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Returning Thanks

As always Thanksgiving brings with it the blessings of family and perhaps too much food. Given our blessings I am very proud that our synagogue is organizing a number of projects to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. On December 9, JCB volunteers will help to sort the many toys and food donated to the Interfaith Nutrition Network's Mary Brennan Soup Kitchen in Hempstead. In addition JCB members will donate gift cards so that INN patrons can purchase what they need themselves and thereby redeem a measure of their dignity. At our next confirmation class, on December 16, a former homeless person, now working for the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, will share his story and educate our students and their parents about the problems of hunger and homelessness. This is a rare opportunity to hear a personal story. Far too often we separate ourselves from these difficulties in our suburban bubbles. We think this is not a problem in our neighborhood. This is not our problem. But as Jews we must never distance ourselves from others and their difficulties. We know the feeling of the stranger. Finally, on December 17, our 7th graders and fellow congregants will pack lunch bags and sandwiches to be delivered to the hungry and poor in the Huntington Station area. These items will be delivered through the Saint Hugh's Project Hope. We can never repair all of the world's problems. We can also never say that there are too many problems to fix. We must start somewhere. We must try to repair our world. Let us begin by trying to address the problem of hunger in our very own neighborhood!