For the first two weeks in December, our Beit Sefer families collected warm blankets, socks, hats, food, and toiletry items for distribution to people experiencing homelessness in our community. Our youngest class, the Kitanim, and their dedicated and inspiring teacher, Marcy Epstein, initiated this project. Besides gathering the items listed above, the class packaged them in waterproof plastic bags and made sure the packages got to the people in need.
Marcy reported that we gathered over 75 items for the homeless and displaced. Her friend Heidi Alward, the Vice Chair of the Board of the Women’s Center of Ann Arbor (which made sure everything was given out), sent the Beit Sefer a message:
“Wow, thank you, Marcy (and the AARC Beit Sefer)! I am so moved by you and your students and their families’ generosity of spirit. Please tell them that their actions will move people they may never meet and have ripple effects they may never feel, but they have created a positive impact. Beyond the food and materials goods, we have given them a sign that people care, that there is compassion, kindness and love in an often unjust world.”
Marcy taught that giving to people in need can be drawn from the phrase in the fourth book of the Torah, Vayikra/Now God Called (also known as Leviticus) 25:1, “Now when your brother sinks down (in poverty), and his hand falters beside you, then you shall strengthen him (as though) a sojourner and a resident-settler, and he is to live beside you.”