In November of 2022, Gan Sinai and JPaL children helped us build a super big and beautiful tzedakah box. This isn't just any tzedakah box - it has your children's hands all over it. That's why we call it our Hands-On Tzedakah Box. More than just a collection box, our Hands-On Tzedakah initiative is designed to teach our kids, gently, about helping people who are in need in a way they can understand. We want our children, and by extension, our families, to be able to talk about those who are in need and the Jewish value of tzedakah, which doesn’t mean “charity” but “justice.”
Our children are used to bringing spare change to put in their class’ tzedakah box. Not all children understand what that money means or where it goes. The Hands-On Tzedakah initiative is designed to make conversations about generosity easier for you and us to have with our kids. We can talk to our kids about children who are hungry and they can understand that buying cereal to share with them is a way of helping.
Each month we will have a different focus and organization that we are supporting. It's important to us that our children know that we aren't just putting items in a box and then they disappear - so once a month we will roll our Hands-On Tzedakah box into the sanctuary for Shabbat where a representative from the community will receive the donations and thank the children personally.
We always frame our Hands-On Tzedakah learning in an age-appropriate, positive, and joyful manner. Each month that we ask for items they will be affordable and easily accessible and they will always be something that your children recognize. We hope you’ll continue the conversations about tzedakah (justice) at home. Some of you may bring your children with you to select items or learn about the different projects we support.
We are so excited about this new initiative and hope that each month you will join your hands with your children’s as we fill our Hands-On Tzedakah box.