Category Archives: Mitzvah Opportunities

TSTI, Giving Thanks and Doing Good

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Some of the groceries distributed to more than 200 clients of IFP the day before Thanksgiving

20121124-161012.jpgIncludes the notes and care packages packed by Religious School.

20121124-161219.jpgDistribution included 200+ fleeces, glove and hat sets, fresh bread, pies and bags of mini-marshmallows, all of which were generously donated by the Bass Foundation. We are also grateful to our IFP partners Panera Bread, Bagel Chateau and Supreme Bakery, who donate breads and pastries on a weekly basis to make our clients lives a little sweeter.

20121124-161425.jpgWe distributed coats and outerwear, including that collected at the recent TSTI Drive, to IFP clients

20121124-161537.jpgThe final piece. – clients get a turkey. We were thrilled to be able to distribute 92 turkeys collected at TSTI Turkey Drive, as well as turkeys donated by Kings and Shop-rite.

Thanks to Lisa Goldberg photos, captions and much much more.

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Help this Year’s Confirmation Class Do Some Good

As Jews, we are commanded to perform mitzvot. Among them is God’s instruction to do works of “Tikkun Olam”, or repairing the world. As the 2012 TSTI Conformation takes to the bimah next Shabbat 1 in every 5 New Jerseyan families will be going to bed hungry.

As part of Confirmation we are collecting food to support to the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, an interfaith effort across the country with a branch at TSTI. When we take to the bimah next Friday night for Confirmation we hope to be surrounded by cans of food to remind us that our Mitzvah is not over and we must continue to help.

Please donate whatever you can, but a bag full of goods on the attached list would directly impact the lives of at least 1 of the over 80 families that come to the food pantry every week. Just remember; “if you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one”.

IDEAL CONTENTS OF BAG OF FOOD

1 can soup
1 can of beans

1 can pasta meal, protein meal (pasta and beef, stew, etc)
1 can of tuna or other protein item

1 box pasta
1 jar pasta sauce

1 can green vegetables
1 can red/orange/yellow vegetable
1 can starchy vegetable (corn/potatoes)

1 jar peanut butter
1 jar jelly
1 box of cereal
1 packet dried milk

1 can fruit

Chanukah Light that Makes the World Brighter #2

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In my sermon a few weeks ago (and reprinted here on the website) I wrote about Hanukkah, the gifting that takes place at this season and the ways in which many tangible gifts are, in fact, unwanted by the recipient. I wrote

…perhaps we need to rethink the balance and direct some of our part of that $4 billion toward doing something that will make a difference. The number of organizations that can benefit from such philanthropy is tremendous. But even more powerful than our individual gift is the way our actions can be expanded when done as part of a larger community.

What if, for example, this year each of our households were to pick an issue and not only donate to it, but also promote it within our Temple community. It could be as simple as sending us an email that says,

“For Chanukah this year we made a family donation to ___ organization in place of a gift one night. As part of that gift we want to tell you about the organization, why we picked it, how they do good in the world and how you too can get involved.”

Striking the right balance is what I’d like to encourage this year, and I would love to see members of our community using our Temple website, our Temple blog, and our Temple Facebook page to share their answers to those questions.

Temple Leader Ellen Musicant shared the following:

For the past several years we have been exchanging charity with the family members. At Jason’s urging we put aside the shopping and wrapping and unwrapping and put thought into the donations we make and the people who need them.

This year I will be focusing on The Community FoodBank of NJ and Reading is Fundamental. I have the naive view that if everyone has a full belly and can read & write, the world will be a more peaceful place to live and our planet with survive the human epoch. I believe Peter will be donating to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

In the past we have also given Chanukah tributes to Habitat for Humanity, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Nature Conservancy, and planted trees in Israel through JNF.

Is your family doing something similar this year? Please let us know so we can share it with the rest of the TSTI family and encourage one another to do the same.

Hanukkah Light That Makes the World Brighter

IPhoto
In my sermon a few weeks ago (and reprinted here on the website) I wrote about Hanukkah, the gifting that takes place at this season and the ways in which many tangible gifts are, in fact, unwanted by the recipient. I wrote

…perhaps we need to rethink the balance and direct some of our part of that $4 billion toward doing something that will make a difference. The number of organizations that can benefit from such philanthropy is tremendous. But even more powerful than our individual gift is the way our actions can be expanded when done as part of a larger community.

What if, for example, this year each of our households were to pick an issue and not only donate to it, but also promote it within our Temple community. It could be as simple as sending us an email that says,

“For Chanukah this year we made a family donation to ___ organization in place of a gift one night. As part of that gift we want to tell you about the organization, why we picked it, how they do good in the world and how you too can get involved.”

Striking the right balance is what I’d like to encourage this year, and I would love to see members of our community using our Temple website, our Temple blog, and our Temple Facebook page to share their answers to those questions.

Temple member/leader Debbie Bernstein was kind enough to share the following-

This Chanukah, my family will be donating to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

I began donating to this charity about twenty years ago when my friends started having children and I wanted to celebrate the birth of a baby by making a donation to a cause that specifically helps families More recently, friends of ours had the need to stay in a Ronald McDonald House while their son, Jake, was treated for cancer.

Last year, Jake began a wonderful tradition of making pancake breakfasts for the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. My son, Ben, joined his good friend in this labor of love (and flour and eggs and syrup).
The website for this charity is http://www.rhmc.org.

We wish you all a Happy Chanukah!
Debbie, Andy, Ben, Jordan and Cameron


If your family is doing something similar please let us know. It is a wonderful way for us all to bring a bit more light into the world this Hanukkah.

TSTI WEEKLY: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 26 Cheshvan 5772

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Please note that the Temple offices will close early today, Wednesday Nov. 23 and remain closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The STISY Annual Midnight Run Clothing Drive is nearing the end and the following items are still needed by Sat., Dec. 3: LARGE or EXTRA LARGE (pref. Men’s), Shirts, Sweaters, Pants, Jackets, New Underwear and Socks (Men’s and Women’s), New Trial Size Toiletry Items, Hats and Glove

Ushers Needed! We need ushers for our Shabbat morning services. Could you spare a Shabbat morning to help out? Services are warm and wonderful, and you would be doing a mitzvah as well! If you can help, contact Heidi Sussman. Thank you in advance.

Adult Ed. Class – “Judaism and the Environment: originally scheduled for Mon., Nov. 28 is POSTPONED until Mon., Mar. 12.

Please help TSTI go GREEN: Sign up for paperless Bulletin by emailing Sunny Seglin with your name and the email address to which you would like your Bulletin sent.

For more about these and other items, log on to TSTI.org.

TIKUN OLAM… REPAIRING THE WORLD

Bring One! We are still collecting food to meet the ongoing needs of our neighbors. Bring one can each time you or yours come to temple!

Transportation is available for congregants who need a ride to services and temple events. Contact Alice Forman at (973)736-3467 if you need a ride or if you can offer a ride to others.

LOOKING AHEAD…

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Visit our website at http://www.tsti.org for information about our upcoming events

NFL Night with TSTI: Save the date – Thurs., Dec. 8 at 7:30pm. Old friends and new – Come watch the NFL game and enjoy activities with fellow TSTI members at the Miami Mikes Sports Bar on Route 10 in East Hanover. Contact Andy Nadel or Jeff Karp with any questions, to volunteer or to RSVP.

Shabbat Scholar and Supper: Join us on Dec. 9 to hear Jane S. Gerber, Professor of Jewish History and Director of the Institute for Sephardic Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, speak about “The Impact of Sephardic Jews on the Contemporary Jewish World”. Worship services are at 6pm, followed by Shabbat dinner ($25 per member, $36 non-member). Please send your RSVP to temple c/o Tracy Horwitz. Co-sponsored by the Renaissance Group.

WEEKLY PARASHA
Parasha Tol’dot
Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

In this week’s parasha, Isaac and Rebekah marry and Rebekah gives birth to twins, Esau and Jacob. The pregnancy is difficult and God tells Rebekah that she is carrying “two nations” and that the “elder shall serve the younger.” Esau is born first and Jacob follows “holding Esau’s heel.” As the twins grow, Esau becomes a skillful hunter in the fields while Jacob remains at home as his mother’s favored son. One day when Esau is returning from the hunting field, Jacob convinces his brother to sell him his birthright for a pot of lentil stew. Years pass and Isaac is old and blind. Rebekah instructs Jacob to disguise himself as Esau and to deceive Isaac who will then offer Jacob the blessing of a first-born son. Esau is furious and vows to kill his brother. Rebekah tells Jacob to run away to Haran and find the home of her brother, Laban, where he will seek a wife among Laban’s daughters.

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel is an inclusive congregation, accessible and welcoming to all. If you need accommodations, please call Karen at the Temple office.

TSTI is part of Greenfaith’s “Greening Reform Judaism Certification Program”. Visit our Greening page now. While we work at addressing our impact on the environment, you can assess yours – Calculate Your Carbon Footprint.

This email is as updated as possible. However, Temple information is subject to change without notice. For verification of any information, please call the Temple office at 973-763-4116 or visit http://www.tsti.org.

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You Donated, We Sorted and Together We Made a Difference

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On Tuesday, October 25th, our Sixth Graders put into action the mitzvah of Feeding the Hungry: Ma’Achil Re’evim. They conversed about why we are commanded to feed the hungry, and then put the learning into action. They sorted all of the food that has been collected not only during the High Holidays, but through the Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School as students participate in the Second Annual Great Food Challenge. The food was delivered to both the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, and The Community Foodbank of New Jersey. It is a testament to our congregation’s commitment to help others that our students alone have brought in over 1,200 items of food since the school year began.

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Global Hunger Shabbat and 18 Days of Action

Global Hunger Shabbat is part of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) ongoing food justice campaign. This fall, the campaign is focusing on mobilizing the American Jewish community to reform policies in the U.S. Farm Bill that negatively impact communities across the globe.

Join AJWS and Jewish communities around the country for Global Hunger Shabbat—followed by 18 Days of Action leading up to Thanksgiving—to promote food justice and tikkun olam. Nearly 200 communities participated in this nationwide event last year!  

Global Hunger Shabbat, a key moment in AJWS’s year-long food justice campaign, is a weekend of nationwide solidarity, learning and reflection around food justice. The learning and exploring of Global Hunger Shabbat is designed as a springboard into meaningful action over the following weeks and months, as they mobilize the American Jewish community in the fight for food justice.  This campaign begins on November 4, 2011.   More information can be found at :

 http://ajws.org/hunger/ghs/

 

 

 

TSTI Green Team and Oxfam

This is our second and final year in the GreenFaith Certification Program.  We are so proud of our accomplishments!   TSTI is entering into an exciting new area and the TSTI Green Team will be focusing on two International Environmental Justice Issues.   This post will focus on the first issue as we align with an international organization called Oxfam. 

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. We are one of the 15 affiliates in the international confederation, Oxfam.

Their vision: A just world without poverty.

Their mission: To create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.

The Issue

Our world produces enough food for all of us. But one in seven people still goes hungry.

Hunger is about power. Its roots lie in inequalities in access to resources and opportunities. And right now, we’ve reached a turning point. We can support farmer-led solutions to hunger, like a more efficient rice-growing technique in Vietnam. We can urge companies and governments to make smarter investments in agriculture and climate preparedness. And we can educate others so that they, too, are inspired to take action

In September, the TSTI Green team will be circulating a petition for the Oxfam GROW Campaign .  The premise of this campaign is that our food system is broken…but not beyond repair. Oxfam is launching a major effort to take on the policies and corporations that control how much food gets produced, where it goes, who eats and who doesn’t—and we need your help.    More info can be found here : http://www.oxfamamerica.org/files/oxfam-grow-factsheet.pdf) .