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Mitzvah of the Month

The Temple B’nai Abraham Social Action Committee continues the spirit of Mitzvah Day/Week throughout the year with a Mitzvah of the Month.
Each month, congregant families will have an opportunity to help families and individuals in Essex County who find themselves in need during the pandemic.
Janet O. Penn & Ruth Ross
TBA Social Action Committee Co-chairs
At a time when the community is suffering, no one should say, “I will go home, eat, drink, and be at peace with myself.  – Babylonian Talmud Taanit, 11a.

January 2023 Mitzvah of the Month

Hats for the Homeless

As we have for the past two years, the Temple B’nai Abraham Social Action Committee continues the spirit of Mitzvah Day throughout the year with a Mitzvah of the Month.

This month collected hats will be donated to homeless shelters in Essex County to help keep our needy neighbors warm during the cold winter months.

10,902 Winter Hat Illustrations & Clip Art - iStockHere’s what you can do to fulfill this mitzvah:

PURCHASE a warm hat for babies, children, teens and adults.

All items should be new; the Dollar Store, Amazon, and Amazing Savings are great sources for such items.

KNIT or CROCHET a hat; put each in a plastic bag for safety and protection and label it with the size—baby, child, teen, adult. If you have leftover yarn in small amounts, knitting or crocheting a hat is a good way to use up these scraps!

A close-up of a calendar

Description automatically generated with low confidenceNeed a simple KNITTING pattern for a hat?

25 Free Crochet Hat and Beanie Patterns - Sarah MakerNeed a simple CROCHET pattern for a hat?

  • Click HERE for a super easy hat (good for beginners).
  • Click HERE for a crocheted ribbed hat in chunky yarn for more experienced crocheters.

Drop off items at the Temple on January 31, and February 1 and 2, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM. A collection box will be placed on a cart outside the front entrance doors.

If you cannot get to the Temple to drop off your items, please contact Marilyn Rosenbaum, Tara Ehrenkranz or Ruth Ross to schedule a pick-up at your home.

At a time when the community is suffering, no one should say, “I will go home, eat, drink, and be at peace with myself.  —Babylonian Talmud Taanit, 11a.


Previous MOTMs

December 2022
Members generously made dozens of pans of baked ziti  which were distributed by Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors to local families facing food insecurity. 

November 2022
Members of SAC participated in the Second Annual Journey for the Living Walk and exercise challenge to benefit the Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation, which supports Holocaust education for students in schools around the country and provides funds necessary for educators to implement Holocaust curriculum into their lesson plans.

October 2022
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, SAC supported Comfort Project 360 by donating items for Barnabus Health's Comfort Cart, a mobile cart that delivers healthy snacks with a personal touch to patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, and Welcome Kits filled with items to soothe the body, mind and spirit.

June 2022
TBA congregants were so generous in June. First, some 20 families made homemade meals for Family Promise, formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network. A few weeks later, a collection of baby formula, cereal and food helped those dealing with food insecurity feed their children.

May 2022
The collection of fresh fruit and veggies helped folks get ready for Memorial Day Weekend. Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors distributed the produce to local shelters and other outlets helping those with food insecurity.

April 2022
Generous TBA congregants donated 3,300 menstual pads in packages of 28, 30, 32, and 36. Donations went to Grace Temple in Newark, Isaiah House in East Orange, and Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors to be taken to a church in Newark for distribution. Stacey Abenstein was the chair of this Mitzvah project. Sisterhood—The Women’s Connection partnered with the Social Action Committee on this project.

MOTM may 2022

March 2022
The March Mitzvah was a huge success. About 20 families made 50 trays of ziti and lasagne for local food pantries. 

February 2022 - TBA volunteers made PB&J lunches by the dozen for distribution to those facing food insecurity. 

TBA congregants showed up for this effort and knitted and crocheted and purchased so that kids, teens, and adults could stay warm: Grace Temple received 75 sets (hats, scarves, mittens — adults and kids); IMG_3437
Cleveland School, Newark, received 80 sets (kids);
Family Promise received 10 adult and 5 kids sets;
Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors received 300 sets; Isaiah House received 60 sets.


Members created snack bags, some with packets of instant cocoa, candy canes, and fruit. Others had a new pair of socks and maybe some cookies. These bags of holiday cheer were donated to Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN), who then distributed them to St. Ann’s, St. John’s and St. Michael’s and St. Rocco’s Churches in Newark.

October 2021 Mitzvah: Keeping it Clean

A large collection of paper goods and household cleaning supplies were donated, even with the donation window shortened by inclement weather. The supplies were used by shelters and food kitchens in Newark. 


August 2021 Mitzvah: Diapers and Such

Members donated 2,800 disposable diapers, 730 baby wipes, 30 tubes of diaper cream, and 10 bottles of baby shampoo and body wash. The collection was sponsored by the TBA’s Social Action Committee, the TBA Early School and its Jewish Learning Program. These items were donated to Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN), who delivered them to three churches in Newark – St. Ann’s, St. Michael’s and St. JHelenFarberTBA.jpgohn’s.

TBA member Helen Farber drops off her donation for August’s Mitzvah of the Month.


June 2021: 

Temple B’nai Abraham Social Action Committee co-chairs Janet Penn and Ruth Ross sort packages of feminine hygiene products collected, in partnership with the Sisterhood—The Women’s Connection, for the June Mitzvah of the Month. Over 5,400 sanitary napkins were donated. These products were distributed to Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF) and to three churches in Newark through Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN). 




Congregants made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and assembled breakfast/lunch bags filled with the sandwich, a pair of socks, a piece of fruit, and a snack. Over 450 bagged meals were delivered to four Newark churches by Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The JLP and Teen Tikkun Olam partnered with the Social Action Committee on this activity.

APRIL 2021: PRODUCE FOR POSITIVITY.  Temple B’nai Abraham’s congregants donated over 400 bags of vegetables and fruit—bagged potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, and oranges—to be delivered to food insecure residents of Essex County by Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Committee co-chairs Janet Penn and Ruth Ross estimated that, with an average of four pounds of produce in each bag, the total collected was around 1,600 pounds

March 2021: TBA congregant families contributed pans of meatless baked ziti to ease the food insecurity faced by our Essex County neighbors. Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN) picked up the ziti meals from the Temple and delivered them to neighbors in Livingston and Newark.

February 2021: This collection secured warm hats for adults, teens and children, scarves, mittens, and gloves. Many, many bags were filled and Nick Santinelli from Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN) came to TBA to collect the generously donated items for delivery to three churches in Newark for distribution. What a mitzvah!

Thu, February 9 2023 18 Shevat 5783