In first person… A raffle to aid the homeless

Our synagogue in San Francisco is committed to social justice. In Citah Vav, the b'nai mitzvah class, doing mitzvot is an important part of this year's curriculum.

Our teacher Karen Aviv suggested a project to help the homeless. "Let's have a raffle," we responded.

Responsibilities were divided quickly. Shmulik Fishman was in charge of creating posters, making raffle cards and dealing with customers. Noah Chasnoff, Josh Shuster Lefkowitz and Sara Shor called local merchants, soliciting gift certificates and merchandise for prizes. Aaron Nacamulli helped with the decorations and sold the raffles.

After extensive research, our class decided to donate the proceeds of this raffle to Food Not Bombs. This organization stands up to police and poverty, as Moses stood up to Pharaoh. We agree with the principles of nonviolence, the use of recycled food and direct contact with the homeless.

We have sold raffle tickets to friends and relatives and at synagogue functions. We have collected $450 so far. The raffle will be held at Kamimah — Congregation Sha'ar Zahav's religious school program — immediately after Pesach.

Everyone who participated in any way can feel satisfied that he/she contributed in a small way to tikkun olam, healing the planet.