As part of Mitzvah Day in the community, the Fourth Grade school children of Monmouth Reform Temple set up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand to collect money for cancer research. Working the stand are Kyle Little (Little Silver), Marisa Seckular (Middletown), Jake Schwartz (Shark River Hills), Agatha Hershey (Rumson), Alexa Tuller (Lincroft), Ava Schwartz (Shark River Hills), Dylan Nifoussi (Little Silver) and Ethan Smith (Rumson).
Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple
On May 17, an army of over 200 Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) members of all ages went forth into the community to perform “mitzvot” — a commandment from God to do good in the world on MRT’s “Mitzvah Day.” They tilled the soil behind the temple building in creation of a community garden to feed the poor, and ventured out to paint a Habitat for Humanity home. They knitted caps and blankets for preemies, and made templates for shoes for Ugandan children.
Students in the fourth grade raised money for pediatric cancer research by setting up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and students in kindergarten through second grade visited the Kensington Court assisted living center singing Jewish folk songs and dancing to entertain the residents. At the end of their performances, the children presented the residents with colorfully decorated flower pots and brilliant flowers to brighten their rooms. Another group of students visited the Chelsea assisted living center doing arts and crafts with the residents. A different group cleaned the trail along the Henry Hudson Trail in the Highlands.
Congregants including Rabbi Marc Kline and Cantor Gabrielle Clissold donated blood during an all-day blood drive at MRT. Rabbi Kline addressed the congregation — and the children in particular — just before they embarked on their adventures, stating, “We have talked about how Torah can help heal the world. This is a culminating way to end our school year of putting what we are learning in Torah to use. Because we know we can a make a difference, and do make a difference, that is why we are here today.”
Mitzvah Day had been a special day run by MRT for many years, and was revived when Rabbi Kline asked temple members Dean Ross and Marjorie Wold to chair the program.
Rabbi Kline commented, “Dean Ross and Margie Wold did an incredible job in getting team captains and teams together,” the Rabbi commented. “There is some incredible work being done because someone said Hineni…I am here, and I am ready to serve.”