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אמר רב אסי שקולה צדקה כנגד כל המצות

Rabbi Assi says: Tzedakah (righteous giving) is as important as all the other mitzvot put together. (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 9a)

Announcing the Launch of our Tzedakah Centre!

With the change in weather, nature turns inwards and plants invest in their roots.  As we also follow this mandate of nature to better survive, I ask that we mark our path inwards with outwards acts as well.

One of the quiet ideas in our renewed building is our Tzedakah Centre, which is being made increasingly visible and ready to receive donations.

Here is a current list of individuals and groups seeking donations:

Jesse Sol (son of Dr. Adam Sol and Rabbi Yael Splansky) is seeking donations of children’s books (used is great) for The Children’s Book BankFor more information click here. 

The Toronto Board of Rabbis is seeking non-perishable food items for food banks across the GTA in honour of this High Holy Day season, as Isaiah asks, “Is this the fast that you have chosen?”

Out of the Cold is seeking new socks for its guests.

Our Teens (HABSTY) are seeking Tzedakah funds to direct to good causes based on their own learning experiences under the supervision of Lisa Isen Baumal.

A big Thank You to Phyllis Cincinatus, who has agreed to help curate our Tzedakah Centre:

The Fine Art of Tzedakah

From Maimonides we have learned a hierarchy of giving; eight levels of tzedakah, an increasing progression of honourable giving. The act of tzedakah is not charity; it is an act of righteousness. Simply put, we give because it is the right thing to do. And while we may be moved by an event or a story to perform an act of tzedakah, often our good intentions miss the mark.

After natural disasters, The Red Cross finds their warehouses filled with donations of useless items like prom dresses. The time and money it takes to sort through the donations delays the aid from getting to those who are in need. Foodbanks publish lists of items most needed, and yet a look in some donation bins and you may find some rather unusual ingredients, signs that some use a food drive as an opportunity to purge their pantry. And the newest phenomenon – Go-Fund-Me sites online have sadly made headlines of misuse and scandals.

So how can we best support those who are in need or those who are involved in honourable projects that aid others?

As part of the renewal project here at Holy Blossom, our community has established a Tzedakah Centre, an on-going, ever-changing, curated donation hub located just inside the main entry doors in our new atrium. With a design based on the footprint of our new space, the Tzedakah Centre is a series of 5 drawers and bins of varying sizes, designed to accommodate multiple tzedakah projects at the same time. And at the centre of the configuration is a pushke (for cash donations) in the form of Jacob’s Tower.

On a revolving basis, the collection spaces will be allocated for different tzedakah projects proposed and steered by you, the congregation. Whether is it a b’nai mitzvah project or our Out of the Cold program or a collection of eyeglasses for poor communities, if you are involved with a project that is collecting very specific items, we want to work with you. All drawer allocation will be for a finite time to encourage timely turnaround for each project. We will keep the congregation up-to-date as to what is being collected, getting the word out to support your project.

We are pleased to launch our Tzedakah Centre. In the coming weeks, please look for it when you find yourself at Temple. If you have a tzedakah project that would benefit from a collection space in the centre, please contact Phyllis Cincinatus via the Temple Office for further information.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Rifky Rosensweig
    Reply

    Hello Jesse:
    What an important, meaningful project you have chosen to devote your time and attention to!
    Congratulations on your remarkable decision to support the Children’s Book Bank, and on your Bar Mitzvah too.
    I have worked in the Regent Park and other low-income communities and the issue of access to books and support for reading are key to school success. I have seen, firsthand, how books can open up worlds and opportunities that may be otherwise denied to children in low-income families.
    This is a reminder for me and my grandchildren to go through the books that they have outgrown, ask if I can donate them to your project, and bring them in to Temple.
    Shanah Tova to you and your family,
    Rifky Rosensweig

    • jesse sol
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences from Regent Park, I look forward to seeing your grandchildren’s books in the Tzedakah Centre!
      Shanah Tova
      From Jesse

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