Nursery School Mitzvah Projects
LTNS began our Mitzvah Curriculum in 2006. Our goal is to afford our students and families the opportunity to participate in hands-on mitzvah activities that allowed children to participate in community giveback and Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world) in meaningful ways.
Over the course of the years we have made brown bag sandwich lunches for Midnight Run, made Thanksgiving pies for a local soup kitchen, recycled and made our own paper for Tu’B’Shevat, Mishloach Manot packages to share around Purim, Passover cards for Senior citizens through Dorot, and our Pajama Drive (where we raised over 150 pair of pajamas this year!)
Our culminating project is our Mitzvah Market, which will be held this year on Wednesday, May 23rd. All of the LTNS students work for about a month before the market. They bake, craft, create garden wares, etc. The 3s and 4s are the workers in the market and all families are invited to come shop that morning during their child’s assigned work time. Everyone will receive a “formal” invitation at the end of April. Last year, LTNS donated $600 to The Clearwater Initiative, which was used to help fund fresh water well in Kachumbala, Uganda and $600 to The Social Action Committee. This afforded about 200 families a lifetime of clean water and the money for Social Action helps fund events such as Midnight Run. This year, part of the money raised will again go to The Clearwater Initiative, and part will be donated to a local community organization again.
As the children participate, these projects and partnerships become a core part of who they are and how they choose to participate in our world. Working together, as a community, toward greater good helps build relationships with one another, with people that we don’t know, and gives the children a strong sense of meaning in their lives.
Schedule of Events for 2013-2014 School Year:
- October: Sandwiches for Midnight Run
- November: Pie Making for Mamaroneck Food Pantry for Thanksgiving Dinners
- December: Sponsor-A-Family/ make gift wrap to wrap presents
- January: Recycled Paper Peat Pots
- February: Mitzvah Shabbat
- March: Misloach Manot Exchange
- April: Passover Cards for Dorot/ Earth Day
- May: Mitzvah Market
A Vocabulary of Giving…
Tzedakah – Righteous Giving
For there will never cease to be needy people in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy.
MISHNEH TORAH: HILCHOT MATNOT AYIMYIM 7:3
It is a mitzvah to give a poor person what is needed. If one has no clothing, clothing should be provided. If one has no furniture, it should be obtained…Even if an impoverished person was used to riding on a horse with a servant running ahead, you should provide a horse and servant. It is a mitzvah to meet a poor person’s needs but you are not required to make that person rich.
Gimilut Chasadim- Acts of Loving Kindness
TALMUD, SUKKAH 49b
Our Rabbis taught: gemilut chasadim is greater than tzedakah in three ways: Acts of tzedakah involve only one’s money- gemilut chasadim can involve both, money or one’s personal service. Tzedakah can be given only to the poor – gemilut chasadim can be done both for the rich and for the poor. Tzedakah can be given only to the living – gemilut chasadim can be done both for the living and the dead.
Terumah – A Gift From The Heart
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring ME gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.
RABBI HAROLD KUSHNER
One who gives receives something in return- the sense of being generous and making a worthy undertaking possible, the sense of sharing with others, the sense of self worth that comes from knowing that we can give away something of value without feeling diminished.
Ben Zoma said: “Who is honored? One who honors every person.” As it is said: They that honor me, I shall honor.” (I Samuel 2:30)
We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.