Social Action, Tikkun Olam & Green Chevra

Simon the Righteous was one of the last of The Great Assembly. His motto was “The world stands on three things – the Torah, the Temple (service), and loving acts of kindness.”

This statement reflects the focus of the Tikkun Olam and Social Action initiatives at Bet Am Shalom Synagogue. We strive to put the values of the Torah into action by performing loving acts of kindness. Won’t you join us? Together, we will plan tikkun olam (repairing the world) projects for our synagogue community. For information and to volunteer, contact the BAS office at betamshalom@betamshalom.org or 914-946-8851.

Social Action Chevra Projects

Our members give their time, effort, dedication and support for the various projects organized by the Social Action chevra. Join us for a day or the season, for one project or all of them.

Contact Rochelle Leiber-Miller for more information about Social Action.

Here is a sampling of our BAS programs:

  • Corners of Our Fields Food Drive inspired by Mazon. Help support Feeding Westchester. Please pick up brown bags when leaving Rosh Hashanah services and return them filled with non-perishable items during the week of Sukkot to the BAS front lobby.
     
  • Midnight Run
    Three ways to help: 1) Donate food items, seasonal clothing, blankets, and personal care items. 2) Prepare food, clothing and supplies the night of the Run. 3) Go on the Run: Travel in a caravan to Manhattan and bring food, clothing, conversation, and kindness to people living on the street. BAS goes on Runs four times a year.
     
  • Open Arms Shelter  (2x/month)
    Prepare dessert and vegetables for the residents of this White Plains shelter. More info
     
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners
    We provide a full holiday meal for the men of the Vernon Plaza Family Shelter in Mount Vernon. Volunteers needed to cook individual elements of the dinners and deliver them to the Bet Am Shalom parking lot on the morning of the holiday. A van will pick up the food for delivery to the shelter. More info
     
  • Social Action Concert  
    A fun, musical evening. Volunteers needed for all types of jobs. Past concerts have raised funds for Midnight Run, Children’s Center for Learning and Project Morry.
     
  • Ecumenical Food Pantry - ongoing
    We provide ongoing donations to this food pantry located at the Slater House in White Plains. Please bring non-perishable foods with you (only kosher please) when you come to Bet Am Shalom and place them in our donation basket, which is located in the entranceway of the building.

Westchester social action opportunities

Tikkun Olam Chevra Projects

MISSION: Engage the Bet Am Shalom community in education, advocacy and service on issues related to immigration.

Contact Laura Solomon for more information about Tikkun Olam.

REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT INITIATIVE

Bet Am Shalom is partnering with Woodlands Community Temple, under the guidance of HIAS, to resettle a refugee family. The family arrived from Kabul, Afghanistan in November 2018 They have adjusted extremely well to the culture, our school system and the English language.

Read about our efforts in this Reconstructing Judaism article.

If you are interested in helping with this effort, please contact Laura Solomon.

ACTIVITIES & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

EDUCATION

Our education director, Abby Reiken is a member of the Tikkun Olam chevra and incorporates immigration into the Torah La’am curriculum through customized lesson plans, activities and outside speakers. We also work closely with Abby to sponsor the following programs that aim to educate congregants of all ages about a range of topics associated with immigration:

Annual speaker event, Havdalah and buffet dinner catered by local refugees. Speakers have included a Dreamer, immigration lawyers and a refugee from Afghanistan.

Annual speaker on immigration for our post B’nai Mitzvah middle and high school students, such as a refugee teen from Iraq, HIAS, and Afghan refugee.

Afghan cooking class taught by a local refugee from Afghanistan. Through demonstration, hands-on participation and tasting what they made, congregants learned techniques and recipes to prepare at home. 

ADVOCACY
Our advocacy efforts have addressed issues facing immigrants such as the Green Light bill and legal services for El Centro Hispano. We are currently exploring issues and opportunities related to providing Sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation.

SERVICE
We sponsor several events on an annual basis and others ongoing:

Meals in a Jar: A multi-generational event in which we help local immigrant families by preparing 100+ “Meals in a Jar” on Martin Luther King Day. 

Mitzvah Day: Participate in tzedakah projects and advocacy work on immigration.

Sarah Lawrence College: Prepare lunch for refugees who attend a summer camp program sponsored by the College.

El Centro Hispano:  Distribute food and clothing 2 Thursdays each month 3:00 – 5:00 PM.  Organization’s mission: Assist, support, and strengthen Hispanic families; help them become self-sufficient; and ease their transition into their new culture while maintaining and enriching their own. El Centro Hispano is at 346 South Lexington Avenue, White Plains. Contact Laura Solomon for more information.

Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE): Coach, guide and mentor 9-12th graders. Contact Steve Cruz if interested. Organization’s mission: Increase the number of Yonkers Public School students to complete a post-secondary program that prepares them for a successful career.


Green Chevra

Sign up here to deliver leftover food from Shabbat Kiddush.

Click here to see other ways in which our Green Chevra is "repairing the world."
 

updated September 13, 2017

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