The 2009/2010 7th grade of our Religious School created Spare Change in their class, A Blessing and a Light. The goal of the project is to collect 1,005,000 dimes – one dime to honor each of the 1,000,000 Jewish children lost to The Holocaust and one dime to honor each of the 5,000 German children killed by their countrymen because they were born with disabilities. Spare Change will pass from 7th grade class to 7th grade class, year by year, until it is done. Each 7th grade class will decide what charities the class will support with the donations the class collects.
We invite you to read about our project to find out how working together we can make a difference in the world!
This is Maria Nemeth, our sister in Judaism lost to The Holocaust in 1945 at age 13. We do not know if Maria had the chance to become a Bat Mitzvah. Maria was born on December 14, 1932 in Szentes, a town in Hungary near the city of Szeged. She lived in Szentes with her father, who was a dentist, and her mother, whose name was Barbara. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. Maria, her parents, her grandparents, and her uncle and aunt and their families were among thousands of Jews from nearby towns who were forced to live in a temporary ghetto in Szeged’s sports stadium and brickyards. Later, Maria and her family were sent to the Strasshof concentration camp and then to a labor camp in Austria. Maria and her family were shot to death in 1945 by SS soldiers just days before they could be liberated by the United States Army. To learn more about Maria, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Through Spare Change-
We remember Maria and the
one million Jewish children lost to The Holocaust –
each one is a Blessing and a Light to guide us.
We also remember the five thousand
German children killed by their countrymen
simply because they were born with disabilities.
They are not our Jewish brothers and sisters.
We are all human beings together.
Each of them reminds each of us
that all children are blessings and
that each of us should shine brightly in all that we do.
Through Spare Change –
we can work together to make a difference in the world!
Make a difference – Join Spare Change today – its easy!
1. When you come to Congregation Beth Israel, just drop your spare change (coins, bills, checks) in the collection box on the Spare Change table by the entrance to the Sanctuary. Please come often and brings lots of spare change – its good for the soul!
2. Be a Star of David – For each 500 dimes you contribute – no matter how long it takes – we will honor you as a Star of David in our Project Diary and the Temple Bulletin. To learn how you can be a Star of David, visit our project table or send us an e-mail. How many stars will you collect?
3. Be a Maccabee – Challenge us to collect dimes by matching what we collect in an amount of your choice! Send us an e-mail if you would like to be a Maccabee.
4. If you support a charity supported by Spare Change, please consider making your donation to that charity through Spare Change. The 2009/2010 7th grade class is supporting these charities: LIST OF NAMES. If you want to help this way, send us an e-mail.
What is our Project Diary? Our Project Diary is a place where you can leave us messages and learn about each of the 7th graders who have worked on the project. You can visit our Project Diary at the Spare Change table at the entrance to the Sanctuary. At the end of the Project, our Project Diary will be donated to the Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Community Learning Center so that people can see what 7th graders can do when they put their minds to it!
What’s next? In the class A Blessing and a Light, 7th graders consider how what each person does or does not do can make a difference in the world. They learn that the Holocaust did not happen by accident or suddenly but rather was planned and started unfolding many years before World War II started. They learn that the Holocaust happened and that other genocides are happening now in part because too many ordinary people turn a blind eye to social injustice unfolding around them and stand by rather than stand up for what is right. They are learn that to make sure nothing like the Holocaust happens again to our people, we must not only remember and understand it, but also teach others about it. Some of our 7th graders are interested in creating a program of teens teaching teens and children about The Holocaust and why it is important to remember, understand and teach about it.