Kindness Stars

Honoring Teens Who Exemplify Extraordinary Kindness
The Kindness Project, an initiative of the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit and Partners In Torah, has established a new program, the Kindness Stars, to honor exceptional teens in our community. Kindness Stars are teens who do, or have done, an extraordinary act of kindness; who have volunteered above and beyond any school or religious program requirements; or have created or participated in an innovative kindness program.

Who can be a Kindness Star?
Anyone in grades 9-12 who resides in Metro Detroit.

What actions might describe a Kindness Star?
Perhaps you know a teen who, without being asked or paid, shovels snow in front of his/her neighbors’ homes, or a young individual who volunteers to babysit for a family where money is extremely limited. How about a group of students who organized a toy drive to benefit children who are homeless or started a recycling program at school? These ideas reflect the kind of initiative, commitment and activities that define a Kindness Star.

How do I nominate a Kindness Star?
Simply complete the linked form.

How are Kindness Stars chosen?
A panel of judges from the community will review the nominees and carefully select those who best exemplify the criteria noted above. The Stars will be honored at a ceremony Monday, June 17, 2013 at the JCC in West Bloomfield. All nominees, their family and friends, will be invited to attend the recognition ceremony. All nominees will be recognized.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?
Please call Ariella Monson at 248.432.5530, or e-mail thekindnessproject@jccdet.org.

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Please click on the above logo to be taken to the nomination form.

Coming Soon.

The Ten Kindmandments

Love Your Fellow as Yourself.
Be kindly disposed to others. Love, respect and care for them. Recognize and embrace the inherent lovability of others. Create and cultivate a bond and an affinity with them. Listen to them.
Use Pleasant Words.
Say things that make people feel good. Avoid hurting people’s feelings. Anticipate what may be hurtful to them. Protect them from embarrassment and discomfort.
Reverse the Cycle of Hurt.
When someone does something hurtful to you, react in a way that minimizes the damage and begins to repair the relationship. Affirm yourself, reach out for conciliation and forgive, if appropriate.
Give the Benefit of the Doubt.
Be generous in interpreting others’ words or actions. Don’t jump to negative conclusions. Give people a chance to explain themselves. Try to understand their circumstances before pronouncing judgment.
Be Helpful and Considerate.
Help others. Do unrandom acts of kindness. Whether it’s a smile you proffer or a visit to the sick, sharing and enhancing someone’s joy or welcoming a stranger, bring blessing to people’s lives.
Respect Others’ Good Will.
People give us their sympathy and friendship when they perceive our friendly intentions, pitiful circumstances or admirable qualities. Don’t win their good will under false pretenses. Don’t steal their hearts.
Be Truthful.
Our knowledge of reality allows us to make true and wise decisions. It provides an accurate map for the route we want to take. Giving others true information may be the greatest gift we give. Provide Corrective Feedback and Advice. All people have a blind spot. It may be regarding a personal character deficiency or a bad habit. It may be about issues they face, and your advice could open their eyes. Share your insight, if appropriate.
Preserve Others’ Reputations.
A person’s reputation is often his/her most valuable asset. Speak well of people. Avoid spreading gossip and badmouthing. Defend people when spoken ill of behind their back. Perform Charity. Give an appropriate monetary gift or other necessary items to the needy. Preserve the dignity of the recipient. Feel good about giving. The poor should find a friend in you.
©Copyright 2013

JCC - A home for the Kindness Project

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“Kindness is an integral part of the JCC’s mission: To support Jewish unity, ensure Jewish continuity and enrich Jewish life while conveying the importance of well-being within the Jewish and general community and the people of Israel,” said JCC Executive Director Mark A. Lit. “So as the idea developed, it became clear that the best home for the Kindness Project was the JCC.”

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Less than one year after it started, the Kindness Project already has received the JCC Association’s award for Jewish impact and for being an exemplary initiative that can be replicated by other JCCs.

See http://www.jcca.org/principles-in-action/

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Be a part of it!
Together, we can raise the kindness temperature in our community.

A few sample programs:

Lunch ‘n’ Learn
Held weekly at the JCC in West Bloomfield, these presentations by Rabbi Muller explore the Ten Kindmandments (see below) and are open to the community. Click here for more information or to register.
The Honorable Menschen Awards:
Presented every week to a participant in sports at the JCC in Oak Park, the Honorable Menschen Awards recognizes kids who exhibit good sportsmanship, leadership and outstanding behaviour. At the end of the season, a drawing is held and Honorable Menschen award winners receive gift certificates.
KIND-A-THON:
Hundreds of children complete a love it learn it live it component each of the eight days of Chanukah. Family and friends sponsor every day with an item for the needy (hats, food cans, schools supplies etc.).
Kindness Kart:
A mobile cart with interactive kindness activities for children is brought to various children’s programs at the JCC.
Kindness CAN Make a Difference
The Janice Charach Gallery hosted the “Kindness CAN Make a Difference” exhibit. Teams of artists and engineers created sculpture from donated foods which were delivered to local food banks
10 K a day
Staff take a few minutes each day to do a kindness for someone in the building.
Kindness Korner:
Rabbi Muller’s bi-weekly kindness column in The Berman newsletter is received by more than 16,000 people.
JCC staff attends regular classes
to explore the Ten Kindmandments, and department head meetings always begin with a short teaching on the subject. See below:
The Pitt Child Development Center
The Pitt Child Development Center staff distributes weekly e-mails to families. These include a quote to consider, an activity to do with family and parenting tips, all focusing on ways to become more caring and compassionate.
JCC
JCC programs hold drives for local food pantries, collected cell phones to be shipped to soldiers and secured eyeglasses for those who cannot afford them. Staff also hasve initiated drives to gather mittens, hats and blankets for those in need, along with towels and pet food

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One winter evening while gathered around a campfire, an old Sioux Indian chief told his grandson about the struggle that goes on inside people.


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“This struggle is like two wolves fighting each other,” he said. “One is evil, full of anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, deceit, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

For a few minutes the boy pondered his grandfather’s words, and then he asked, “So which wolf wins?” “Well,” said the chief, his lined face breaking into a smile, “The one you feed!”


Every year billions of marketing dollars are invested to feed our love of the latest technology, celebrity gossip, fashion, fast food, games and home decor.

But who will feed our inner kindness?

It’s up each and every one of us!

The Kindness Project is here to help.

The Kindness Project sets a plentiful buffet of selections from Judaism’s menu to feed our inner kindness.

As our slogan "Kindness: Love it. Learn it. Live it." indicates, the goal of the Kindness Project is to facilitate opportunities to enrich our hearts, minds and activities with the values, wisdoms and practices of kindness in Jewish tradition.

Love it. Through arts, cultural and awareness programming at the JCC, we renew, affirm and increase our identity with, and love for, the value of kindness.

Learn it. Through Judaism’s classic teachings we find insight, wisdom and inspiration for life’s many situations that involve choices of kindness.

Live it. Through our various programs, participants are offered creative opportunities to perform acts of kindness.


Rabbi Tzvi Muller

“Being kind begins in the mind,” says Kindness Project founder and Director Rabbi Tzvi Muller, “By participating in the cultural, educational experiential offerings of the Kindness Project we can take kindness to a higher level.”


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The Kindness Project is a Jewish Community Center and Partners In Torah initiative


Additional information