Religion Notes: Annual Mitzvah Day events planned

Rosa and Robert Martinoff with granddaughters Davynn and Ella participate in a PJ Library Mitzvah event. Photo provided

By Janis Fontaine

Each year, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, like thousands of other Jewish organizations worldwide, celebrates Mitzvah Day, a day of good deeds. This year, two events are planned.

The popular Super Sunday Phone-a-thon returns, an initiative co-chaired by Jeff Bovarnick. Its theme, “Calls Connect Community,” will have phones ringing in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach as hundreds of volunteers reach out to thousands of community members.

The message they’ll share: Whenever and wherever our Jewish family needs us, from down the street to across the globe, our community is there to help. The event is a morale builder for both the callers and the called.

Breakfast, snacks, dinner and raffle prizes add to the festive atmosphere. Volunteers are asked to sign up for shifts from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 4 to 6:30 p.m. March 15 at Zinman Hall on the federation campus at 9901 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton. Teens can receive community service hours for their volunteer time. To reserve your spot, visit, or contact Marc Fishman at 561-852-3169 or

The second event is a family event combining charity, Legos and games. Families are encouraged to join PJ Library, a Jewish engagement and literacy program, for a Lego Mitzvah Project from 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 15.

Families are asked to bring their PJ Library or other tzedakah boxes to donate. Kids get to help build a giant Lego tzedakah box, and games with prizes are planned. Reservations are required via, 561-852-6080 or

Tea time at St. Gregory’s
The Church Women of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church are inviting the public to their annual tea from 2 to 4 p.m. March 14 at the church at 100 NE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. Tickets are $35, and proceeds will support the organization’s in- and out-reach efforts to help people less fortunate. Parking is free. Call 561-350-5964 to purchase tickets or for more information.

Passover dinner made easy
Henry’s, a South Florida staple for nearly 20 years, has an easy option for Passover dinner, eat in or take out. The eatery will offer families celebrating the holiday a Passover prix fixe dinner as well as to-go dinner options.

A traditional four-course Passover dinner with matzo ball soup or split pea soup, gefilte fish, chicken liver mousse or beet salad, and choice of entrees and desserts, is $45, served from 5 to 9 p.m. both nights. For reservations, call 561-638-1949.

To celebrate at home, ask Henry’s to pack up Passover to go. With a la carte items, you can tailor your meal to your family’s tastes. Orders must be placed by April 3. Pickup is April 8 or 9 by 3 p.m. Henry’s is in The Shoppes at Addison Place, 16850 Jog Road, Delray Beach. For catering, call 561-602-7324.

Enthusiastic volunteers are organizing a huge celebration of all 38 years of Saint John Paul II Academy graduating classes with a reunion weekend April 24-25 in Boca Raton.

The event — Pope-a-Palooza — will kick off April 24 with an alumni welcome happy hour on the Saint John Paul II Academy campus. Individual classes are planning after-parties at local bars and restaurants to follow.

But the highlight happens Saturday, after an alumni Mass, at Mizner Park Amphitheater in downtown Boca Raton. Live music by the Resolvers, Uproot Hootenanny and Groove Thangs is planned, and the opening act, Wolfhawk, features academy alumni Kevin Ross (’86) and Jay Brandt (’95).

Food trucks, Islamorada Beer Co. beverages, a VIP sponsor section with an open bar and some surprises are planned. Tickets are $30 through March 31, $40 after.

Mike Fimiani of Boca Raton and Cathy Silk of Delray Beach, both class of ’83, the first class to graduate, are spearheading the planning. “I had a great experience in high school, and I made many of my friends for life,” Fimiani said.

Sure, it’s an excuse to get the gang together, but it’s also Fimiani’s way of giving back. “This will be the largest gathering of alumni, teachers and staff in the history of the school,” he said, “and we’re all excited about getting everyone together, but we do need help.”
Class captains to help spread the word are sought. If you can help, or for more information, visit

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