Let’s Fill Up the Truck This Year!

November 2021   Keeping Connected

Have you seen the awesome Tzedakah Chart that sits outside the temple at drop off and pick up?  Due to continued restrictions of Covid19, we have moved the weekly tzedakah collection outside each week!

This year’s goal is to fill up the truck with various items needed for Afghan refugees to settle into our community. As you may know, through amazing efforts from the International Institute of New England (IINE), many families from Afghanistan are resettling in our surrounding communities. Working with the IINE, we are collecting money this year that will help purchase various items needed to resettle into a new community. This topic has been discussed with many of the students and we will continue exploring ideas around being refugees and resettling throughout the year. Some of the students have shared some of their own thoughts and ideas and have begun to create a list of items that people would need to resettle into a community when they come from a different place without anything. I have been blown away by the student’s empathy and understanding of this situation. They have given it serious thought when creating the list of items. The items that they have thought up will be the basis for our collection this year and will help us fill up the truck. Images of the different items will be added to our tzedakah chart and when enough money is donated, the item will be moved into the truck. For example, once we collect $25, we will be able to put a bag of groceries in the truck. Our goal is to collect $1000 this year and to fill the truck up with many different necessities. This year, we are collecting both money and gift cards that will help the refugees settle into their new homes.

How can you help your student understand the idea of tzedakah?  The PJ Library website defines tzedakah as “justice, specifically, doing the right things by helping people or causes in need.”  “Healing the world” is a part of our temple’s mission statement.  At the Religious and Hebrew School, we are constantly helping our students to understand the Jewish responsibility of performing tzedakah in many ways. This is an ongoing conversation through the years.

Many families have shared with me different ways that they help their children understand tzedakah and donate to the school tzedakah project. It is important that parents are role models for their children. If your kids see you doing good for others, they will learn that it is an important family value. Helping others as a family is also a good way for children to begin to learn and incorporate giving to others into their daily lives. Some families choose to give their children allowance. I have heard of families who ask their children to save a third of their allowance, do what they want with a third of their allowance, and give a third of their allowance to tzedakah. Other families have their students earn some money by doing different things around the house and encourage the children to give some of that money to tzedakah. Some families give their children money each week to put into the tzedakah jar. What do you do? Please share with me your own ways of helping your children understand the importance and responsibility of tzedakah so that we might be able to help other families that are still trying to figure out how to incorporate this into their own lives.

Along those same lines, we are able to bring back the Halloween Candy Donation Program this year. Please have your children donate some unopened Halloween candy into the bucket that will be outside the temple doors.  This candy will be given to soldiers, local food pantries and the Lowell Transitional Living Center. This is a meaningful and very hands on opportunity to help your children understand the idea of donating to others. The collection bucket will be outside the temple doors through November 7.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we continue to create a successful school program. (And thank you for understanding the safety issues in the parking lot at drop off and pick up!)

With gratitude,



Schedule for November

Sunday, October 3 –Religious School
  • Kindergarten through 4th grade – 8:30am – 10:15am
  • Kitah Aleph (3rd grade Hebrew School) – 10:30am-11:30am
  • 5th grade through 7th grade – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, November 3
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
  • Chai School – 6:00pm-8:15pm
Friday, November 5 – Family Shabbat at 7:00pm (led by the 3rd graders,) all are invited
Saturday, November 6 – 10:30am – Creative Storytime and Scavenger Hunt in temple parking lot
Sunday, November 7 – Religious School – Daylight Savings Time ends!
  • Preschool, K – 4th – 8:30am-10:15am
  • Kitah Alef – 10:30am – 11:30am
  • 5th – 7th – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, November 10
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
  • Chai School – 6:00pm-8:15pm
Sunday, November 14 – Religious School – Shacharit Service


  • K – 2 – 8:30am-10:15am
  • 3rd grade – 8:30am-11:30am
  • 4th grade- 8:30am – 10:45am
  • 5th – 7th – 10:15am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, November 17
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
  • Chai School – 6:00pm-8:15pm
  • Post Confirmation – 6:30pm – 8:00pm (dinner at 6pm)
Sunday, November 21 – Religious School
  • Preschool, K – 4th – 8:30am-10:15am
  • Kitah Alef – 10:30am-11:30am
  • 5th – 7th – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, November 24 – NO HEBREW SCHOOL
Sunday, November 28 – NO RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Sunday, November 28 – FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH!  Join us outside the temple to light the BIG menorah!