Gemillut Chasadim – Heroes Who Help

We need to always ask ourselves how we can foster social action in our homes and with our children. Do we model what it means to give back and to help those who are less fortunate than we are? Do we show the same respect, empathy, and giving that we expect our own children to display?

On the first Wednesday of each month, our school cultivates spirit by holding a Ruach Day. We take a Jewish idea and find ways to honor that theme through fun and creativity. December’s ruach theme always centers on heroes, in tribute to the Maccabees. In previous years, we have spoken and taught about many of our Jewish leaders, both past and present.

This year, we decided to honor our students who have helped the sick by either paying visits or making get well cards. We asked these students to stand while the rest of us clapped in gratitude. In the first chapter, second mishna of Pirkei Avot, Legends of our Ancestors, Simeon the Righteous says that the world rests on three things: on Torah, on avodah (work or worship), and on gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).

At CBJ, we have emphasized the urgency and importance of gemilut chasadim through social action. Rabbi Ezray has given sermons teaching us that empathy is “caught, not taught.” Sue Borg, our president, has spoken and asked all of us to create a synagogue that doesn’t just talk about social action or do a little here and there, but one that goes full force and embraces social action as much as possible.

This year, we have launched two powerful and significant social action programs at CBJ: Hineni and Partners in Action. These efforts connect everyone at CBJ from our young preschoolers to our senior members. The programs help us connect with one another and build community as we work together to make the world a better place. We ask all parents to bring their families to support these projects and to encourage friends to do the same.

We need to always ask ourselves how we can foster social action in our homes and with our children. Do we model what it means to give back and to help those who are less fortunate than we are? Do we show the same respect, empathy, and giving that we expect our own children to display?

If you haven’t already, please take the time to ask your children what they are grateful for and what they would like to do as a family to give to others in need. Please mark your family’s calendar to participate in all of CBJ’s social action events with Hineni and Partners in Action.