Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple

Tikkun Olam, the Jewish tenet of “Repairing the World,” will be on full display in May during two major social action events planned by the Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) in May. On Monday, May 11, MRT members will join congregants at Saint Anthony of Padua Church (121 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank), to launch the Shine A Light program to install bicycle lights for members of the Red Bank community.

The program was the brainchild of MRT member Dean Ross, who seeks to improve the safety on the roads for the nighttime bicycling community. The Red Bank businessman explains, “We have had a few accidents, and some near misses in Red Bank with residents on bicycles at night who do not wear reflective clothing or have any kind of light and motorists don’t see them until they are just upon them.”

He adds, “This is what Judaism is about, getting other people involved to help others.”

Judaism, and all that it is about, will also be embodied in the festivities of Mitzvah Day, which takes place beginning at 9 am on Sunday, May 17. It’s a morning and afternoon that features numerous mitzvahs, or good deeds, being performed by the entire temple membership in various ways.

Some of the activities, which will take place at the temple in Tinton Falls, include working in the temple community garden or joining a knitting circle, where MRT members will knit caps and blankets for newborns destined for the hospital. The Blood Mobile will also be parked at the temple conducting a blood drive during the day.

In the Helping Hands project, congregant teenagers will visit elderly temple members to perform a necessary projects for the day like weeding a garden or cleaning a basement.  Off-campus projects will include local trail clean-ups, a Habitat for Humanity project, and MRT religious school visit to local senior citizen residences to perform Israeli folk dances and songs under the supervision of MRT Cantor Gabrielle Clissold.

As Cantor Clissold comments, “There is an idea from the Talmud — ‘Save a life and you save the world.’ The idea is that we are all responsible for one another and while we can’t save the world we can all do something in our own small way and they will all add up and will make the world a better place.”