Why Employers Should Have a Yom Chesed (Day of Kindness)

Most of us have heard of employers and corporations having a “yom kef” (translation: “fun day”) — taking their employees out for a fun day during their scheduled work time. Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you have probably heard of friends doing this. I’ve heard of friends and loved ones doing activities such as bowling, pottery-making, horseback riding, or having a nice meal with their coworkers on the bosses’ dime.

My Israeli coworker Sarit calls these “kef-y” days. They are meant to give the workers a chance to bond and have fun, and also as a reward to give further incentive to work hard for their employer. In fact, having a yom kef is so popular that there are businesses that specifically cater to planning and arranging all the details of the day to ensure there are no snags and everyone enjoys.

The Alternative

A better alternative to yom kef is having a “yom chesed” (translation: “day of kindness or charity”). This option is much less utilized but arguably much more beneficial to the employer, employees, team morale, and work output. A great opportunity is with the non-profit organization Tenufa Bakehila which makes urgent home repairs for impoverished families in 8 cities across Israel. It’s a great idea for a yom chesed involving painting and home repairs, offering a warm, vibrant, team-building and bonding experience for your team, while also doing something amazing for your community.

Doing a yom chesed with Tenufa Bakehila.


Benefits of Doing a Yom Chesed:

1. Team-Building and Bonding

Participating in a group-focused activity with a common goal creates trust, team spirit, unity, and bonding between staff members — including management.

And depending on the type of volunteer work, the participants may need to think as a team and work together. This helps the group think strategically as a team, which can then be transferred to work back in the office.

2. A Happy Worker is a Good Worker

One of the best ways to improve workers’ performance is to make them happy! Volunteering and giving has been shown to increase happiness levels. Read more in this article, “10 Reasons Why Happiness at Work is the Ultimate Productivity Booster“. Help your workers be happier and more productive by engaging in a fun community project.

3. Better Office Relations

The combination of fun, team work, getting a refreshing break from the office, and feeling a sense of pride for doing something good for the community carries over into office life. The team-building skills, thinking as a group, and inevitable bonding will mean better working relationships for employees and management.

4. Free Marketing Opportunities

Many non-profits are happy to take pictures to use for social media and marketing purposes. Post on your Facebook page, send to your board members and investors, use it in your monthly newsletter. Most non-profits also have their own social media sites and will happily make a public thank-you to your company with the smiling pictures of your company team members in action with a paintbrush in hand. This material makes for great PR for the business and encourages people to use your product or service. And using a non-profit’s network reaches and targets a whole different population that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Tambour facebook post pic
Tambour donated 10 cans of paint to Tenufa Bakehila. On Facebook, we made a public thank you to the company and listed their website.


Yom chesed with Tenufa Bakehila.
Yom chesed with Tenufa Bakehila.

Tenufa Bakehila invites you to contact us if interested in participating with us. We are happy to form partnerships with corporations and businesses to assist each other with yom chesed projects or donations. Visit to contact our office about this opportunity.

About the Author
Sarah Heiman made aliyah from Buffalo, NY in 2011 and works at Tenufa Bakehila, an Israeli non-profit organization that helps needy families with urgent home repairs. She is a single mom to a toddler boy and lives in Jerusalem. Sarah has a BA and MA (Rutgers-NJ) in Social Policy and Sociology and has spent years in non-profit management and content writing. She enjoys running, yoga, hiking, nature, travel, and spending time with her family and friends.
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