Temple Beth Sholom Social Action

Mission Statement

Using the gifts, talents and resources God has given us, we will make a difference in our local and global communities by performing mitzvot and other acts of Tikkun Olam. We will connect to each other and our community by integrating social action in all areas of our congregation. We will serve as role models and inspire others in our community to become involved in the pursuit of justice and Tikkun Olam.

Dear TBS Family,

During this Passover holiday we join together in our homes with our families eating wonderful meals together. We are commanded to remember that we were once slaves in the land of Egypt and that while we are to be celebrating our freedom at this time of Passover, we should also ensure that no one else is burdened by their own slavery. Not everyone is able to live in freedom and seek shelter in a safe place; not everyone has a home where they can sleep and feel secure; not everyone has enough to eat each day. Therefore, during this time of Passover, it is our responsibility to ensure that we not only consider how fortunate we are but how we care for the poor and the stranger amongst us as all people are created in the image of God. This is the commandment of how to observe Passover.

On May 14 at 7:00 pm, we will join together as a congregation to continue this work of fulfilling the commandment to care for all people by discussing how we all can make a difference in our community. As you have heard, through conversations with the congregation in the past 18 months, we are working on developing a program in which we can create great change. The three areas that we are focusing on are, homelessness, hunger and immigration.

We do not do this work alone, rather, we do it with community partners. On May 14, we will meet community partners who are already doing advocacy and direct service work in each of these areas and learn how we can join together with them. At the end of the evening, we will weigh in on making a decision about what will be the primary focus of our Social Justice work in the next year. The question we will ask is not, which of these three is the most important issue for us to work on, rather, we are going to ask, which of these three areas do we think we can create the greatest change? Our work together is not only about creating a momentary change but a lasting change that might help individuals find a home; create sustainable resources for those who experience hunger; or ensure that those who have lived in our community for many years continue to receive the support they need, such as health care which many of us take for granted.

Attached you will find the full reports that our Social Justice team have worked diligently on over these past many months and learn about the community connections they have already created. This has been a labor of love and great time commitment that each of our team have invested in bringing TBS to this next level of creating true change for our community.

We hope you will take the time to read these reports, feel free to ask us questions and especially, join us on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:00 pm for an exciting evening of bringing TBS and our community together to fulfill tikkun olam, making our world a good, safe and peaceful place for all.

On April 26th after Shabbat Services and Sunday, April 28th at 9:30 am, committee members will be available to answer questions and discuss thoughts about each of these topics.

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Coming together for Mitzvah Meals

History of Social Action at TBS

Why is our Social Action a big part of us at TBS?

We have a great history in Social Action that we must preserve and… thanks to some remarkable people who give so much of their time, we will. Nat and Edie Lamm, z’l, were one of the original temple members whose dedication to social action began what is now a very proud tradition with our congregation. As our temple community has grown and evolved, so has our drive to be outstanding members of both our Santa Ana and Orange County communities.

Cookie Stern, z’l, led the initial Mitzvah Day. Monica Engel and Hollis O’Brien initiated what now is the sixth year of Mitzvah Meals feeding over 1,200 people per month. Our involvement within the interfaith and prison community led by our rabbi, cantor, Worship Committee, Sisterhood and Brotherhood auxiliaries has brought TBS national recognition.

We walk for the Jewish World Watch and support them with with donations for solar stoves and backpacks. We stand on the shoulders of those who inspire us to do great work.

We work closely with the county’s Adopt-a-Social Worker to provide food, clothing and other necessities to those less fortunate. The countless hours and devotion by our many volunteers is very much appreciated.

There are Social Action projects ongoing in every area of our synagogue including Religious School and Preschool.

Read the latest news on Social Action at Temple Beth Sholom!