Pushke: a New NSUC tradition
For several years, NSUC has participated in a program called “Guest At Your Table” in which families and individuals receive a special box in which to collect money to be donated to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). This money goes to help many people, both nationally and internationally, who are struggling to make better lives for themselves. This year the Social Action Committee wants to introduce a new element to this program—the idea of pushke. (pronounced PUSH-kee ,PUSH-kuh, or PISH-kee)
Pushke is a Yiddish word derived from the Polish. A pushke is a small container kept in the home, often in the kitchen, in which money to be donated to a charity is accumulated. In the Jewish tradition, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.
We Unitarians have many connections with Judaism, and this concept of giving as an act of Justice and righteousness is one that has meaning for many of us. Therefore, this year’s Guest at Your Table box can be considered a pushke. We also want to give it special importance with its own special plate called a sharing plate, that families and individuals can decorate for themselves.
Guest At Your Table boxes will be passed out at the Sunday service on October 20. Right after the service, outside of Bletzer (Room 6), there will be tables set up with all the materials needed for families or individuals to decorate their own sharing plate. Then when your family sits down to eat together, the sharing plate holding the pushke will be right there to remind you to perform an act of justice by contributing to help improve the lives of so many who are less fortunate.