Social Action at Temple Aliyah

“In a free society, although each person  may not be guilty, all are responsible"  

(Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Inspired by the Jewish tradition of engaging in mitzvot dedicated to tikkun olam, the Social Action Committee offers opportunities to learn and inspire action, in response to Jewish issues of social justice that occur on local, national and international levels. We invite you and your family to join us in these projects.

We have an exciting schedule of events for 2016-2017, including several ongoing volunteer opportunities.

 

ONGOING PROGRAMS:
Sort food items at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the principal source of food for all the local food pantries and soup kitchens in the Commonwealth. We offer opportunities approximately 3-4 times per year. Contact Hal Bryer at [email protected] for more information.

Become a Reading Tutor at the Philbrick Elementary School in Roslindale as part of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy. Participation requires a commitment of one or two hours per week, plus training. Tutor training sessions are held at least twice each school year. Email Judy Varon at [email protected] or call 781-444-3812.

Collect low-sodium vegetable soup and raisins for the JF&CS Family Table food pantry in Waltham. Leave your donations in the boxes in the school lobby. We also help with food distributions around the Boston area on the first Sunday of each month. Contact Marla Simon at [email protected] to join us.

Engage with Temple Aliyah’s adopted unit of children, ages 7-13, at the Walker School on Central Avenue once a month from 4-6 pm. Volunteers must be at least 18. Contact Marty Lipman at [email protected] for more information.

DATE-SPECIFIC EVENTS:
Kol Nidre Food Drive                                     Erev Yom Kippur 2016
Temple members are asked to bring non-perishable kosher foods to synagogue before the Kol Nidre service on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, which are then delivered to JF&CS Family Table for distribution.

Sukkot Coat Drive                                           Through Sukkot 2016
We will be collecting winter coats and thick hooded sweatshirts from September 18 to October 25, 2016, and delivering them to Generic Ministry Inc., a Needham-based charity that provides food and clothing to homeless individuals in the Boston area. 

Holiday Gift Drive                                                      December 2016
Annual collection of Hanukkah gifts for children served by JF&CS, as well as holiday gifts for children at the Walker School in Needham. If interested, please contact Sheryl Dubin at [email protected]

Project Ezra                          Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2016
Temple volunteers help serve Christmas dinners at Boston-area homeless shelters. If interested, please contact Judy Lee.

Mitzvah Day                                              Sunday, January 22, 2017                             
Mitzvah Day is a Sunday morning that provides opportunities to engage in Mitzvot that benefit others as well as offer education about a relevant social issue. Mitzvah Day will be integrated with our religious school program and will provide activities for adults, pre-school and school-age children and teenagers.   

Movie Morning                                                            April 30, 2017
An opportunity to view a movie/documentary at the synagogue that explores in some depth a relevant social issue. Sunday movie morning has become an annual Social Action tradition. Previous movies have dealt with issues of poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, and service.

Walk for Hunger                                                            May 7, 2017
Join Team Aliyah for the Project Bread Walk for Hunger held on the first Sunday in May. Our team raised over $9,000 last year and will be looking to top that amount this year. You can participate by walking, fundraising, or pledging yourself. Please contact Rachel Weinstock at [email protected] to get involved.

Monthly meetings begin at 8 pm on Wednesdays. Check the TA calendar and the Social Action webpage for updated information, or contact Co-Chairs Janet Besser at [email protected] and Rachel Weinstock at [email protected].  

 

Related Resources

Mitzvah Centerpiece booklet
The social action committee developed this resource to provide information on what “mitzvah centerpieces” are, why people choose them, and how one can begin and execute the process. Mitzvah centerpieces may be used in lieu of other more expensive table centerpieces, such as flowers, to decorate tables at your special simcha. These centerpieces often contain goods (e.g., food pantry items, animal shelter necessities) that are then donated after your event to the charity of your choice. They demonstrate your awareness and commitment to social justice issues, decorate your tables, AND help others. Get the booklet here.

Donating Leftover Food
If you have leftover food and/or paper products from your simcha, and you are interested in donating them for immediate use by our hungry and homeless neighbors in the Boston area, please consider donating to Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen. Large quantities of food (i.e., food that will feed at least 15-20 people) will be picked up by Bristol Lodge staff; otherwise, leftovers may be dropped off at their facility in Waltham. Please find all the details on the flyer in the temple kitchen or download it here

Other social action activities at Temple Aliyah, which are described on their own webpages:

  • Strengthen our bond with Israel: Kesher Committee
  • Provide caring support to Temple members in times of need, including knitting healing shawls for those who are ill and/or undergoing some form of treatment: Hesed Committee