TZEDAKAH, G’MILUT HASADIM, & SOCIAL ACTION...
Clearly, all three terms are connected with each other, and all are aspects of tikkun olam - repairing a broken world. Tikkun olam is our Jewish mandate to do what we can to make the world a better place for all of God’s children. Tzedakah, of course, is charity - and it comes from the Hebrew word tzedek, which means justice. Thus, giving tzedakah is simply doing what is right and just. G’milut hasadim are deedsof loving-kindness - giving of our time, our energy, ourselves, to help others on a personal level. Cooking for the homeless, visiting the sick or the elderly, paying a condolence call, are all examples of g’milut hasadim. And social action focuses on community work and action. It is striving to effect change in the laws of our country; it is protesting when wrongs are perceived; it is trying to make justice a reality for all. We hope that each and every one of you will engage in some aspect of tikkun olam, so that we can truly say we did our part to try to make God’s kingdom on earth a reality. Such deeds are truly wonderful family activities - it is time well spent, and teaches the values we want our children to live by throughout their lives.
United Interfaith Food Pantry
The Helping Hands Food Pantry Committee is moving forward in its planning for the United Interfaith Food Bank with a target start-up date of March 1st. Rabbi Klein and Alan Hochberg first developed the idea for the food bank when they saw the pressing need for an ongoing source of food for pantries whose government and corporate funding had been drastically reduced while demand continued to soar. SSTT-E became aware that the Bronx Jewish Community Council (BJCC) needed assistance with its food pantry program. From this awareness came the idea for an interfaith alliance between local temples and churches who would work together to support food pantries in the Bronx. Several pantries were identified which are run by religious groups of different faiths in the North Bronx who qualify for assistance. They include Saint Brendan’s Catholic Church, Thorpe Family Residence, the Episcopal Church of the Mediator and the Bronx JCC Pelham Parkway Community Service Center. SSTT-E has already received verbal commitments for seed money to be used for food purchases for the interfaith food bank. All of the money collected will be spent only on food without administrative costs.
The food bank will purchase and collect donated food on a monthly basis and organize volunteers to deliver the food to the pantries. SSTT-E hopes to share the responsibility for the United Interfaith Food Bank with several local churches. So far, the Scarsdale Congregational Church and Hitchcock Church have made a commitment to join, and other churches have also indicated interest. Among its future goals, the Helping Hands Food Pantry Committee would like to welcome more institutions into the organization of the interfaith food bank, and also hopes to increase the number of pantries participating. In addition, it would like to create a computer data base that would facilitate more efficient food distribution. On February 5th, Nora Groban and Larry Eidelberg the two chairpersons representing SSTT-E on the Interfaith Food Bank Council, made a visit to two of the Bronx food pantries, one at Saint Brendan’s Catholic Church and the other at Thorpe Family Residence.
The United Interfaith Food Bank will need volunteers to collect food donations, shop and deliver food to the pantries. The Food Pantry Committee of Helping Hands also hopes to involve SSTT-E's young people in fundraising, collecting food and service efforts for our new food bank. Members who are interested in participating in this worthwhile project, please contact the Helping Hands Committee (Mary B. Lane 723.0655 or Garyat SSTT-E at 725.5175).
Items we need are:
- Canned soup
- Canned vegetables
- Spaghetti sauce
- Canned fruit
- Peanut butter
- Canned meats
- Pudding or Jello
- Baby formula
- Pampers (all sizes)
- Baby food
- School Supplies
Anyone interested in volunteering with the BJCC to assist residents of the Bronx with friendly visiting, shopping assistance, holiday food package delivery, - willing to escort patients to and from physicians appointments or with a variety of other volunteer opportunities should contact Niti Minkove, BJCC Volunteer coordinator at (718) 884-5769. or 917-693-3084 or at
Volunteers of all ages are welcome.