The Annual Temple B’nai Abraham (TBA) Midnight Run, the distribution of donated clothing and food to those in need at the Apostles’ House in Newark, took place the Saturday night of Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This annual event, sponsored by TBA Makom (High School) and the Livingston Chapters of B’nai Brith Girls (BBG) and Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA), is preceded by a month–long food and clothing drive/collection at the temple.
Six Episcopal Churches in and around Newark, founded the Apostles' House in 1984. A multipurpose social service agency, it provides a comprehensive array of programs and services including Emergency Shelter for women and children, Transitional Housing, and Family Preservation Services.
On the evening of the Midnight Run at TBA, the students packaged and sorted the abundant amount of food, clothing and blankets which were generously donated by TBA members. Then under the supervision of Director of Youth Programming Claudia Minde, Rabbi Kulwin, (who drove the 26-foot truck packed to the gills with the donated items) and parent volunteers, the students were transported to Newark where the much-needed items were distributed. The Grant Street Newark location was crowded with well over 300 people who came out for food, clothes, coats, blankets, etc...this was triple the amount from last year and a sign of the times and the growing need in the community.
After the distribution, Rabbi Kulwin led the TBA students, parents and staff in making Havdallah at the old Temple B’nai Abraham Clinton Avenue building in Newark. He spoke about what they had just done, which was something useful and important. But also just the tiny tip of the enormous iceberg of urban poverty and homelessness that exists today. The point? If we are serious about doing good, it has to be on an ongoing basis.