RED BANK: BIKE LIGHT GIVEAWAY PLANNED

rb bike 042915 2It’s a mitzvah for local cyclists, says the temple member who dreamed it up. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoIn an effort to improve pedaling safety, a local Jewish congregation is planning a giveaway of bicycle lamps in Red Bank next week.

As one of two Tikkun Olam, or “repairing the world,” social action events planned for May, members of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls plan to install front-and-rear bike lights for all comers on Monday, May 11, at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Bridge Avenue.

Dubbed ‘Shine a Light,’ the program was the brainchild of temple member Dean Ross, owner of he Doc Shoppe in Red Bank, who last year gave away hundreds of free pairs of shoes to area kids.

Ross tells redbankgreen that the bike lamp giveaway is a mitzvah, or good deed, inspired by a need he perceives, particularly in the largely Hispanic community on Red Bank’s West Side.

Ross said he often sees people “riding bikes at night, with no lights, no reflectors. And there have been some near-misses. We hope to save lives.”

The giveaway, he emphasized, is for anyone who needs the lamps, though bikes must be present. Cliff Wittenberg of Bike Haven in Fair Haven will assist with the installations. And recipients of the lamps will be able to exchange batteries for new ones when those in the lights have died, Ross said.

The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m., in conjunction with the church’s food pantry distribution, and will be repeated if there’s enough demand, Ross said.

The second Tikkun Olam event of the month is a planned Mitzvah Day of activities on Sunday, May 17, from 9 a.m. through the afternoon, with numerous good deeds being performed by the entire congregation  in various ways, according to an announcement. These include working in the temple community garden; knitting caps and blankets for newborns; a blood drive during the day, local trail clean-ups, and more.

Additional details are available at the temple website.