaneously. This celebration of unity within the Arab community echoed the overarching theme of Good Deeds Day—coming together in kindness and solidarity.

"Good Deeds Day proved once more the power of unity and solidarity amongst our people. Despite the challenges we faced, this year’s event has also demonstrated people’s impressive will to volunteer and give across all fractions of society. This is the way to strengthen our resilience and unity as a nation, being united in good and taking action together towards the common goal of loving-kindness (Chesed) and spreading light,” Rafi Elul, Chairman of the nonprofit Ruach Tova of the Arison Group, explained. 

The impact of Good Deeds Day calls to mind the enduring power of unity, compassion, and collective action. The outpouring of goodwill and generosity showcased the resilience and strength of the Israeli people, serving as a beacon of hope for a brighter future. In times of uncertainty, events like Good Deeds Day are a reminder that humanity’s greatest strength lies in people’s ability to stand united, spread love, and make a positive impact in the lives of others.


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