Home July 2023 JLIFE BUZZ- B’nai Tikvah Held 2nd Annual Mitzvah Day

JLIFE BUZZ- B’nai Tikvah Held 2nd Annual Mitzvah Day

  Congregation B’nai Tikvah of North Brunswick held its second annual Mitzvah Day, organized and sponsored by the Social Action committee on Sunday, June 11th, with 50 members, ranging from age 5 to 85 coming together in the service of others, including delivering 24 filled backpacks, 50 filled grocery totes, 100 snack bags and at least 200 DVDS and VHS tapes.  The nonprofits served are Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County, Tikva Odessa, based in Ukraine and Romania with a fund-raising arm in New Jersey, Elijah’s Promise in New Brunswick, Interfaith Rise in Highland Park, and our own synagogue.
    They were excited to conduct our first cooking project and first off-site project this year to benefit Elijah’s Promise and Interfaith Rise respectively. Under the leadership of Shelly Talmud and Renee Levin, five dedicated volunteers cooked eight large trays of baked ziti in our kitchen for Elijah’s Promise Community Soup Kitchen, which has served those in need in New Brunswick and its surrounding area for over 30 years. It has grown to include a variety of food and social service programs for the community.  Interfaith Rise (I Rise), the immigrant and refugee resettlement organization based in Highland Park, has a two-year-old wonderful venture, Global Grace Farms, located at Cook Organic Farms at Rutgers, New Brunswick. Refugee families can farm their own plots, plant and maintain crops grown for I Rise’s CSA- (Community Supported Agriculture) shares which are available to the public, and the public can volunteer to help on the farm on weekends during the growing seasons. Five members, led by gardeners extraordinaire Craig Cohen and Dot Cohen, weeded and watered crops such as kale, beets, peas, carrots, and zucchini on an unusually hot morning. To buy a farm share, go to Interfaithrise.org, then Global Grace Café and Marketplace, and put “FARM” into the search bar.
    Other projects included counting tzedakah and cleaning toys in the Religious School preschool classroom, decorating and packing grocery totes for Jewish Family Services Food Pantry clients, collecting media for the Wilf Campus for Jewish Life, filling back packs with school supplies for refugee children served by I Rise, and making snack bags for Elijah’s Promise’s clients.
    The Jewish international project created and wrote cards of love and support to Jewish children from Odessa Ukraine, many of whom have been brought to Romania by Tikva Odessa, (Tikvaodessa.org)  which has been rescuing Odessa’s abused and orphaned children from Odessa Ukraine for over 20 years, providing them with a home, a Jewish education, medical and psychological services, and  helping those over age 16 who wish to make aliyah to Israel.
    The Social Action committee’s vision is to serve members in need, whether it be a holiday meal for those who are homebound or isolated, or the temple’s Chaverim lunch and socialization program for seniors in collaboration with JFS, and to help the area Jewish and other community nonprofits, such as JFS, the Jewish Social Services Committee, and the North and South Brunswick Food Pantries in whatever ways possible. The temple operates solely through the generous donations of its members.
    For additional information, visit https://bnaitikvah.org.  


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