Social Action

A New Year

As new chairs of the Social Action Committee, we are looking forward to working with members of our committee and the synagogue to practice tikkun olam in our community and beyond. The remarkable Ilene Davidson and her predecessors have established many amazing and meaningful programs that the SAC will continue to support. However, we will be expanding into some new areas, as well as increasing the community participation in and the outreach of our current programs.

One area that we will be promoting this year is advocacy. We have many voices and want to use them to address larger issues important to our community, such as hunger, immigration, and education, to name a few.

In addition, we will be doing many of our usual activities, but let’s highlight a few upcoming ones:

Step it up for Social Action

Wednesday, August 6, 6:00-8:00 PM
18254 SW 100th Court, Tualatin, OR 97062


Dorota and Michael Sinclair invite you to shop for women's shoes at their warehouse. Dorota, who is on our Social Action Committee, and her husband import beautiful leather European shoes, which can be found at Switch, Nordstrom, and Zappos. They are generously sharing their samples (usually a size 7) and assorted inventory (sizes 5–10) with CBI.

Many of these designer shoes are valued at $200. They are selling these shoes for $90-$100 with 50% of the proceeds benefiting CBI’s Social Action Projects. Purchases can be made with cash, credit card, or check.

Fun fashions and unique designs abound! Wine and cheese will be served.

Please RSVP to Tracy in the CBI office at (503) 222-1069 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Help our neighborhood children get a strong start to the school year

Friday, August 22: Shabbat on the Plaza
School backpacks and supplies for the NW Towers Annex

As in past years, we will be providing school supplies for the children of NW Towers. To ensure that the children get exactly what is needed, we will put together a wishlist of items when we get closer to the date. Your donations can be bought online or brought to services on August 22. SAC will be sponsoring the evening’s service and providing a dessert. Please note that our meetings are open to any synagogue member, and we would love more committee members to help us create a productive and meaningful year for the SAC at CBI.


- SAC co-chairs, Elizabeth Friedenwald & Rebecca Friedenwald-Fishman




Mitzvah Day 2014 logoThanks to everyone who participated in Mitzvah Day - you were all so great - you even made the sun shine!

Please read the June Bulletin for more about the people who made Mitzvah Day such a success. In the meantime, special thanks go out to the folks who started our day on such a great note - our engaging sign-in folks and our wonderful breakfast mavens - the mighty CBI Brotherhood led by David Goldwyn, and Linda Harrison and Stephanie Siegel holding down the fort for Sisterhood as the other sisters worked to improve Janus House under the leadership of Daphna Stadig. Special thanks also to your breakfast servers, Deb and Lance Caldwell, Bonnie and Jonathan Barg, Bob Rosenbaum, Marc Birge and Jim Davidson.

We are grateful to Rob LaForte for providing us the opportunity to distribute 6,000 pounds of apples, as well as to our amazing Mitzvah Day Committee, Janet Morgan, Andy Olshin, Alexa Hasman, Julia Waldinger and Stephen Cassell.

And of course, none of the day could have happened without the support of our CBI team - Rabbi Joseph, Rabbi Cahana, Cantor Cahana, Sydney Baer, Dara Docherty, Tracy Alifanz, Ben Sandler, Mor Kenane, Vickie Grief, Jim Baldwin, Jen Feldman and Craig Paton.

Special thanks to Stephen Cassell for the design and production of the Mitzvah Day 365 t-shirts (as well as for countless other duties, which he performed flawlessly), which we will wear for our CBI events - if you don't already have one, please come by and pick one up to wear in the Gay Pride Parade on June 15 - see Rabbi Joseph's article in the June Bulletin for more information.

And last but not least, special thanks to Solomon Olshin who led both SoupSac and the dinner for NW Tower Dinners. Solomon defines mensch - we all have a lot to learn from this 13 year old.


Thanks to everyone who participated in our Good Deeds Day!

Many thanks to those of you who joined us to participate in our Soup Sac program as part of Good Deeds Day, sponsored by the Portland Mitzvah Network, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. It was a great day as we made 400 meals to distribute to those in need.

To the soup makers, bakers, sandwich makers, packagers and delivery folks - you are the best! We thank Jewish Federation of Greater Portland for coordinating this event. Special thanks to Grand Central Bakery at 1444 NE Weidler Street for its very generous donation of bread and pastries. Please patronize this store to support its efforts to do such good for others.

Thanks for your commitment to Tikkun Olam.


We want and need your help on these projects. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information and to volunteer.


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.


Mitzvah Day

Sunday, May 5, 2013

View Photos from Mitzvah Day 2013

Mitzvah DayThanks 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.

If there is a project you would like to continue or a new one you would like to begin, please contact the CBI office at 503 222-1069 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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 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 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.

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, 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.

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?  
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to learn how you can make a difference!




Social Action Links & More

Questions about Social Action?

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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.

Religious Action Center

Union for Reform Judaism

ARZA/World Union for Progressive Judaism

Basic Rights Oregon


Rabbi Rose Tikkun Olam Award Recipients:

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