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‘Mitzvah Maniac’ to visit Monmouth temple
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‘Mitzvah Maniac’ to visit Monmouth temple

Tzedakah advocate and poet Danny Siegel addressed members of Congregation Neve Shalom in Metuchen in 2015. Photo by Debra Rubin
Tzedakah advocate and poet Danny Siegel addressed members of Congregation Neve Shalom in Metuchen in 2015. Photo by Debra Rubin

Known by nicknames such as “The Mitzvah Maniac” and “The Pied Piper of Tzedakah,” Danny Siegel will bring his message of philanthropy to Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) as scholar-in-residence Feb. 24-26.

MRT’s spiritual leader said Siegel’s mission is especially relevant as today’s climate leans toward people and groups separating from one another. “This is a time when we need to pay attention to voices that teach us how to restore relationships and heal the world,” said Rabbi Marc Kline.   

Kline said he and Siegel have been close for decades. “He’s not an ordained rabbi, but he is my rabbi,” he said.

According to Kline, Siegel’s lifework has been a consistent call to microphilanthropy. His message aims to show people how to make a big difference with just a little tzedakah money or a minimum amount of time and effort, regardless of one’s personal strengths and talents. 

“I have known Danny since I was a rabbinic student at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem,” said Kline. “He is an incredible teacher and an inspiring presence, and I am delighted that our committee accepted my suggestion that we invite him to speak to us.”

Siegel will address congregants at the Tinton Falls temple on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. These events are open to the public free of charge. 

At Friday evening’s Shabbat service at 7 p.m., Siegel’s topic will be “There’s no such thing as a small mitzvah.”

At Saturday morning’s service, Siegel will focus on “Social action projects for families” and later in the day he will challenge listeners with “So you fell asleep during services; do you still count for a minyan?”

In Kline’s view, Siegel brings a fiercely felt mission and vision to helping those in need. “More than most, he recognizes that giving tzedakah is not an act of generosity, but an obligation.” Contact 732-747-9365 or visit monmouthreformtemple.org. n

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