This article was corrected at noon May 1, 2012.
The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville smelled of 1,200 SunButter and jelly sandwiches on Sunday afternoon, but no one was eating.
In one hall, children sat at tables, drawing pictures of hearts and rainbows, but they would not bring their art home.
Nearly 800 children, parents and grandparents from the school’s community spent Sunday making meals and gifts as part of Families in Action Day.
The sandwiches were for the homeless, for Washington, D.C.-based nonprofits Martha’s Table and D.C Central Kitchen. The art will be delivered to children in Israel, by Potomac-based nonprofit Operation Embrace, which assists injured survivors of terror attacks in Israel.
The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has two locations in Rockville and serves 1,200 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, with a mission of teaching children six basic Jewish precepts.
The event represents one of the precepts of “Tikun Olam,” which, in Hebrew, means “to heal the world.”
It means to be passionate about preserving God’s world and making it a more compassionate, just and peaceful place through social action and public policy, according to the school’s website.
“It is a great opportunity for everyone to live what they teach,” said Stephanie Eidelman, one of three parent volunteers who organized the event.
Families spent the morning in 19 locations across Montgomery County and the District volunteering for nonprofits and businesses. Among other activities, they renovated and repaired Rachael’s Women’s Center, a day shelter for homeless in the District; helped groom horses and clean at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine & Horsenet in Mt. Airy; and sorted donations for Silver Spring-based A Wider Circle and Gaithersburg-based Manna Food Center.
The event brought together children, parents and grandparents, said Jonathan Cannon, head of the school.
“If we are partnering with families to prepare students for the world, we want to make sure that giving is a part of it,” he said.
Volunteers gathered at the school to make the artwork and sandwiches, package meals for people in West Africa and Burundi for Global Hunger Foundation, and make reflective items such as sport bags for children in Kenya, who often walk on roads in the dark, as part of Association for Safe International Road Travel.
For Operation Embrace, children colored pillowcases that soon will rest under the heads of children in shelters in Israel. Decorated hats will be given to children in summer camp, according to parent volunteer Julie Skolnick.
Skolnick, who volunteers for Operation Embrace, praised the children and thanked them for their hard work.
“What a great mitzvah,” she said.
This report incorrectly stated the grades served by the school and the school’s location.