Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Not a Jewish holiday or another American holiday?

I was never a fan of Halloween.  I did allow costumes on Halloween with the caveat whatever costume you bought for Halloween you wore at Purim and you better make sure this costume would still fit in 6 months.

I never decorated our house for Halloween, we of course will hand out candy tomorrow night and stay home and enjoy the children visiting our house.  Take a look at what Rabbi Phyllis Sommer has to say in the latest Reform Judaism email. She talks about not decorating for Halloween and other hints for the holiday season.  It does seem that Halloween gets bigger and bigger every year.  When it is closer to to Sukkot you can link some of the activities.

After Halloween is a great time to pick up costumes that you can use for super Hero capes which I have used on retreats or up at camp.  Using the area of costumes is a great start to use in schools, camps or at home.  What super hero power would you have?  One super power for tikkun olam and one just for fun.

Enjoy the weekend and start planning your Purim costumes now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Doing Mitzvot year round or Every Day is Mitzvah day!

At the food bank last year.
This year Lakeside Congregation has taken on an ambitious social action project.  We packing 19 backpacks full of food for 28 weeks for a local Middle school for students to have food over the weekend.  These students receive free breakfast and hot lunch at school during the week and this programs allows them to have food over the weekend.  Blessings in a backpack as I call it has us packing on Sunday mornings and delivering to our Middle school on Thursday mornings.  I know that the school is grateful we have taken on the project and I am so happy we can provide this service. Special thanks to Congregation Solel for helping us out once a month.  We are still looking for partners and if your family would like to sponsor one week please feel free to contact me

I have tried explaining to our students what it means to be really be hungry.  I know they feel hungry on Sunday morning when they skip breakfast or Tuesday afternoon as Hebrew school comes to an end at 5:45pm but they have not had to skip meals because there is no food at home. We are fortunate to live in an affluent community and I hope by packing back packs every week on Sunday morning in the lobby our students will see that other students in our community are counting on us so they will not be hungry.

From Mitzvah Day 2015
We have different menus for each week so that we can change our bags from week to week.  We also try to include fun items and snacks.  The week before Thanksgiving we will also try to pack a hearty bag as well.  I want to thank everyone who has brought food for this project and for those that will in the future.  This will certainly make sure that Lakeside is making every day Mitzvah day.