Nursery School Mitzvah Projects
LTNS began our Mitzvah Curriculum in 2006. Our goal is to give our students and families the opportunity to participate in hands-on mitzvah activities that enable children to give back to the community and take part in Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world) in meaningful ways.
Over the course of the years we have made brown bag sandwich lunches for Midnight Run, baked Thanksgiving pies for a local soup kitchen, recycled and made our own paper for Tu’B’Shevat, created Mishloach Manot packages to share around Purim, given Passover cards to Senior citizens through Dorot, and held a Pajama Drive (when we raised over 150 pair of pajamas last year!)
As the children participate, these projects and partnerships become a core part of who they are and how they choose to participate in our world. Working together, as a community, toward greater good helps build relationships with one another and with people that we don’t know, and gives the children a strong sense of meaning in their lives.
A Vocabulary of Giving…
Tzedakah – Righteous Giving
For there will never cease to be needy people in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy.
MISHNEH TORAH: HILCHOT MATNOT AYIMYIM 7:3
It is a mitzvah to give a poor person what is needed. If one has no clothing, clothing should be provided. If one has no furniture, it should be obtained…Even if an impoverished person was used to riding on a horse with a servant running ahead, you should provide a horse and servant. It is a mitzvah to meet a poor person’s needs but you are not required to make that person rich.
Gimilut Chasadim- Acts of Loving Kindness
TALMUD, SUKKAH 49b
Our Rabbis taught: gemilut chasadim is greater than tzedakah in three ways: Acts of tzedakah involve only one’s money- gemilut chasadim can involve both, money or one’s personal service. Tzedakah can be given only to the poor – gemilut chasadim can be done both for the rich and for the poor. Tzedakah can be given only to the living – gemilut chasadim can be done both for the living and the dead.
Terumah – A Gift From The Heart
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring ME gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him.
RABBI HAROLD KUSHNER
One who gives receives something in return- the sense of being generous and making a worthy undertaking possible, the sense of sharing with others, the sense of self worth that comes from knowing that we can give away something of value without feeling diminished.
Ben Zoma said: “Who is honored? One who honors every person.” As it is said: They that honor me, I shall honor.” (I Samuel 2:30)
We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.