My father always taught me to “leave the place nicer than when you found it.” As a child, I usually thought he meant that I had to clean my room or clear the dinner table. But over the years, I’ve come to understand that it means much more. In fact, that simple piece of advice from my dad encompassed many of the Jewish values that I live by today. To him, it was simply a way to be a better person. To me, it’s also a part of being Jewish.
Working with the JCC of Central NJ family, I continue to be amazed by the countless acts of tzedakah that take place each day, in all its forms. People are making our community better than when they found it time and time again. It’s really inspiring to watch a class of 3-year-olds walking down the JCC hallway, their little arms piled high with their donations of dry and canned goods for the Mandy Reichman Feeding Program. At the food pantry, they met Meryl and Barry Reichman, Mandy’s parents who started this program in her memory. When asked why they were doing this, the pre-schoolers explained to the adults how they understood the importance of helping people, even those we don’t know.
It was a beautiful and emotional moment for all involved. From generation to generation, our JCC works to teach, promote, and live up to these kinds of values. I’ve seen special moments like this happen every day here, and that’s why I am so excited to be part of Giving Tuesday on December 1st.
Our goal is to register at least 180 “acts of giving” by our JCC community on this one day. And there are so many ways to give and make a difference:
- Bring kosher soup or canned goods to the JCC, for the JFS of Central New Jersey Food Pantry and others who assist the hungry;
- Make a gift to the JCC for either a specific program (click here) or our crucial general fund (click here); or
- Buy a ticket to our Winter Fundraising Social – Studio 54 – The Ultimate 70s Disco – by going here.
Once you participate in Giving Tuesday and the JCC’s 180 Acts of Giving, share it with the JCC family at #GivingTuesdayJCCNJcommunity so that you can encourage your friends and set an example for others.
Leaving something better than how we found it is a value we can all share. This Tuesday, December 1st, we can act on it. I am looking forward to participating, and I hope you will too.