Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

“It is not for you to complete the work, but neither are you free to abstain from it” – Rabbi Tarfon

In our Bet Torah community, many members are busy trying to do their small part to make this world a better place. Some are working as individuals, others are involved in organized group projects, many are making generous financial contributions to worthy causes, and some are involved in educating others about those in need. Some people choose to focus on community or local needs; others focus on Israel, on emergencies in the United States, or on the broader world situation.

One thing that is certain is that, as Jews, we have a responsibility to be aware of the world outside ourselves and to, in some way, work to repair the ills of that world. At Bet Torah, our community service efforts are varied, and we hope that everyone will find some way to express his or her own charitable inclinations throughout the year. Our nursery school and religious school children continue to collect tzedakah money, and we hope to direct that money toward causes that they and their families hold dear. Our Hebrew High School Mitzvah Corps runs carwashes, bake sales and other activities to raise funds for charities of interest to the high school students. Our Caring Committee is available to reach out to members in need of assistance during difficult times. Israeli causes remain a focus both through our High Holy Day appeal, as well as through ongoing activities throughout the year. Bet Torah is a long-time member of the Interfaith Food Pantry, and monetary and food contributions are needed and appreciated at all times.  In March, USY and Kadima will carry on our long tradition of inviting the developmentally disabled population of Northern Westchester to the ever-popular Purim carnival.

Our community service work also includes at least three community-wide annual projects. The first is the Midnight Run, held in November, when our high school students have the opportunity to deliver clothing, food, toiletries, and good will to the homeless population in Manhattan. You will receive information about what is needed to make the Run successful, as well as how your teenager can participate in the actual Run. We hope you will, once again, make Bet Torah’s involvement in Midnight Run successful and meaningful both for our young people and for those they will help.

This winter, Bet Torah will participate for the third year in the Interfaith Hospitality Network.  For a full week, we will host the homeless from dinner until breakfast. Volunteers will be needed to cook or donate dinners, provide breakfast and snacks, stay overnight as chaperones, donate winter hats and gloves, and ensure the feeling of good will we wish to demonstrate to those in need in our community.

Spring is the time for our annual Blood Drive. We hope those who are able will donate blood to help prevent dangerous shortages in Westchester hospitals.