The Social Action Committee has organized a number of very worthwhile activities, and we need your help! We know that you each have so much to offer those who are less fortunate. We are looking for volunteers for the following:
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s Good Deeds Day
Sunday, March 9
Blumauer Auditorium and Kitchen
All over the world on March 9, hundreds of thousands choose to volunteer and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world. Let's do some good in Portland!
Congregation Beth Israel is hosting our Soup Sac program again for Good Deeds Day, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. We will be preparing and delivering food to those in need.
Sign up here to help out!
Pots & Pans for Purim
Community Warehouse provides furniture and other household necessities to families who have just received housing. CBI’s Social Action Committee is working with one such family, and the evening after they visited CW to pick out items, the furniture had been delivered and set up.
Help make it possible for other families to receive the same kind of assistance. Donate the following items between March 2-15:
- Coffee makers
- Microwave ovens
- Cooking utensils
- Baking pans and casserole dishes
- Pots and pans
Barrels will be available to drop off donations in the Schnitzer Family Center, the Sherman Education Center, and the Temple.
Village Support Network Housewarming Party
Saturday, March 29, 1:00 PM
Three volunteers from the Social Action Committee are working with the Village Support Network (VSN), which is a collaboration of the New City Initiative, Portland Homeless Family Solutions, and others. VSN is based on the concept that "it takes a village to raise a child." This is especially true for families that have experienced homelessness, and our team is working to help a family transition from homeless into a stable environment. For a six month period, we help "our family" create a stable and healthy home. Thanks to your contributions to the Social Action Committee, we are able to have a $500 assistance fund to help with this transition.
We are working with a lovely family of six - Nancy and Nick have four children ranging from age 5 to 3 months. Nancy and Nick are good parents who want their children to have secure and meaningful lives. They have a good work ethic, and we are hopeful they will never experience homelessness again.
As part of the VSN, we will be hosting a housewarming party for the family on Saturday, March 29th at 1:00. We have a wish list of items the family would like to have to help make their house their home. These include:
- microwave oven
- crock pot
- red area rug
- sheets - for queen and twin beds & crib
- garden tools
- book cases (brown or black)
- small trash cans
- small desk for adult (IKEA type)
- child chair for desk/table
- sewing machine
- mixing bowls
- pots and pans
- toddler bed
- electric can opener
To help us transport the family, we are also requesting the donation of car seats for children weighing 40 lbs, 36 lbs, and 23 lbs
When you consider that this family is moving from a shelter to a home, this list is quite small. That is due in large measure to the generosity of the Community Warehouse, which provides families with furniture and household goods as they move into housing. A special thanks goes to the Community Warehouse as we see how important our Pots & Pans for Purim drive really is.
Mitzvah Day 2014!
Sunday, May 4
Mark your calendars for our annual Mitzvah Day! Stay tuned for more information.
NORTHWEST TOWER ANNEX - TUTORING AND ENRICHMENT
Every Wednesday, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Please help us help the children at the Northwest Tower Annex, our neighbors next door to CBI. Our volunteers started an after school enrichment/tutoring program each Wednesday from 4:30 until 5:30. Volunteers do not have to commit to coming weekly, but we hope you will try to come at least once a month.
Please email us for more information and to volunteer.
VOLUNTEER REQUESTS FROM LIFT URBAN PORTLAND
Lift UP has volunteer opportunities with its new Wellness program which will be providing nutrition and fitness programs at the 4 Adopt-A-Highrise buildings. It is looking for volunteers to be trained (for free!) in the following two evidence based fitness programs:
Walk With Ease – training is online and then volunteers pair up to lead a walking group either 3 times a week for 6 weeks or 2 times a week for 9 weeks.
Matter of Balance (fall prevention and physical activity promotion) – training will be in person with a certified Master Trainer (8 hr training) and classes will be 2 times a week for 8 weeks.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent Soup Sac Days!
They were our most successful Soup Sac days ever! You made and delivered more soup than ever, and we are so grateful for your efforts. Everyone had fun and made the day better for the many recipients of our lunches.
Thanks for your commitment to Tikkun Olam.
In the spirit of Tikkun Olam, our last programming year was filled with CBI congregants participating in numerous acts of loving kindness - gemilut chasadim:
Our annual High Holiday Food Drive was a great success. Recognizing the benefit of providing funding to our recipient organizations, Lift Urban Portland and the Sunshine Pantry, we provided our congregants with the opportunity to make cash donations, as well as food donations.
Implementing the vision of Solomon and Andrew Olshin, the Social Action Committee ran three successful SoupSac programs.
The Committee also continued its support of the NW Tower and Annex as part of the Lift Urban Portland Adopt-a-Highrise Program. With your generous contributions and the shopping expertise of Joanie Rosenbaum, we expanded the back to school supply drive for the children of the NW Tower Annex to purchase the items on the children’s class lists.
Lynn Tobias, Sarah Epstein, and Joanie Rosenbaum are working with Urban Gleaners seeking new food donors.
Committee members provided a Christmas Eve dinner and gifts for the residents of Stepping Stones and their children.
Daphna Stadig and Kate Royston organized the Pots and Pans for Purim for the Community Warehouse.
With the support of the Religious School, the Committee also provided gift bags for the guests at the Trinity Episcopal Church Easter dinner.
We ended the program year with a well-attended Mitzvah Day, led by James Anchell, Janet Morgan, Mary Scalone and Julia Waldinger.
Sherry Fishman coordinated activities as our representative to the JFGP Community Relations Committee. Members of the Committee agreed to form a team for the Village Support Network. The Allocations Subcommittee chaired by Lynn Tobias voted to provide contributions to: Janus Youth Programs in honor of Beth Israel Sisterhood’s receipt of the Gold Or Ami “Light of My People” Award, the Israel Religious Action Center’s Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism - Women of the Wall, the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin, Camp Rosenbaum, Jewish Family and Child Service, Community Warehouse, Lift Urban Portland for its annual Christmas Dinner and food programs (including $2,000 as the first contribution to the newly named Eve and Alan Rosenfeld Food Fund), the Meals on Wheels People, the Village Support Network, Sisters of the Road Cafe, Urban Gleaners, and programs for the residents of the NW Tower and Annex.
Our work would not be possible without the expert guidance from Rabbi Joseph, Rabbi Cahana, Cantor Cahana, and Sydney Baer and the unstinting support from Jemi Mansfield, Tracy Alifanz, Jim Baldwin, Vicki Greif, Dara Docherty, and Craig Paton and his team.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated clergy and staff, as well as our co-chairs James Anchell, Janet Morgan, Mary Scalone and Julia Waldinger, we enjoyed another very special Mitzvah Day. Special thanks go to Rabbi Joseph for her leadership in bringing a new dimension to the day. We also want to thank our team leaders who brought energy and commitment to making each project a success.
With projects for every age, over 300 people brought meaning to Tikkun Olam:
- we sang to the residents of the Robison Home
- beautified the CBI Cemetery
- did a neighborhood clean-up
- gave a birthday party for the residents of the Northwest Tower and Annex
- gave blood to the Red Cross
- donated to the Community Warehouse
- cleaned and polished at Janus House and delivered hand-made blankets and baked for 500 guests at Potluck in the Park
- sorted, stacked and cleaned at the ReBuilding Center
- donated food and sorted it for the Sunshine Pantry
- held a bake sale to help a child in need
- improved the library at Northwest Tower and Annex
- made placemats for Loaves and Fishes recipients
- created gardens for the guests of Ronald McDonald House
- made and distributed over 300 Soupsacs to those in need
Many of us even joined the Gift of Life Registry for bone marrow and blood stem transplants.
We hope that, by working together, we learned every day can be a Mitzvah Day and that each of us can make a positive difference in the world. As Jews we are taught that every human is created "b’tselem elohim," in God’s image. Every person is imbued with the divine spark, infinite in value and unique. Whether it’s working on a CBI project, working at one of our partner organizations, visiting a shut-in, or just smiling at someone who might otherwise feel invisible, it is both our duty and gift to respect and improve the lives of others.
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
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 collects donated household goods and furnishings and redistributes them to our neighbors in need.
POTLUCK IN THE PARK
Every Sunday, Potluck in the Park volunteers prepare and serve a hot wholesome meal to hundreds of needy people and provide a welcoming community gathering place.
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 offers food, clothing, household items, toys and toiletries to families in need in Beaverton.
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?