Giving to Others

Tzedakah Sunday

It is Eitz Chayim’s minhag (tradition) to dedicate a spring Sunday morning to celebrating one of Judaism’s most important values: that of helping others. We are lucky to do that together – b’tzavtah – with our community of all ages, kids, families, everyone. We work to foster tzedakah as a habit done thoughtfully.

We gather a fund of tzedakah donations, and then, on Tzedakah Sunday, spokespersons for four non-profit organizations give short presentations to small groups of members of all ages, and share with us their goals and strategies for helping others and the world. Then we discuss how to make intelligent choices about where to donate.

Tzedakah Sunday is always an informative and eye-opening occasion.

Family Table

During the course of the year, Eitz Chayim supports Family Table, a program of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service that provides over 215,000 kosher meals a year to persons in need of food assistance in the Greater Boston area. Family Table uses volunteers from 69 area synagogues and schools to collect, pack, and distribute food and personal hygiene items. Eitz Chayim has undertaken to collect 20 boxes of cereal and 20 cans of kosher soup a month. You’ll find the current collection on the Family Table table at Eitz Chayim.

Neighborhood Food Pantry

During the High Holiday season, in particular, we hear the call of Isaiah the Prophet who said, of Yom Kippur:

This is My chosen fast…
To share your bread with the hungry,
To take the homeless into your home,
To clothe the naked when you see them.
(Isaiah 58:6-7)

During the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, each member of our Congregational family is asked to donate bags of nonperishable groceries. Immediately after Yom Kippur, we deliver the bags to the Cambridgeport Baptist Church next door, which a runs a Food Pantry year-round. Here is an opportunity to focus on the affirmative commitments of Judaism, which is a lot of what we talk about on the High Holidays.