“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
The Social Action Committee seeks to improve the world by engaging in tikkun olam (repair the world) projects within our local community and supporting important causes in the larger global one. We welcome all interested members, of any age, to join us in whatever capacity they can! To stay informed, check out the social action blurb in the weekly email and look out for solo email blasts about upcoming opportunities.
Our Religious School students are engaged early on to learn about the importance of tikkun olam and to participate in hands on projects. All B’Nai Mitzvah students are required to undertake a substantial and meaningful mitzvah project, and our Youth Group teens remain committed to social action. Adults and kids of all ages participate with passion in social action causes, whether in one project or more.
For more information or to get involved, contact Wendy Weiss, Social Action Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-385-2681.
Book Buddies at the Bergen Family Center in Englewood: Ongoing throughout the school year. For middle school and HS kids. Work and play with elementary school kids in an after school program one day per week.
Rockin’ Role Models at Englewood Middle School: Ongoing throughout the school year. For HS juniors and seniors. Work and connect with middle school students in an after school program one or more afternoons a week (Monday, Wednesday or Friday).
Company for Lunch or Dinner at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh: Ongoing. For adults, older teens, or kids with adults. Join seniors at mealtimes (lunch or dinner) to provide companionship and assistance.
Family Promise Hosting: May 3 – May 10, 2015. Volunteer to help host homeless families at TBE by preparing meals, providing entertainment and companionship, spending the night, or donating supplies. To learn more about hosting homeless families, please read below.
TEACHING TOLERANCE PROGRAM: GRANT AWARD
Temple Beth El was recently awarded $500 for its Teaching Tolerance Program for students ages K – 6th grade, joined by children from congregations of other faiths in the community. This interfaith program sponsored by both the Social Action Committee and the Religious School, and slated for Fall 2013, will be supported by a Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ) Congregational Interfaith Grant, made possible by funding from the Jewish Chautauqua Society, MRJ’s interfaith education project. This three part program will include: 1) a nationally recognized storyteller, Eva Grayzel, presenting engaging and interactive stories with themes that celebrate and embrace diversity, 2) a kid friendly mixer so that students from different congregations can get to know one another, and 3) quilt making in groups of 2-4 using as inspiration both the stories and the things learned about others in the mixer activities. Our hope is that interactions of this kind between children of different faiths and ethnicities will leave a lasting influence on how they view the world. We wish to foster relationships of respect and acceptance and teach kids to recognize and appreciate the rich diversity among us. Teaching tolerance is teaching that there is harmony in difference.
FAMILY PROMISE: HOSTING HOMELESS FAMILIES
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO HOST THE HOMELESS and with the help of many volunteers, we create one two times a year at Temple Beth El! Beginning in the summer of 2011, Beth El launched the Family Promise Project by joining with more than 20 other Bergen County congregations of different faiths to host homeless families on a rotating basis. We welcome homeless families into our community and provide them with shelter, food, fellowship, and support, as they struggle to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.
Volunteers of all ages help in a variety of ways. Some set up the space and welcome our guests when they arrive. Many cook delicious meals. Others organize evening activities, such as art projects or movie nights, or help with homework. We’ve celebrated a child’s birthday and given a warm send off party for a family moving out of the program. Each night two volunteers sleep over and serve breakfast in the morning. Some volunteers provide generous donations of much needed food and supplies. Finally, a volunteer clean up crew comes in after our guests are gone. Each hosting week is always a HUGE TEAM EFFORT, a wonderful experience for the families that participate, a chance to form new friendships, and a meaningful opportunity for tikkun olam right in our own backyard. We are proud to be a host congregation for Bergen County Family Promise!
For more information or to get involved, contact Wendy Weiss, Social Action Chair, at email@example.com or 201-385-2681