Repairing Our World – WRT Social Impact Update

With help from each of you, and the support and guidance of the incredible Westchester Reform Temple clergy and staff, together we are weaving a thread of tzedek and tikkun olam throughout the tapestry of Jewish life at WRT.  

Through this blog, Repairing Our World, I explore ways in which WRT is making and can continue to make this world a better place.

B’yachad, doing things as one, we make a bigger difference,

Sharon Stiefel
WRT Director of Social Impact and Community Engagement

 February 16, 2023

Extending Our Blessings

When my first child was born, like many first-time parents, I was worried about so many different things.  Would I be successful at breastfeeding?  Would I know what my child’s different cries meant?   Did I make the right choice in paint color for the nursery?  What would it feel like when my husband returned to work and I remained home on maternity leave?

I never had to worry about whether I had enough money to buy diapers.  While I cried along with my son every time he wet his diaper, which meant that on some nights my husband and I changed his diaper as much as 6-8 times, I recognize that this ability to change so many diapers was a privilege not shared by all.

Did you know that SNAP benefits (formerly known as “food stamps”) do not cover the cost of diapers?  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, disposable diapers for the first year of a baby’s life will cost a family close to $1,000.  The estimate here in Westchester County, according to 914Cares, is closer to around $1,200 per year.  In addition, since many daycares require a baby to have at least a one-day supply of diapers, if a family cannot provide, it could mean loss of pay for each day of work the child cannot be at childcare, or potentially the loss of a job.  

New parenthood  is difficult for everyone.  But lacking the ability to provide your baby with basic necessities is an especially unfair and inequitable difficulty. Torah instructs that we should take the first fruit of our harvest and offer a portion of it to G-d in thanks.  In other words, we are asked to give thanks for what we have by sharing our resources with others.  

As has become tradition at Westchester Reform Temple, the first Tot Shabbat of 2023 was designated for offering blessings to the newest members of our WRT family: all babies born in 2022.  This year, we extended our blessings by supporting those in need by collecting diapers and baby wipes for the 914 Cares Diaper Bank

Because of the generosity of the WRT ECC community, we were able to donate approximately 5,500 diapers and 4,350 wipes. Thank you, WRT community, for your outpouring of support!

To learn more about what you can do to help new parents provide basic essential needs for their babies, visit