At the height of the summer, the Masorti Family Minyan in Kfar Vradim held a “second-hand” fair at the Kfar Vradim commercial center, where they sold second-hand goods collected from Kfar Vradim residents and others.
The idea of a “second-hand” fair kindled the imagination of the adults in the minyan and they approached the local council and the educational institutions in the village. The head of the local council and its members were happy to cooperate: they gave the project their blessing and the staff of the various municipal departments played an active role in helping to put the event together. The idea caught on not only in the congregation but outside as well, grabbing the interest of young and old, religious and secular Jews, as well as that of non-Jewish residents in the surrounding communities. Letters were distributed in the schools inviting families to contribute items, which were sorted by members of the student council and placed in boxes prepared by members of the minyan. Even though it was the end of the school year, discussions were held in many classrooms about “giving” to others and about the importance of recycling.
The businesses and management of the commercial center also contributed, providing an empty store where the second-hand items were sorted and stored. Members of “Beit Horesh,” a home for adults with special needs, were also involved in preparing the fair and joined members of the minyan and other helpers as the salespeople at the fair.
Minyan member Jacqueline Rotem offered the following comment: “The fair was a wonderful opportunity for all members of the minyan to be involved, including those who do not attend tefilot on a regular basis. It was also an opportunity for our community as a whole to demonstrate our commitment to recycling and concern for the environment.
The income from the fair will finance the Bar/Bat Mitzva program for Children with Special Needs of the Masorti Movement, which teaches children with special needs about Judaism and Israel. At the end of the educational program, the children are called up to the Torah and become Bnai Mitzva. This Program is run nationally by the Masorti Movement with significant community involvement. One of the senior program teachers is a longtime member of the Masorti Family Minyan in Kfar Vradim.