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Living Mitzvot

October 2013


From the Desk of Rabbi Shira Stern

We teachers of Religious Schools have a dual responsibility when we prepare our classes: we want to infuse the children with facts and feelings that will help them identify strongly with Judaism and all things Jewish, and we want them to understand their place in the world at large. We need to help them grow as Jews, and at the same time, help them adapt to a life they will live outside their Jewish bubble.

How do we do both? 

Do we confine ourselves to traditional texts or do we help them find their modern voices, which will be shaped by everything they learn outside of Temple Rodeph Torah, including in their homes, schools and after-school activities?

On October 13th, as the Jewish Community Center of Monmouth County prepares to launch its annual Mitzvah Day, the Center for a Jewish Future will focus on how to turn performing a “mitzvat aseh” – a positive commandment – into actions of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Just as Marlboro Township has created a wonderful role model with its Teen Advisory Committee, a group that now numbers over 1,000 teenagers who regularly “Do Good” ─ so we, too, will join forces to bring positive change in our community.

For our school-wide project, we will be collecting and assembling “Survival Kits” for seniors living in the Marlboro area, who might be at risk should we have another difficult storm season this year. We will start the day with a short text study on Leviticus 19:32, “Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; be in awe of your God. I am Adonai.” They will assemble and personalize each kit with cards of support and blessing, so that when people open their packages, they will know that the next generation has begun to take responsibility for the welfare of the community.

If you would like to help us and are able to contribute any of these items below, please let us know at 732-308-3836.

1. lightweight blanket

2. flashlight and extra batteries

3. water bottles

4. Stick-on lights (battery powered)

5. Energy bars

6. battery-powered radios.

7. manual can opener

8. moist towelettes

9. Toilet paper

10. First Aid kit

11. Cans of soup and tuna

12. Graham crackers/cookies

May our children go from strength to strength as they provide for their community!


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