Mar 4, 2014
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A Richmond synagogue will celebrate Passover this year by “liberating” community members of clutter.

Temple Beth Hillel at 801 Park Central St. is holding an “Interactive Decluttering Workshop” on Sunday,  March 23, led by two members who happen to be professional de-clutterers.

The 10:30 a.m. workshop will be held in anticipation of the Passover holiday, which begins April 14, and is part of the temple’s regular Sunday bagel brunch gatherings.

“As we celebrate the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, we are reminded that their hurried exodus to the desert through the Red Sea left them very little time to gather their families and belongings,” organizers stated in a flyer. “At this time of year, we are obligated to see ourselves as personally escaping from Egypt. How would you prepare? What would you take with you and what would you leave behind?”

Here are the rules of the event:

  1. On the morning of the workshop, set your timer for 18 minutes. Grab large garbage bags, sizable plastic bins, or several suitcases. Quickly go through your home and dump the contents of junk drawers, shelves with miscellaneous stuff  and unidentifiable items into the containers.
  2. Work quickly and stop after 18 minutes! Do not sort anything before you come to the workshop.
  3. Load the containers into your car. On the way to the workshop, think about how “enslaved” you are to your material things and how the act of “decluttering” can be liberating.

The de-cluttering event will be led by synagogue members Jane Kemp and Debra Salan. Kemp is a professional organizer who specializes in working with families in transition, downsizing, clutter cleaning and toy detox. Salan is a Ph.D. with more than 25 years of clinical counseling, management, consulting and teaching experience.

A $5 donation is suggested.

Temple Beth Hillel is the only synagogue in West County.

“Although a small congregation, we are deeply involved in our community,” spokeswoman Marilyn Hertzberg said. “We are active founding members of GRIP, a regular contributor to the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry, and the founding and primary stakeholder in Food for Thought, a 4-year-old project that provides food to many needy families  in the West County Unified School District during winter break.”


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.