March Mitzvah Madness

Mitzvah often means “a good deed”

Our JCC, is celebrating the importance of giving and and doing good deeds with a month of giving back to our community and Israel.



Events and Programs

Designer Handbag Bingo and Basket Auction — 
with proceeds benefiting Team Liberty of the NJ Sharing Network surgery-photo

saving lives through organ and tissue donations.

Thursday, March 2 | 6:15 pm

  • Doors open 6:15 pm; Play begins at 7:00pm
  • $30 in advance, $35 at the door.
  • 10 Games will be played.
  • Prizes will be awarded, no cash.

All players are invited to bring food and beverages of choice to enjoy at their tables.


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Pasta Dinner — with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics of Somerset Countyspecial-olympics-photo 

provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Sunday, March 19 | 5:00-7:00pm

  • 5:00-7:00pm
  • $10 person, All you can eat.
  • DJ Jean Maria from Entertainment with Sophistication

Pasta, DJ, Dancing, FUN!


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Bake Sale — with proceeds benefiting the Lone Soldier Center Memory in of Michael Levin in Israel

assisting lone soldiers before, during and after their army service. 

Thursday March 30 | 11:00am to 7:00pm


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Fitness Challenges — with proceeds benefiting the Usher 1F Collaborative usher-syndrome-child-photo

funding medical research to find an effective treatment to save or restore vision.


Fitness Challenges will be on-going during the Month of March.  Each set of challenges requires a $10 donation with all proceeds being donated to the Usher 1F Collaborative.  Complete all the challenges listed in one category and you can enter to win a $200 Fitness basket.  Stop at welcome center to sign-up.

Aquatic Fitness Challenges

  • Week#1 Challenge
    Take one more aquatic class than your normal routine. Be Brave. Try something new. By adding one more class you are challenging yourself to be healthier!
  • Week#2 Challenge
    Balance is lost by Usher 1F victims over time. Before or after class, stay in the water and try to challenge your balance. Stand on one leg submersed under chest deep water. Now close your eyes. See how long you can balance before you need to lower the leg that was being held up. Then Switch legs. Are both legs about the same in terms of keeping balance? Is it harder to stand on one leg more than the other? What happens when you close your eyes?
  • Week #3 Challenge
    Focus on your intensity and range of movements. While in class, focus on moving with fuller range of motion to drive your heart rate up a notch.
  • Week #4 Challenge
    Stay after, or go before class. Take a blue float board (SilverSneakers Board) and do one lap up and back in the pool lap lane. Use your legs to kick and focus on the power and strength you have in your legs!

Fitness Challenges

  • Week#1 Challenge
    Focus on all Cybex Selectorized Equipment. Focus on all machines trying to increase the amount of weight lifted by 5-10lbs. Keep the same number of sets and reps you are currently doing.
  • Week#2 Challenge
    Focus on free weights. Substitute free weight exercises for those you usually use Cybex Selectorized equipment for. Ask floor attendant for suggestions and tips if you need help. (example substitute bicep curl with bells verses cybex arm curl).
  • Week#3 Challenge
    Work with Cables. Introduce a few exercise using our cable system. Ask floor attendant for suggestions and tips if you need.
  • Week#4 Challenge
    Try a new piece of Cardio equipment. This week try to get at least 3 days using three different cardio machines for variety in your workout.

Group Fitness Challenges

  • Week#1 Challenge
    Take a total of 5 group fitness classes per week. If this is your normal amount, add one class to the week.
  • Week#2 Challenge
    Be Brave. Take a NEW Class you’ve always wanted to take but were hesitant.
  • Week#3 Challenge
    Those affected by USHER 1F lose their sense of balance. This week try and take 2 yoga, long and lean, or Pilates classes. Really focus on your balance and try to perfect your technique and form.
  • Week#4 Challenge
    Bring a Friend (member or non-member) who isn’t doesn’t usually take group fitness classes and introduce them to your favorite class. Show this card to the front desk, and your guest will go free for this one class if he/she is not a member. Have your guest and instructor sign off.

Spin Challenges

  • Week #1 Challenge
    Take at least 2 spin classes this week. Focus on adding 2 miles to your normal distance for this class. This would mean you would have to “up” your intensity per track in class.
  • Week #2 Challenge
    Take at least 2 spin classes this week. Focus on your “faster” tracks. Can you go a bit faster using the same load (gear#)?
  • Week#3 Challenge
    Try to take 3 Spin Classes this week. Our goal is just to fit in that extra class. If you already take 3 spin classes/week, add 1 more to your weekly total. 
  • Week#4 Challenge
    This week is a culmination of weeks 1, 2 and 3. Keep attending the one extra class you added last week. Focus on speed during those fast tracks, ask yourself, is this my personal best? Can I go any faster? Lastly, try to increase your overall distance traveled per class. Again, ask yourself – is this my best? Can I do more mileage if I just push a bit harder?


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Collections and more

Collection for Visions and Pathways

helping abused, neglected and homeless youth since 1973

Items being collected:

  • Men’s & Women’s Slippers
  • Men’s & Women’s Flip Flops
  • Sweatpants & Sweatshirts , (Black or Grey – sizes M, L, XL)
  • White Athletic Socks
  • Bars of Soap
  • Hair Brushes
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
  • Yoga Mats
  • 3D Puzzles
  • Journals
  • Batteries (AAA, AA)
  • Headphones or earbuds
  • Gift certificates: Bridgewater Mall, TJ Maxx, Target, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Best Buy, Chipotle, hair and nail salons, Movie theater passes, etc.

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Sock Hop

Friday, March 17 | 9:30am during Shabbat.

The Preschool kids will be “hopping” (dancing) in their socks!

The Early Childhood Center childhood are being asked to collect new adult-sized crew socks to benefits Teens ages 13-18 living in Visions and Pathways, a group home located in Bridgewater.

We want the kids to understand how they will be performing a “mitzvah” and helping others less fortunate. The collection will be going on the entire month.

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Challah Baking

Tuesday, March 28

Early Childhood students will be making challah while learning about performing a "mitzvah".  

The Challahs will be served by the children at our Senior lunch program on Wendesday, March 29.

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Charities we are supporting

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin michael-levin-photo

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was founded in 2009 by a group of former lone soldiers aware of and concerned with the needs and struggles of the more than 6,300 lone soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The Lone Soldier Center is the first and only organization solely dedicated to meeting all of the physical and social needs of lone soldiers.

Their mission is to assist lone soldiers before, during and after their army service. They provide them with food, laundry, basic necessities, equipment, advice, seminars, social events, monthly Shabbat meals and more. By giving lone soldiers physical and emotional support, they help them get through the difficulties that the army presents.

Their vision is to enable every lone soldier to succeed in his or her army service, successfully integrate into Israeli society and become part of the lone soldier family.

A “lone soldier” is an IDF soldier with no family in Israel to support him or her. A lone soldier may be a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan or an individual from a broken home. Every day, tens of thousands of soldiers are defending the State of Israel and its citizens. These soldiers regularly spend weekends and holidays at home where their parents provide for all of their needs: food, laundry, and even a hug. For more than 6,300 lone soldiers, there is no immediate family in Israel to support them. Though highly motivated and proud to serve, when on leave, many of them struggle with basic needs that a family would solve.

Visions and Pathways (formerly Somerset Home for Displaced Children) visions-and-pathways-logo

“Visions and Pathways has been helping abused, neglected and homeless youth since 1973. Each year, hundreds of teens from difficult family situations find a safe haven and the caring support they need in one of their seven programs for youth ages 13 to 21-plus: Brahma House residential crisis intervention program; Passages, My Place and Whitney House transitional-living programs; Pathways independent-living skills program; Street Smart street outreach program; and Bridge House supportive-housing program.

The kids who come through our doors have broken lives. Some are shattered; some have just a small crack. Some show no physical signs of damage - the scars are on the inside. Their job is to help them put the pieces back together again, with the basics of food and shelter as well as counseling, medical attention, education, recreation, career and employment counseling, financial literacy - all of the skills they need to succeed.

But these teens won't make it without the help of a caring community - of people like you, willing to contribute to their success. With your help, they will be able to put the past behind them and build a brighter future.”

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Visions and Pathways Website

Special Olympics of Somerset County special-olympics-logo

Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special intellectual and physical limitations.

Special Olympics believes that consistent training is indispensable to the development of sports skills, and that competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress and providing incentives for personal growth.

Special Olympics believes that through sports training and competition people with intellectual disabilities are benefited physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, families are strengthened, and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united in understanding with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance.

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Special Olympics Website

Team Liberty of the NJ Sharing Network team-liberty-logo

Team Liberty, a program of the NJ Sharing Network, is dedicated to promoting the success of organ transplantation, raising awareness for the urgent need of organ and tissue donation, and honoring all donors and their families who have so generously given the gift of life. Team Liberty is comprised of transplant recipients and their families, donor families, living donors, and transplant professionals from Northern and Central New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The men, women, and children of Team Liberty embody incredible spirit, courage, energy, inspiration, humor, sportsmanship, and friendship. The team participates and volunteers in local events all year round, and attends the national Donate Life Transplant Games.

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Team Liberty Website 

Usher 1F Collaborative usher-collaborative-logo

Usher 1F Collaborative is a 501c3 nonprofit foundation whose mission is to fund medical research to find an effective treatment to save or restore the vision of those with Usher Syndrome type 1F.

Usher syndrome is the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision. The major symptoms of Usher syndrome are hearing loss and an eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, or RP. RP causes night-blindness and a loss of peripheral vision (side vision) through the progressive degeneration of the retina. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and is crucial for vision. As RP progresses, the field of vision narrows—a condition known as “tunnel vision”—until only central vision (the ability to see straight ahead) remains.

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Usher 1F Collaborative Website