Tzedaka tourists learn to ‘repair the world’

Tzedaka tourists learn to ‘repair the world’

Tikkun Olam Tour participants display the bags they painted for Leket, Israel’s largest food bank.
Tikkun Olam Tour participants display the bags they painted for Leket, Israel’s largest food bank.

Areyvut, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread core Jewish values, brought its Tikkun Olam Tour to the Greater MetroWest area on Feb. 28. 

Over 40 members of Montclair Jewish Workshop, a cooperative of parents who provide their children with programs of Jewish culture and values through secular education, took part in the tour.

The first stop was Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ headquarters on the Aidekman campus in Whippany, where participants were introduced to Leket, Israel’s largest food bank and food rescue network. After learning about the organization and its mission, MJW members decorated bags to be distributed in Israel to those receiving food parcels from Leket.

On the Aidekman campus, the tour participants paid a friendly visit to residents of Lester Senior Housing Community. The children, parents, and seniors shared snacks and sang songs together. “The past and future came together in the present,” said Dyann Savvis, activity assistant at Lester Senior Housing. “We hope this will be the first of many such events for our grateful Lester seniors.”

Participants then met with Nick Hudson from the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a bone marrow and blood stem cell registry that aims to find genetic matches and donors for those in dire need of a transplant. After learning about the organization, the MJW visitors made thank you and get well cards for bone marrow donors and recipients.

The Tikkun Olam Tour exposes participants to many types of volunteer opportunities in their community. “In one day, we were able to participate in three different levels of tzedaka,” said MJW member Cara Moroze. “On the local level, we connected with residents in elder care. On the national level, we made cards for both donors and recipients of bone marrow and blood stem cells. And on the international level, we made gifts to brighten the day for someone in need in Israel. It was a memorable and inspiring experience.” 

“My entire family found the day so rewarding,” said MJW member Jennifer Grisafi. “My son even said, ‘It feels good to do good.’”

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