Social Action


Upcoming CBI Events

High Holy Days Food Drive

This year, CBI’s High Holy Days Food Drive is focusing on raising cash, rather than food, for Sunshine Pantry and Lift Urban Portland. Bulk-buying and long-term relationships with generous members of the food industry mean that these agencies can stretch a dollar considerably further than the average consumer.

An average grocery bag costs 23 dollars for 16 pounds. Through Sunshine Pantry and Lift Urban Portland:
18 dollars can purchase 31.18 pounds of food
36 dollars can purchase 63.72 pounds
54 dollars can purchase 95.58 pounds
72 dollars can purchase 127.44 pounds
108 dollars can purchase 191.16 pounds

To donate, mail or drop off a check to 1972 NW Flanders Street, Portland, OR 97209 or call 503-222-1069.

You can also donate online: Click here to fill out your donation information. Make sure to choose "High Holy Days Food Drive" near the bottom of the "Choose a Fund" dropdown list.

If you and your families find the giving of food to be a more meaningful experience, please do so! Good stewardship counts here, too: Buy and donate what the programs need. Sunshine Pantry and Lift Urban Portland have lists posted on their websites of most-needed items. To give food, items can be dropped off in food barrels in the main office or in the Temple.

The CBI High Holy Days Food Drive continues through October 4.


Soup Sacs

Sunday, October 12, 10:00 AM
Blumauer Kitchen

The Social Action Committee is bringing back Soup Sacs! Please join us to prepare sack lunches for Portland's hungry. You can bring pre-made soup or cookies, or you can bring the ingredients to prepare soup that morning. We'll also need people to make PB&J sandwiches and assemble and deliver lunches. There is no need to stay all morning - you can sign up for one or all of these things and help where you can. Click here for more information and to sign up.


The Longevity Revolution

October 22 & 29 and November 5, 7:00 PM
Goodman Hall

Hold onto your hats! The Longevity Revolution is coming to Congregation Beth Israel. October 22, October 29, and November 5 are the time to engage in challenging dialogues with fellow congregants and friends about how to both enjoy life to the fullest and plan thoughtfully for the future.

The patterns and social dynamics of family life have significantly changed during our lifetimes: the oldest generation is living far longer than its parents; emancipated adult children move back with parents; elderly parents live with adult children; and grandchildren take care of grandparents. Who among the now-aging baby boomers ever thought they would find their parents growing older – and perhaps a bit infirm – or that they would have end-of-life questions challenging both their parents and themselves?

If you are 55, what do you want to do with the rest of your life? The anticipation of retirement and empty nests are just the beginning of a conversation about downsizing, realizing your Jack Nicholson Bucket List and more, much more, to process and pursue.

At the same time there also may be the challenge of helping parents make significant life-style changes - but Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? How about Estate Planning, Thoughtful Philanthropy, and Powers of Attorney?

In the third session, we will discuss Graceful Aging and Mindful Dying. Learning to facilitate conversations with our doctors and families will help us make thoughtful end-of-life decisions about aging on our own terms.

No one has all the answers, but our synagogue is the perfect place to raise the questions and reflect together on the moral, ethical, and practical choices our longer lives and changed living circumstances warrant. There will be thoughtful dialogues on three successive Wednesdays at 7:00 PM, all of which will be moderated by David Sarasohn, led by professionals in their fields, and guided by a committee of CBI members.




  • Wednesday, October 1 – Social Action Committee Meeting @ 7 pm
  • Sunday, October 12 – Soup Sack
  • Wednesday, October 22 – Aging Series
  • Wednesday, October 29 – Aging Series
  • NW Tower Boot & Coat Drive


  • Sunday, November 2 – Ginny Burdick re Gun Violence Prevention (co-sponsor with Brotherhood)
  • Wednesday, November 5 – Aging Series
  • Sunday, November 23 – NW Tower Thanksgiving Dinner @ NW Tower


  • Wednesday, December 3 – Social Action Committee Meeting @ 7 pm
  • Sunday, December 14 – NW Tower Holiday Party @ NW Tower
  • NW Tower Christmas Gift Drive
  • Thursday, December 25 – Lift Urban Christmas Dinner @ CBI


  • Monday, January 19 – MLK, Jr. Day of Service


  • Wednesday, February 4 – Social Action Committee Meeting @ 7 pm
  • Wednesday, February 11 – Jewish Federation Interfaith Advocacy Day


  • Pots & Pans for Purim
  • Sunday, March 15 – NW Tower Lunch @ CBI


  • Wednesday, April 1 – Social Action Committee Meeting @ 7 pm


  • Friday, May 1 – Social Action Shabbat
  • Sunday, May 3 – Mitzvah Day


  • Wednesday, June 3 – Social Action Committee Meeting @ 7 pm
  • Gay Pride Parade – DTBD




Social Action News

You Stepped it up for Social Action!

Thanks to all who “Stepped it up for Social Action!” and to our hosts Dorota and Mike Sinclair for generously opening their warehouse with proceeds to benefit Social Action. A grand time was had by all and $2,000 was raised for CBI’s Social Action Fund.


MITZVAH DAY 2014 was a great success thanks to all of  you!

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

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.


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.

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 Committee Meetings

Wednesday, October 1
7:00 pm
Semler Board Room 

Please join us for our next Social Action Committee meeting. We have a variety of activities that need your involvement and hope you will join us. Everyone is welcome!

Social Action Links & More

Questions about Social Action?

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



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:

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