A group of congregants from Temple Emanu-El in Edison are combining spiritual and health having a dash of competiveness, all while helping the surrounding community.
The participants are competing inside li ji shou pills a " slimathon," enlisting sponsors as they compete to lose weight. The proceeds will be used to fund the synagogue's lifelong education programs and the like social action efforts since it's community garden and food bank, which feed the hungry, and mitzva projects to benefit schoolchildren yet others.
By Oct. 15, the 13 participants -- 10 ladies and three men -- have risen $2,350 toward a $35,000 goal.
"We really are a healthy spiritual congregation," said event chair Bobbi Goodman. "However, we also want to be a healthy physical congregation and wish to be considered a fiscally healthy congregation."
The initiative has been dubbed "From Year to New Year -- A brand new You." It kicked off Oct. 7 at JFK Medical Center in Edison, where participants were weighed along with a staff nutritionist spoke for them about eating healthily and dietary issues.
The slimathon can finish on Jan. 7 having a weigh-in in the hospital. Prizes will be awarded to the husband and wife who loses probably the most weight. Goodman said the hospital may also award a grand prize.
She said the program was suggested like a twist around the many marathons, 5k runs, and other endurance fund-raisers.
"We are helping ourselves while raising magic slim capsule money," Goodman said. "The hospital agreed to sponsor us and will keep all the records. We are all likely to follow whatever diet suits us best and have agreed to support each other if necessary, that we think is a very spiritual experience. Already there have been e-mails backwards and forwards with ideas, suggestions, and accomplishments."