Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate the bounty of the season, but for many in Connecticut, the holiday is a stark reminder of their struggle with hunger. Looking to sweeten the holiday for families in need, teens gathered at Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury to bake pumpkin pies to donate to nine different charities for their holiday meal distribution.
“The group of teens baking at Kol Haverim were part of a larger effort of teens in the Hartford area to give back this Thanksgiving” , shared Cara Levine, Associate Program Director at JTConnect. “In total more than 120 teens baked nearly 300 pumpkin pies for families in need.”
The baking was kicked off by remarks from Lauren Banister, an organizer at Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, who challenged the teens “not to let this be the only step you take to ensure people in your community are fed. Let this be the first step. The step that educates you, that makes you inspired, that makes you interested and really binds you together as a community in using your collective voice in this fight to end hunger.”
“Our tradition is explicit in commanding us to feed the hungry and care for the stranger,” says Eric Maurer, Executive Director of JTConnect. “It is inspiring to see the commitment of teens to put Jewish values to action and make a difference in repairing our world. JTConnect is thrilled to be able to partner with Kol Haverim on this initiative and look forward to expand its programming further East of the River.”
The pumpkin pie bake was organized through JTConnect. JTConnect engages teens from across the Greater Hartford community in fun, interactive and thought-provoking educational and social experiences grounded in Jewish learning and values. JTConnect gives teens the opportunity to continue their Jewish education in compelling and meaningful ways. Together, teens examine religion, history and traditions through innovative, hands-on programming that includes classroom study, volunteer projects and special events.