“This is the fast I want: Unlock the chains of wickedness, untie the knots of servitude. Let the oppressed go free, their bonds broken. Share your bread with the hungry, and welcome the homeless into your home…” — Isaiah 58
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“When you see the naked, clothe them. All people are your kin: do not ignore them.”
“Then you will shine like the dawn, and healing will rise up within you. Your righteousness will vindicate you; the presence of God will guard your safety. Then, when you call, Adonai will answer. When you cry out God will say, ‘Here I am.'”
“If you banish oppression, scornful finger-pointing and hateful speech; if you offer compassion to the hungry and sustenance to the famished; then your light will shine in the darkness, your gloom will disappear like fog at noon. Adonai will guide you. God will slake your thirst when you are parched, God will give you strength deep in your bones. You will be like a watered garden, an unfailing spring. You will rebuild yourselves, you will restore foundations laid long ago. You will be known as one who restores what has fallen.”
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For many years under the leadership of Cantor/Rabbi Stein, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons has been a respite for the homeless. During the coldest months, the Jewish Center in partnership with Maureen’s Haven, opens its doors to house the homeless. On these winter nights our guests are fed, given new clothing and a warm place to sleep for the night with the opportunity to shower. By caring for those in need, those who live in our community, we strengthen the simple truth that each and every one of us is dependent on one another. Through this interconnection we encourage a supportive community-wide family.
In conjunction with the East Hampton Clericus, we provide monthly soup dinners at Most Holy Trinity Church. At the end of a day of work, families come together to enjoy a warm free meal. These soup dinners are open to the whole community and offer a place to get together, enjoy company, warm our bellies and listen to some music. Local restaurants donate food, and our Gates of Jewish Learning students help serve, learning through their own actions what it means to be of service to others.
On Mitzvah Day we join together as a synagogue community to perform mitzvot and acts of loving kindness in our work of Tikkun Ha’Olam – repair of the world. Through a multitude of projects, we live out the commandment to repair what is broken in ourselves, our synagogue and the greater community.
It is always the right time to help others, but in the fall and winter, we pause for reflection and thanksgiving. The Jewish Center of the Hamptons provides shopping bags with a reminder that hunger is real, even in the Hamptons. Our tradition challenges us “to feed the hungry.” Support the Jewish Center in its fight against hunger, now and throughout the year.
Working alongside our Clergy, our Caring Committee offers support and assistance to fellow Jewish Center members who are experiencing transitions in their lives. Through various acts of chesed – loving kindness – we strive to help others while making a meaningful connection to the Jewish traditions that guide us in life’s journey.