Sharing Warmth With Those in Need

Inside Leadership

Sharing Warmth With Those in Need

Assorted coats hanging on hangers on a coat rack

We’re looking forward to the Union for Reform Judaism's 2017 Biennial from December 6-10 in Boston, where 5,000 Reform Jews will gather for the largest Biennial ever. For those who are unable to attend in person, there will be numerous opportunities to connect through live stream broadcasts, social media, and with an inspiring act of tzedakah (using money to do the work of world-repair or, literally, justice).

In Parashat Vayeishev, which we will read during the Shabbat of Biennial, we learn about Joseph, whose beautiful coat of many colors is ruined when it is smeared with blood by his brothers, who are overcome by jealousy. Like Joseph, many in our world are without coats. For them, on this Shabbat, we will carry coats of many colors into services, not only affirming the humanity we all share, but also reminding us of our own days as coatless wanderers, hungry for compassion, hopeful for a place to call home.

We invite you to use Amazon.com to purchase and send new, unworn coats – for toddlers, children and adults – to Biennial. The coats will be used in a ritual during the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday evening December 8, and then donated to City Mission, a non-profit organization that works to root out poverty in Boston neighborhoods. With a strategic focus on homelessness prevention, City Mission provides social services, clothing, and school supplies to more than 3,000 homeless K-12 students. If you prefer to purchase and ship a coat yourself – or send a new, warm scarf, which also would be an appreciated contribution – this is the alternative shipping information.

As we celebrate Shabbat – with joy, with blessings, with meaning – it will bring us comfort, it will bring us warmth, it will lift us up. It also will remind us of the many who have no coats to protect them from life’s storms. May we, in turn, lift them, offering the warmth and protection they need.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Cantor Rosalie Boxt is the URJ’s director of worship. She previously served as the cantor at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD.

Cantor Rosalie Boxt

Published: 11/07/2017

Categories: Worship, Conferences & Events

Find More in The Tent

Learn more about this exciting new platform, where Reform congregational leaders connect with colleagues and peers who have similar concerns, interests and responsibilities.