EVENTS | VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES | NEWS

Upcoming Events

NW Tower Coat and Boot Drive

Each year we provide all the children of NW Tower & Annex with a new coat or new boots. If you would like to contribute, please donate to the SAC tribute fund.

 

NW Tower Christmas Gift Drive

Please help make the holiday season merry for the 20 or so children who are our neighbors at NW Tower & Annex. Check back soon for a link to the Christmas gift drive.

 

Lift Urban Portland's Christmas Dinner - Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday, December 25, 2015

Every year for the past 30 or so years, Congregation Beth Israel has hosted a community holiday dinner. This year the dinner is on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Many volunteers generously offer their time to ensure a festive event for the guests. In fact, more than 100 volunteers join hands to serve close to 600 dinners. Volunteers are needed before, during and after the dinner: to prepare and decorate, fill gift bags, greet our guests, serve meals, and clean up. You can sign up here. Thank you.

 

Social Action and NW Towers Need Your Ongoing Help

Sundays, 9:15 AM
Trader Joe's (2122 NW Glisan)

CBI's Social Action Committee has been helping our neighbors at NW Towers with weekly pickup and delivery of perishable foods and other products from Trader Joe's. The food is very much appreciated at NW Towers and the initiative is going well. We need your help to keep it going! We are seeking volunteers weekly to help out on Sundays from 9:15 AM until roughly 10:00 AM, and would particularly appreciate any volunteers with access to a pickup truck! If you’re able to help, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

High Holidays Funds for Food Drive

The Torah and our traditions compel us to feed those who would otherwise go hungry. As Maimonides knew, a hungry person cannot think of higher things. Even the day-to-day tasks we do without a second thought are difficult when food is scarce.

To support Congregation Beth Israel’s High Holidays Food Drive, you can: 

  • Mail a check marked “HHD Food Drive” to 1972 NW Flanders Street, Portland, OR 97209.
  • Call (503) 222-1069 to donate with a Visa or MasterCard. 
  • Donate items the food banks need. Visit the Sunshine Pantry and Lift Urban Portland websites for wish lists and ideas.

 

Help us Heal the World!

The Social Action Committee is an OPEN committee and recruiting new members! All are welcome. No need to be appointed, or elected, or even sign up. Just show up our meetings to become a committee member and help with strategizing and planning fun and worthwhile events. In addition to our favorite annual events, like the High Holiday Funds for Food Drive and Mitzvah Day, we have many exciting new activities that need volunteers throughout the year. We are also excited to announce that we have started an advocacy arm that includes education and lobbying on issues of social justice, hunger, and gun violence prevention.

Come to our next meeting November 2 at 5:30 PM to get all the details and get involved. We meet on the first Wednesday of every other month from 5:30- 7:00 PM in the Shirley and Herbert Semler Board Room. 

 

Mitzvah day was a great success. Click here for photos from this special day.

 

On February 24, Social Action committee members joined together for the first CBI advocacy day in Salem:

social action advocacy


 

Responding to the Refugee Crisis –
A Call to Help

Syrian-Refugee-Crisis-header

Click here to learn how you can help

 

Do a Mitzvah!

Tutors of all ages needed for children at NW Towers

Please join us in tutoring children who live at NW Towers Annex. Tutoring sessions are Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Our weekly program begins with 15 minutes for a snack, followed by 45 minutes of homework, and ends with an hour of games and educational activities.

Tutors of all ages needed—particularly from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. For students who want to tutor, this activity can count towards a service learning credit requirement. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The NW Towers is part of the Portland’s Home Forward program which provides affordable housing to individuals and families. This tutoring program is coordinated in conjunction with Lift Urban Portland’s Adopt a Highrise Program.

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Social Action News

THANKS TO OUR HARDWORKING VOLUNTEERS

Thank you to everyone who joins us at all our activities. Our activities rely on CBI members and we are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of our volunteers. We would particularly like to acknowledge some young volunteers who are now a regular addition to our weekly tutoring at NW Tower & Annex. Thank you to Levi Margolis, Benjamin Olshin, Cole Powers, Dylan Audley, and Nikhil Saha. These young men are helping to tutor the kids at NW Tower. They have focused on New Math, which has been challenging for most of the adult tutors, and have shown infinite patience and compassion during all the sessions. We really appreciate that they are taking time in their busy schedules to reach out to our neighbors.

 

THANK YOU CBI VOLUNTEERS!

Last Sunday a group of CBI volunteers spent a lovely and productive morning and afternoon making Thanksgiving Dinner for our neighbors at NW Tower and Annex. We served a hearty and delicious meal of roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberries, vegetables, salads, rolls and pies. It was a grand success!

NWTowersTurkey-cooking-montage

A big thank you to all our volunteers who prepped and cooked, set tables and made centerpieces, greeted guests, handed out door prizes, served the meal and helped cleanup —Jennifer Alderman, Sydney Baer, Deb Caldwell, Robert & Holly Cohn, Ilene & Jim Davidson, Sarah & John Epstein, Eric & Max Friedenwald-Fishman, Michelle & Steve Gradow, Harry, Rebecca Hill, Kenny Jacobs, Gabrielle Josephson, Terri Koontz, Bob Kravitz & David Gilbert, Lisa Levy, Jen, Jesse & Spencer Litwin, Susan & Levi Margolis, Meies Matz, Daureen Morris, Evi Pazmanczyk, Michelle Poli & Ed Tonkin, Sally Rosenfeld, Dana Schwartz, Stephanie Siegel, Cecille Spivak, Ben Stern, Lynn Tobias, Julia Waldinger, Terri Warrern and Amie, Talia & Sophia Wexler. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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Volunteer Opportunities

The SAC is an open committee that encourages congregation members to participate in planning, implementing, and staffing many programs that work towards tikkun olam in our world. Below are some of the activities we have right now that are ongoing and can use more volunteers.

Join the SAC Advocacy Task Force

The Advocacy Task Force at CBI is working on issues that are important and relevant to our community. Join the committee to help determine those issues. Send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join the committee or for more information.

Activities will include:

Advocating with Multnomah County and the City of Portland on behalf of our NW Towers neighbors. In the past year, the buildings and our neighborhood have seen a significant increase in crime. As a result, many of the older residents are now afraid to leave their apartments at night. We will be examining the causes of these increasing problems.

Lobbying our regional and state legislators on topics of great interest. A number of reasonable gun violence prevention initiatives are expected to be considered by the state legislature. Work with us to lobby our state legislatures to help reduce gun violence in our state.

 

Donate to our Social Action Fund and Social Action Food Fund

Your donations allow us to fund these and other worthwhile activities. Each year we coordinate many activities, which will benefit from your support. However, we also donate to other organizations that provide services that meet our values.

  

ACTIVITIES AT NW TOWERS:

Tutor children at NW Towers
Please join us in tutoring children who live at NW Towers Annex. Tutoring sessions are Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Our weekly program begins with 15 minutes for a snack, followed by 45 minutes of homework, and ends with an hour of games and educational activities.

Tutors of all ages needed—particularly from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. For students who want to tutor, this activity can count towards a service learning credit requirement. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The NW Towers is part of the Portland’s Home Forward program which provides affordable housing to individuals and families. This tutoring program is coordinated in conjunction with Lift Urban Portland’s Adopt a Highrise Program.

Meals and parties for NW Tower residents
Food is the key to reaching people and making connections, which is why we have parties/meals every few months and we always need help with cooking and serving. Please keep an eye on “Beneath Our Dome” to learn about upcoming meals and parties or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. requesting to be added to our mailing list to get special notifications from the SAC.

Mentoring program supporting NW Tower parents
Many of the children living in NW Towers have learning disabilities and/or lack a good educational foundation. For this reason we are starting a volunteer mentoring program to help parents better advocate for their children at schools. We are planning an informational meeting in December for Congregants interested in participating in this crucial program. Please watch for the meeting date in in an upcoming “Beneath Our Dome” or let Tracy Alifanz know if you would like a special invitation to this meeting.

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In addition to the projects sponsored by Congregational Beth Israel's Social Action Committee, we partner with the following 503(c) (1) nonprofit organizations:

LIFT URBAN PORTLAND
Lift Urban Portland provides in Northwest and Downtown Portland. They help our neighbors through food programs (including in partnership with the Wheels on Meals People), the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program and the Adopt-A-Highrise program. Through the Adopt-A- Highrise program, CBI adopted the Northwest Tower, which is adjacent to CBI. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in working with the residents of Northwest Tower.

JANUS YOUTH PROGRAMS
Janus is licensed to provide group residential and shelter care and a certified drug and alcohol program. Janus' alternative education school is approved for learning disabled and emotionally disturbed students.

COMMUNITY WAREHOUSE
Community Warehouse collects donated household goods and furnishings and redistributes them to our neighbors in need.

THE ReBUILDING CENTER
The ReBuilding Center, a project of Our United Villages, provides resources that make home repairs affordable to everyone, with the goal of promoting the reuse of salvaged and reclaimed materials.

RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES
The Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children and support initiatives to improve pediatric health.

SUNSHINE PANTRY
Sunshine Pantry offers food, clothing, household items, toys and toiletries to families in need in Beaverton.

URBAN GLEANERS
Urban Gleaners mission is to help alleviate hunger by collecting edible, surplus food that would be thrown away and distributing it to agencies that feed the hungry.

Questions about how you can get involved with the Social Action Committee?  
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn how you can make a difference!

 

Our Next Social Action Committee Meeting

November 2, 5:30 PM

Come to our next meeting to get all the details and get involved. We meet on the first Wednesday of every other month from 5:30-7:00 PM in the Shirley & Herbert Semler Board Room.

Volunteer Opportunities

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The SAC is an open committee that encourages congregation members to participate in planning, implementing, and staffing many programs that work towards tikkun olam in our world. Below are some of the activities we have right now that are ongoing and can use more volunteers.

Join the SAC Advocacy Task Force (Ongoing committee)

Donate to our Social Action Fund and Social Action Food Fund (Ongoing)

ACTIVITIES AT NW TOWERS:

Tutor children from NW Towers Annex (Tuesday afternoons during the school year)

Mentoring program supporting NW Tower parents (Ongoing program)

Meals and parties for NW Tower residents (Occasional events throughout the year) 

For more information about any of these volunteer opportunities or to sign up to volunteer, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Listen to Social Action Events and more

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Social Action Links & More

Questions about Social Action?

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Links

Seeking Peace, Pursuing Justice
The Reform movement's campaign to educate, encourage, and mobilize North American Jewry to support peace efforts and social justice causes in Israel. www.seekpeace.org

Religious Action Center
www.rac.org

Union for Reform Judaism 
www.urj.org

ARZA/World Union for Progressive Judaism
http://www.rj.org/arzawuna

Basic Rights Oregon
www.basicrights.org

 

Rabbi Rose Tikkun Olam Award Recipients:

2015: Ilene Davidson

2014: Jill Rubinstein

2013: Sanny Snell

2012: Women of Reform Judaism/Beth Israel Sisterhood

2010: Tracy Oseran and Dr. Gregg Coodley

2009: BINA

2007: Dr. Jill Ginsberg

2006: Rabbi Rose