LR2By Lori Rubin, Director, Family Engagement

Are you aware that in the United States, 1 in 6 people are hungry?  This is a true statement that I shared recently with a group of jkids and their parents.  We spent two afternoons together learning about hunger, the Jewish value of Ha’achalat Re’evim, feeding the hungry, and brainstorming ways we can help.  This jkidphilly group personally painted 18 ceramic mugs to donate to local homeless shelters.  We then went to the Classroom 4 Good  to pack 85 snack bags to accompany the beautiful mugs.


Why do I share this experience with you now?  Because this program was timed nicely with the holiday of Purim which will take place later this week.  Our new Purim page on shares that one of the mitzvot on Purim is Matanot Le’evyonim, giving gifts to the poor, so our 2-part mitzvah series took place at a most fitting time of year.

Our jkidphilly staff team designs programs that help our families navigate the Jewish calendar in an age-appropriate way.  As the new Director of Family Engagement at Jewish Learning Venture, it is my pleasure every day to help jkidphilly families find new ways to connect to each other, to congregational life, to Jewish organizations, and to their own path of Jewish living.  I love helping families find their own way — it might be baking challah for the first time, reading a PJ Library book and trying a new recipe, or making a new friend at one of our programs.

Our new “big jkid” programs, such as the ones described above, allow children aged 7-12 and their parents to build new relationships with other jkid families while learning about an aspect of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) at a local organization or agency site.  We are exploring many new ideas as our staff team gets ready for spring.  We cannot wait to get back to the playgrounds and parks!  We look forward to planning our Boker Tov at the Beach programs, and returning to the zoo this summer!  In the meantime, I have been dreaming about new partnerships and collaborations.  Join the conversation: Let me know your ideas!  Do you have a social action site we should consider visiting?  Have an idea about a new jkidphilly program?   I’d love to hear from you!