“It is incredible to have people getting together again,” Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) Rabbi Marc Kline told members of his congregation that met on a beautiful day in early May.
MRT has been celebrating this annual spring ritual for over two decades. Last year’s Mitzvah Day was totally virtual as the members did what they could do remotely to perform the mitzvah of “Tikkun olam” (repair the world). The Rabbi went on to explain, “We are a people interested in healing the world. We are not obligated to solve the world’s problems, but we are requested to work on them.”
PHOTO: Lyra Seligman organized a food and supplies drive for donations to the Backpack Crew and Monmouth Day Care Center in Red Bank.
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Some of the MRT congregants cooked 145 meals delivering them to The Center of Asbury Park for distribution to Rescue Mission, Trinity Church homeless services and a HABcore boarding house for those in need. They conducted a diaper drive and donated 20 months of diapers and wipes to Lunch Break to fill a requested need.
Local shelters and pantries were also given donations of soap in home-crocheted sacs. MRT crafters also knitted hats for Knit the Rainbow for homeless teens and young adults in the LGBT community. A Thirteen-year old organized a food and supply drive for the Back Pack Crew and Monmouth Day Care. Additionally, young students created greeting cards for seniors at the neighborhood assisted living.
PHOTO: A crew of 18 enthusiastic volunteers swept the beach clean in Northern Sea Bright.
The Environment was aided with a beach sweep in Sea Bright, while volunteers collected and removed over 50 bags of trash on the Henry Hudson Trail.
Close to home, Monmouth Reform gardeners tilled the soil, weeded and prepared beds for planting the Gan Mazon (garden) which feeds the poor all summer long.
Work projects were undertaken to clean-up the temple basement and beautify the grounds. The religious school’s youngest students fashioned hand painted rocks for the children’s rock garden.
Co-Chairs Marcia Rachlin and Dean Ross commented, “It was an amazing coming together of our community to do good and was a great experience for all who participated.”