Service events set to start Oct. 7

BY ERIN DOMINGUEZ, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is calling the St. Louis Jewish and other communities to action to celebrate Cheshvan.

In 2005, KolDor, a global network of young Jewish Leaders, and the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel internationally launched the concept of celebrating Cheshvan as a month of unity and positive action known as Jewish Social Action Month.

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The JCRC has collaborated with three of its programs: the Jewish Social Action Network (JSAN), which includes the Bohm Social Justice Initiative, and the Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI) to provide 15 events in which participants may get involved.

Kicking off the Cheshvan activities is “Project Noah,” beginning Oct. 7 and ending Oct. 13 with the Torah portion reading of Noah. Included in the activities are an exploration of life on the ark during the Great Flood, “Noah’s Ark… Creatures Big & Small,” for children ages 2 – 6 and their families Sunday Oct. 7 from 10-11:30 a.m.; an “Art Exhibit & Sale — A Celebration of Life” hosted by B’nai Amoona Congregation on Sunday, Oct. 7 from noon-9 p.m.; and the Keynote for the Project, “Sailing with Noah: Protecting the Animals of our Planet” with Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, president and CEO of the St. Louis Zoo presenting Sunday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.

The theme for Project Noah is “Keepers of the Earth — Shomrei Adamah — A Call to Action.” Alan Elfanbaum, founding member of JEI and chair of the project says “the Earth is reaching its tipping point and we have a moral spiritual commitment to stop and listen and do the right thing.”

“The world is God’s gift and we need to take care of it,” Elfanbaum says. Project Noah is just the “beginning of the process.” Elfanbaum said caring for the Earth can be a daily part of everyone’s life.

Caring for the Earth doesn’t pertain to just plants or animals, it also pertains to people making the theme for Project Noah noticeable in all the activities planned for Cheshvan.

Activities included are the CROP (Community Response to Overcoming Poverty) Walk Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. in Forest Park, the Poverty Simulation and discussion at Temple Israel Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. with a kosher box dinner at 6 p.m. and the presentation by Rabbi Telushkin who will discuss “Words that Hurt, Words that Heal: Communication for Healthy Relationships” Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Clayton High School.

Phyllis Markus, chair of the Bohm Social Justice Initiative, says “we are all working for Social Justice.”

“We are reaching out to have a better understanding and help people better understand what is happening in the community and the world,” Markus said.

For more information, visit the JCRC website at http://www.jcrcstl.org or call 314-442-3871.