Social Action

Tikkun Olam Update ~

The Answer is YOU! – join us for a Tikkun Olam planning meeting –this Sunday September 18th at 11 am in the Social Hall.  We’ll review our existing programming and prioritize next initiatives.

This is what we’ve been up to - As a community we have been busy. All of the congregational leadership joins me in acknowledging the many volunteers who are stepping up, often with their children, to take part in Tikkun Olam efforts - I am extremely proud of the programs off the ground we now cover and the leaders who have stepped up to ensure their success.  

In the past year:

  • We have served a delicious complete community meal in Bloomfield every 4th Sunday with chefs and volunteers under leadership of Sharyn Mandell and strong support from Ron Jacobs
  • We have collected thousands of bags of groceries at ShopRite, with dozens (scores?) of volunteers engaging shoppers to be our partners earning great appreciation from Human Needs Food Pantry and their clientele, under the leadership of Jeff Plaut.
  • As a direct follow through from our January meeting, Amy Winkelman has stepped forward to lead our efforts for resettlement of refugee families, and we've been in collaboration with two area church partners, and conducted a first drive for household items.
  • We have just begun discussing plans to engage voter participation through registration and GOTV efforts -- Morty Bernstein and Rachel Poggie have agreed to lead us. 

Fred Pressman continues to be an invaluable co-pilot in all manner of these initiatives. 

Yet, much else awaits our notice and commitment, and we welcome you to step forward in new ways.

On Sunday we will evaluate existing programs and consider our next priorities and whether we have leadership in place to plan/launch any new efforts. One that you may consider is revitalizing the Interfaith Hospitality Network, as we now have convenient accommodations, once a leader is in place. 

Please come - and consider who else you'd like to bring with you. 

We'll break by 1 pm when religious school ends. Let me know if we can expect you.

Looking forward to carrying on the work of social justice with you.

Best regards,

Lori Price Abrams, Tikkun Olam Vice President
loripriceabrams@gmail.com

Tikkun Olam Volunteers - We Need You!

We need your help. We have a variety of Tikkun Olam projects, but not enough volunteers to man them all. Depending on what’s your passion we have a volunteer opportunity that’s just right for you. But, if by chance you don't see that one special project that tickles your fancy, we want to hear where you want to help “repair the world.” 

Here's the list of our current opportunities waiting for your special touch:

  • Bloomfield Café – Soup kitchen partnering with United Park Methodist Church (monthly)
  • Brookdale Shoprite – Collecting food donated for the Human Needs Food Pantry (monthly)
  • Blood Drive – Donate blood (semi-annually)
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network – House homeless families; parents and children, in need of shelter (1 week a year)
  • Christmas Holiday Hospital Assistance Program – Relieve hospital staffs who celebrate Christmas (Christmas Eve and day)
  • Temple Rummage Sale – Setup and sell donated clothes and household items (annually)
  • Neighbor to Neighbor Network – Assist elderly and infirm Bloomfield residents with simple home repair and cleanup (a couple of weekend days)

Any of these projects require just a couple of hours of your time, and you're never going to be doing them by yourself. It's a great opportunity for families who want to experience community service together, for students looking for mitzvah projects, or for congregants wanting to get to know one another a little better while enjoying a rich rewarding experience. The work isn't hard. You might be tired at the end of the day, but you'll feel great about what you've just accomplished. 

Maybe you're looking for a broader Social Action opportunity. You want to be involved in an activity that can change the future of a larger constituency which might not necessarily be local. If this is the case contact Lori Price Abrams, VP Tikkun Olam, loripriceabrams@gmail.com to discuss your idea. Get involved! Be a Tikkun Olam volunteer and help “repair the world.” Click here to download your volunteer form today!

Bloomfield Café Feeds the Hungry

Having a hot nutrient meal is something we all take for granted, but everyone is not as lucky. We've been feeding the homeless on the fourth Sunday of every month since last summer. In partnership with the Park United Methodist Church in Bloomfield we prepare and serve a full home cooked meal. This might be the only hot meal our guests have eaten in some time.

Sunday, February 28, the Bloomfield Café, that's what we’ve named ourselves, again served over 40 guests a nutrient meal. The renowned Ner Tamid chefs, Susan and Lanny Katz, prepared a meal of barley mushroom soup, lemon baked chicken, mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, salad, and cake and cookies.  The Katz’s were a holdover from the prior month when their Sunday was snowed out. They couldn't have done this alone and had help from Vicki and Norm Pollack, Harvey Morginstin, Phyllis Berman, Felicia and Ron Festa, Peter Della Bella, Pam Goldsteen and her son Gabriel, Morty Bernstein, Sharyn Mandell, and Martin Cole, with his children Sarah and Jonathan Cole and their friend Temma Adler. If anyones name was mistakenly not mentioned we thank them for their help and apologize for the omission.

This work is very important. We need your help to continue to be able to serve hot flavorful meals to those much less fortunate than ourselves. We need volunteers to prepare and cook the meal, to set up and serve, and to clean up and put everything away. You don't have to be a master chef. If you’re the least bit comfortable around a kitchen we can use your help. Be a joiner. We'd love to see some new faces. You're only going to be volunteering for a couple of hours once a month. Our next Bloomfield Café is Sunday, March 28, we hope to see you there.

Please contact Sharyn Mandell at sharynknows@aol.com with any questions or to add your name to the list of volunteer to help.

ShopRite Food Collection

Our work collecting food for the hungry is deeply needed and appreciated by the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair that serves the hungry throughout suburban Essex County. In the past shoppers have been gracious and more then generous, and we have heard from the food pantry how much this added food means to a hungry family.

We want to continue this very important work, but we need your help. We need volunteers to help hand out flyers explaining what we are doing as shoppers enter Shoprite and then to collect the donated food as they leave.

Our next collection is on April 17. We'd love to have your help. It’s easy work and very satisfying. It's great for family volunteering. If you would like to coordinate volunteering for a day, please let us know that, too.

Please contact Jeffrey Plaut at jplaut@globalstrategygroup.com with any questions and to add your name to volunteer to help. 

See us in action here.

Tikkun Olam's "Tzedek Fund"

Please consider a contribution to the Tikkun Olam “TZEDEK FUND” – which will help support the on-going costs of fulfilling our initiatives to provide food and meals and other support to those who are in need. Thank you!  Any questions? Please contact Lori Price Abrams, VP Tikkun Olam, at loripriceabrams@gmail.com.