Local ‘braid and bake’ to mark launch of ‘Giving Tuesday’

Local ‘braid and bake’ to mark launch of ‘Giving Tuesday’

A Community Challah Bake will be Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s featured activity as part of a new national effort designed to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. 

Giving Tuesday will take place Dec. 2 — the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — to coincide with the kickoff of the holiday shopping season. By using social media the #GivingTuesday movement aims to harness the collective power of charities, families, businesses, and individuals to inspire people to actively help create a better world by improving their local communities and giving in smarter ways to the philanthropies and causes they support. It is dedicated to giving in much the way Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with holiday shopping. 

Locally, the federation’s event will involve “braiding and baking” on site at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside. Participants will make enough dough to be baked into more than 750 loaves on behalf of clients of Jewish Family Services of MetroWest and Central NJ and kosher food pantries. 

Baking shifts will begin at 8:45 a.m. and end at 7 p.m.; to sign up for a 75-minute shift, visit jfedgmw.org/challahbake. Volunteers may also help with registration, transporting hallahs to the oven and cooling stations, bagging and tagging the loaves, and tracking and moving boxes and may also participate in a FoodBank project on site for an additional hour. 

“Finally, a holiday that celebrates and creates awareness of giving back to our community and the world,” said event cochair Joanie Schwarz. 

“We are excited to be part of Giving Tuesday and to raise awareness of hunger needs in our community,” said federation volunteerism vice president Maxine Schwartz. “We are making an impact and helping those who are hungry.”

Cochair Felice Flitt said it is organizers’ hope that the volunteers “tell their families, their neighbors, and friends what a mitzva they did and why addressing hunger is so important.” 

“Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to focus on generosity during the holidays,” said Community FoodBank president and CEO Kathleen DiChiara. “Working together, we’re opening our kitchen and our hearts to help our neighbors in need, and share some of the warmth of the season.”

Other ways to participate in #GivingTuesday include donating new toys and nonperishable food items at #Giving Tuesday bins at the Aidekman campus in Whippany; JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains; the Cooperman JCC, West Orange; the YM-YWHA of Union County, Union; Adath Shalom, Morris Plains; and Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange. Donations will go to local partner agencies, including Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Jewish Relief Agency of MetroWest, and the Bobrow Kosher Food Pantry. Also, people can make an online donation to the UJA Campaign. All donations that day will be applied toward Super Sunday.

Community members can also sign up to volunteer at federation’s Super Sunday on Dec. 7 (jfedgmw.org/supersunday). Anyone with #GivingTuesday photos may send them to rbogart@jfedgmw.org with the hashtag #GivingTuesday; pictures will be posted on the federation’s Pinterest board.

Those who wish to join the initiative can visit jfedgmw.org/givingtuesday; for more details, visit givingtuesday.org or the Facebook page or follow twitter.com/GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.

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