June 20, 2024
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Darchei Noam in Fair Lawn Hosts Notenet Chesed Project

(Courtesy of Darchei Noam) The Notenet Girls Chesed Program is a monthly event at Congregation Darchei Noam in Fair Lawn led by Aliza Strassman. The word “notenet,” is Hebrew for “she gives,” and this term became the title because it describes the essence and core value embodied by the program. Each month, a woman from the community teaches participants in grades three-eight a new skill, such as calligraphy, flower arrangements, event-planning and cake decorating. The girls then use this skill to create a project, which is donated to a chesed cause. For example, get-well cards designed using calligraphy were delivered to children in the hospital, individually-packaged birthday kits and board games were donated to a food pantry to enhance the birthday celebration of someone who may not be able to afford “extras” and flower arrangements will be donated to residents in a nursing home. Each Notenet event includes a discussion of the intended chesed population, organization and/or cause, as well as a Torah source or context that connects with the event’s chesed theme.

Congregation Darchei Noam received funding for this innovative program through the OU’s Back To Shul Grant. Younger congregants are coming back to shul to participate, while women in the community are returning to share their expertise in the teaching portion of the program. As the girls develop new friendships and reconnect with those they may not have seen in over a year, we are thrilled to see them continue coming back to shul for this and other weekly programs, such as groups on Shabbat morning, color war and other youth events. This excitement will hopefully permeate the entire family and motivate other members of the family to come back to shul as well.

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