RARITAN TWP., NJ – The Jewish congregation Or Chadash recently held its Annual Community Outreach Day.

More than 150 people – including the young and young-at-heart – participated in hands-on activities that supported organizations both here and across the country.

The effort began with a social action blessing given by Rabbi Joseph M. Forman.

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“Mitzvah Day is an opportunity to learn about the many organizations serving the needs of our local community,” said Or Chadash Educator Betsy Zalaznick.

Or Chadash welcomed Father Harry Mazujian, who is President of the Hunterdon Interfaith Outreach Council, who introduced the group to the work of HIOC, such as  providing funding for basic necessities of heat and rent to local residents.

In Hunterdon, activities included landscaping and spring cleaning to the residents and staff of Hunterdon Youth Services on Sandhill Road in Raritan Township. 

Led by Cantor Kathy Gohr, Or Chadash community members sang and entertained the residents and staff of the Rolling Hills Nursing Home.

As an act of appreciation and to say “thank you” for all of their efforts, participants baked, decorated and delivered cookies to first-responders in local communities.

The residents of Good News Home for Women and SAFE in Hunterdon will be pampered with Lemon Sugar Scrub – a delightful body scrub the group made using sugar, oil, lemon juice and essential oils.

The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center’s “J Cares” program received colorful potholders.

The children at the HeadStart program of NORWESCAP in Hunterdon will receive Summer Fun gift bags at the close of the school year this month. The bags include activities for outdoor fun, such as chalk, beach balls, bubbles, Popsicle puzzles and glow sticks.

Participating with the Raritan Headwaters Association’s Stream Clean Up, participants beautified the Recreation Area on Stanton Station Road here.

The group made casseroles for the clients of the Family Success Center. 

“Salads for Seniors” provided ingredients for a nutritious salad. The clients of Jewish Family Services are the recipients. 

The Samaritan Homeless Interim Program in Somerville received 150 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and lunches.

Calming fidget spinners, made with ball bearings and zip ties, will be distributed to Van Derveer Elementary School.

Vet + Ranch, an organization in Texas whose mission is to help animals, will receive 50 fleece blankets.

To help children living in homeless shelters feel like they have mighty powers, the group created superhero capes.

The Or Chadash Mitzvah Day community members participated in the letter writing activity of MoreLoveLetters.com, corresponding with folks that have been identified as needing some extra TLC.

The interior of Or Chadash was cleaned and the outside landscaped and mulched.

Or Chadash is located at 149 Foothill Road here. For additional information, contact Betsy Zalaznick at www.orchadash-nj.org