New for 2012: GRJ Tzedakah Project

Tefillah – prayer.

Teshuvah – return/repentance.

Tzedakah – justice.

So the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy says. All vital parts of the psychospiritual high holy day journey, not just for us but for the communities we are part of in this interwoven world.

This year, organised by Michelle Stein and on a level we’ve not attempted before, we are encouraging everyone who is part of Grassroots Jews to give something of themselves in the name of Tzedakah, in order to help others who are in need.

We are inviting, you, the GRJ community to give (not just money! not even money!) as individuals, in a way that speaks to your heart, but also as part of the community, dedicating an act of service to the GRJ Tzedakah Project.

Here’s what we are suggesting. Think of it as a menu – you choose!

1. Make a loan on kiva.org, as part of the Grassroots Jews Lending Team, to help alleviate poverty. Kiva.org is incredible: you literally lend money to someone who needs it in a developing country, microfinancing their proposal as they work to become financially independent. They pay the money back – interest free – over a period of time, after which you can withdraw the funds or re-lend them to someone else who needs. It actually costs you nothing but it helps people to help themselves (cf Maimonides: “The greatest level, above which there is no other, is to strengthen the name of another… by giving him a present or loan, or making a partnership with him, or finding him a job in order to strengthen his hand until he needs no longer [beg from] people.”).

In order to make your Kiva loan as part of the GRJ Tzedakah Project join the ‘lending team’ here, and choose straight away from the projects and people who need your loan: http://www.kiva.org/team/grassroots_jews

2. Add your own Tzedakah project or pledge to the GRJ registry of Tzedakah! On the Tzedakah registry link in the top menu (and here) you can leave your name and let the community know what you are doing as your act of Tzedakah. It could be anything – an act of giving of your choosing. What we ask is that it is during the Hebrew months of Elul or Tishrei (19th August – 16th October).

3. Give clothes and goods through World Jewish Relief’s Gifts in Kind programme: Bring clothes, toiletries, blankets, shoes and/or household products along to GRJ this Rosh Hashanah, to donate to impoverished communities in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. We will be organising to donate them, as a Grassroots collective, to World Jewish Relief’s Gifts in Kind programme: http://www.wjr.org.uk/ways-to-give/gik/

4. Join a group of Grassroots Jews community members who will visit the local Jewish Care home on the afternoon of the second day of Rosh Hashanah, as part of a Taschlich (ritualistic ‘casting off of sins’). If you would like to join this group, please email grassrootsjews@gmail.com with ‘Tzedakah Project’ as the subject title.

THE TZEDAKAH REGISTRY IS OPEN – STATE YOUR PLEDGE AS A COMMENT ON OUR REGISTRY PAGE.

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