Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pay It Forward Day

Happy International Pay It Forward Day! For those of you who are looking at the screen and trying to figure out what we're talking about, the term 'pay it forward' means that when someone does a random (often anonymous) act of kindness toward you, you in turn, do an act of kindness toward someone else and then they do for another person, and so one and so forth. Here at Areyvut, we love random acts of kindness so today is even more exciting than our birthdays and Chanukah all rolled into one!

International Pay It Forward Day has initiated 250,000 random acts of kindness in 30 countries since its inceptions. What are some ways you get involved in this awesome day, you ask?

1. Anonymously pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks (or Dunkin'...we don't discriminate)
2. Donate books to a needy group
3. Often, hospital patients need to pay to use their TV- go to a local hospital and pay for a section of rooms to have a few hours of free TV use

There are so many ways to get involved in this incredible day. If you still need some inspiration, check out these incredible, uplifting stories from around the country:

Ma'am, Your Burger Has Been Paid For- NY Times

Starbucks Customers Break 1,000 in Pay-It-Foward Record- ABC News

Best Pay It Forward Stories- Pay It Forward Day

Looking for more ideas for random acts of kindness, or want a way to be involved all year round? Give Areyvut a call at 201-244-6702 or email

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One Hundred Good Deeds

While watching the Today Show this morning, I found out about an organization that I wish I had known of before. 100 Good Deeds was founded by Mary Fisher- an activist, advocate, and artist- after she spent time in Africa designing jewelry made by local women to help them have a decent livelihood. Fisher then met Thomas Morgan, a filmmaker, who together with his family, created the 'Good Deeds Game.' The Morgan Family defined a good deed as: "...going out of your way to help someone, and it only counts if the deed remains anonymous."

Morgan shared the game with Fisher, and Fisher created the 100 Good Deeds bracelet. The bracelet is both a reminder to do good deeds every day and a way to empower women since each purchase employs one vulnerable woman.

The bracelets help to remind you to engage in daily acts of kindness. An elastic band moves bead after bead- closer to the '100 Good Deeds' pendent- because all you need is "one deed, one bead, one act of kindness at a time."

Looking for some good deed ideas? Check out

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Chesed Ideas

Now that spring has spring officially...we hope...please no more snow!...Areyvut would love to pass along a brief list of some chesed ideas especially for this beautiful season:

1. Clean up a local park so it's ready for us
2. Help your parent or spouse plant a garden that beautifies the area and is good the environment
3. If your basement clean it up!!
4. Have a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to a charity
5. While doing your spring cleaning, donate all unwanted, gently used items to the needy
6. If you throw out food in preparation for Passover, donate it instead
7. Make sure to recycle all containers properly- tikkun olam at its best
8. Make a donation to an organization that gives camp scholarships to those in need
9. Thank your teacher for all they have taught you this year
10. Volunteer outdoors with Areyvut!

If you have any more ideas that you'd like us to add to this list, please let us know and don't forget to  post pictures and information about your acts of chesed to inspire others.

For more information about Areyvut, or to find an Areyvut program near you, check out:, or call the office at (201)-244-6702.

Monday, March 31, 2014

H.O.P.E. Teen Philanthropy Program

Areyvut is thrilled for the start of the 5th year of the H.O.P.E. (Helping Organizations Provide Essentials) Teen Philanthropy Program at Yeshivat Noam! It is our goal that by the end of the program, Yeshivat Noam students will have a better understanding of philanthropy, fund allocations, and the importance of being involved in the community. Since Areyvut began its Teen Philanthropy Program 8 years ago, our 135 participants have allocated $37,000 in funding to 22 organizations. We are thrilled with our students' commitment to chesed, tzedakah, and tikkun olam.

The schedule for H.O.P.E. is as follows:

Session #1: Introduction to H.O.P.E. & Philanthropy; Area of Focus & Mission Statement
Session #2: Review of Organizations & Create & Send RFP
Session #3: RFP Review & Determine Agencies for Site Visits
Session 4: On-site Site Visits
Session #5: Allocations Determination
Session #6: Chesed Activity
Session #7: Commencement Celebration (Parents & Families Invited!)

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call the office at (201)-244-6702 or email

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life is Good.

I think at times it is easy to get swept up in all of the bad. We get frustrated and angry for days if we are in a fender bender, and we curse God when we find out someone we love is sick. We forget the beauty that is around us and how good the world truly is.

The Tutu Project was started by Bob Carey when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's the result of unconditional love- it's the manifestation of a relationship and connection that many would envy. Instead of depression and sadness, Bob and Linda chose strength and spirit.

Take two and a half minutes out of your day to watch their story. It's truly incredible and will help you remember that life is good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mi'she Nichas Adar...Marbim B'Simcha!

I know I'm a few days late and that we have been in the month of Adar for a bit over a week now, but Purim is only a few days away! For those who aren't sure, Purim is a holiday celebrating the Jewish triumph over Haman and the Persian Empire. Haman, an evil, evil royal adviser, was bent on destroying the Jewish people and King Achashvarosh was quite okay with this. Mordechai and Esther (our hero and heroine) were able to save the Jewish people and Haman was destroyed instead. (For a more detailed version of the story, you can check out everyone's favorite fact-finding site)

 Now, of course this is a time for celebration, and Jews all over the world take part in the various mitzvot associated with Purim. They hear Megillat Esther, send shalach manot to their friends, drink ad d'lo yada, have a festive meal, and give matanot l'evyonim- gifts to the poor.

In fact, this last mitzvah of helping the poor is one of the most important of Purim. Unfortunately, sometimes it gets lost in the glorious costume hubbub that is Purim (I'll admit, it's up there with Chanukah for me), so here at Areyvut we wanted to put together a list of some ways that we could fulfill the mitzvah of matanot l'evyonim. The gift can be either food or money, but it should be something that will help the person better celebrate Purim.

The Best Matanot L'evyonim Ideas Since Sliced Bread

1. First and foremost, give them tzedakah.
2. Make a poor person the recipient of one of your shalach manot!
3. Make your festive meal- or seudah- open to all who need a meal.
4. While making hamentaschen, set a few aside to give to those in need.
5. Donate extra food from your seudah to food kitchen.

  Looking for more matanot l'evyonim or general tzedakah ideas? Email us at!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Current Events for Dummies

Now, let me preface this post by saying that I think I understand about 20% of what is happening the Ukraine right now...and I probably actually only understand 3%. I read the New York Times and I love swiping through Yahoo! News and Google News as much as the next girl but it is hard to grasp what is happening thousands of miles away.

I recently asked a friend of mine if they knew what was happening- if they could explain it to me- and I was met with a blank face and that truly bothered me. How is every news outlet discussing the crisis in the Ukraine but we can't even talk about the basics of the situation? I proceeded to ask someone else about it (someone a bit older than my 22 years) and they also could hardly describe the conflict to me. These are our fellow man, it's a matter of principle- stay informed.

We appreciate the human interest pieces- the reporter who quits on air- but we don't seem to delve into an issue that is affecting hundreds of thousands human beings. As part of my own good deed for today, I'd like to a share a few pieces about the current conflict so that we can learn a bit more about our world and pray a bit for our fellow man.

CNN Piece

New York Times Piece

ABC News - What's Going On in Ukraine?