Social Action/Tikkun Olam Happenings

Mitzvah Day 2014

$1719 raised for Children’s Hospital through Kids Spinning for Kids
150 sandwiches for the Lookout Livingroom
100 nourishing hot meals for the Lookout Livingroom
36 Bag lunches for Street Soccer players
85 cosy fleece scarves to be distributed at Emergency Heat Shelters
$70 raised for the Jewish Food Bank
65 greeting cards for seniors’ birthdays and get well wishes
24 gift boxes for women in shelters Shoebox Project
15 boxes of children’s books for Crabtree Corner

The feeling of working together for Tikkun Olam – Immeasurable!

Many thanks to all who donated items and money, those who participated, including the Temple Sholom Scouts and a special thanks to the B’nai Mitzvah 2015 families who coordinated the activities for Grades 3-7.

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Street Soccer
The Vancouver Street Soccer League is a volunteer-run organization which reaches out to individuals who have been homeless, are currently homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, as well as individuals who feel marginalized within their communities, or are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Street soccer came to the attention of Rochelle Garfinkel 2 years ago when she discovered that her cousin Sari Raber (also a member of Temple Sholom) coached and mentored in Street Soccer League. Lisa Pozin, our Program director, contacted Sari, and for the last 18 months, Temple Teens have been playing pickup soccer on Sunday mornings with the Street Soccer league participants and then providing a lunch to share and eat together after the game (pizza or sandwiches).
This holiday season the Street Soccer Board asked Lisa if Temple Sholom could take a more active role their party. Lisa jumped at the opportunity and the Temple Teens collected and wrapped gifts for the holiday party.
The connection to Street Soccer has been strengthened by synagogue families in particular the Collett/Levine family. Nathan has been involved since his Bar Mitzvah and Ella is following in his foot steps. The Collets organized the food and hospitality for the street soccer holiday party. The testimonials from the December 9th party are truly a testament to filling a need beautifully

“Thank you so much!! Tonight’s dinner was fabulous. The Street soccer group/Station Street group of families were incredibly appreciative of all the incredible food. We had what I thought was tons of food and it was almost all eaten and the very small amount left was gratefully taken home. For those of us who were there serving, it was a great experience. There is no question of the great need in that community. The Street Soccer community was so appreciative of Temple Sholom’s stepping up to pull this
dinner off.”

“Thanks for coming tonight and running the kitchen with precision, thanks to the kids for helping and thanks to the kids and families who donated and wrapped gifts for the kids. There were some very happy kids and very well fed people there tonight”

If you want play pick up soccer on Sunday mornings with the Street Soccer League please contacts lisa@templesholom.ca for more information.

Lookout Shelter
Over the last 3 years Temple Teens under the supervision of Lisa Pozin has packed hundreds of comfort kits for the Lookout Society. As part of Temple Sholom Mitzvah Day on Dec 14th 2014 which was organized by our Grade 7 class a group of parents and kids, planned, shopped cooked and delivered dinner for the “Living Room” at the Lookout site on Powell Street.

“The fabulous food made it safely to the Lookout! It’s all stored in their walk-in cooler for dinner tomorrow. The onsite staff person explained to me that the fact that we’ve covered tomorrow night’s dinner means that their cooking staff will be freed up to start working on the big turkey dinner planned for later in the week, so that’s a big help for them”

In order to see if there is a role for Temple Sholom to further our support for the Lookout Shelter, Rochelle Garfinkel and Linda Arato met with Linda Fox the onsite program manager at the Lookout Shelter on Yukon. The Yukon’s 37 transitional housing units are mandated to support high-risk individuals who have few if any housing options. In addition to using their own kitchens, residents have the option of purchasing meals within the building. The facility has a common area with a kitchen and a dining room. In exploring our role to support the homeless community a pilot has been established. We will require 4 volunteers for each of the following dates to help to serve dinners on Sunday evenings at the Yukon Street facility between 4:30 to 6:00pm. The dates are Sunday Jan 11, February 1, February 8 and March 8th.
Contact the office at 604.266.7190 or rochelle@templesholom.ca if you are available and wish to sign up for one of the above dates.

Donations to Help The Needy
The following donations will always be gratefully accepted at Temple Sholom for distribution at Lookout or at the Jewish Food bank: Bus tickets, gift cards to Save On, Walmart, The Bay , Home Depot, London Drugs Canadian Tire or Canadian Tire Money)
Or
A tax deductible donation to the Temple Sholom Mazon Fund will be used to purchase the above items or to help families in need.

Thank -You!

Temple Sholom Jewish Learning Project
Continuing a tradition of sharing, the Jewish Learning Project once gain collected age appropriate gifts for children whose families rely on the Jewish Family Service Agency’s Jewish Food Bank. Gifts were carefully wrapped by parent volunteers and delivered to the JFSA.


MITZVAH DAY 2009

Mitzvah Day 5770 was held on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009. It was Temple Sholom’s day of community service. Dozens of congregants gave their time, energy and talent and participated in a variety of mitzvot. Mitzvah Day was for congregants of all ages. All the Religious School students were involved.
Our members participated in the many activities at Temple Sholom and/or volunteered with a community organization across the Lower Mainland such as serving a meal at First United Church in the Downtown Eastside, or working at the warehouse at Loving Spoonful.

Thanks for all your collection of items such as toiletries, hats, scarves & gloves, baby items, etc…

Mitzvah Day Achievements:

  • Total number of volunteers – approximately 300
  • $400 in sales in our Tzedakah store for HAMA
  • $100 in sales at the Book swap for HAMA
  • 18 tzedakah doves painted, raising $150 for HAMA and beautifying Temple Sholom
  • 16 bears auctioned raising money for various charities
  • $100 in sales of chocolates for solar cookers for Rwandan refugees
  • Sales of T-shirts for our youth group scholarships
  • 30 plants to Maple Crest elders each with a personal greeting
  • Cookies baked for Maple Crest seniors
  • Maple Crest elders entertained
  • 20 robot kits to Children’s hospital for children in isolation
  • 6 robot kits to Ronald Macdonald house
  • 40 bug and flower balloons created and delivered to all the patients in wards 4 and 5 at the George Pearson Centre and all the common areas of the hospital
  • Ronald MacDonald house cleaned
  • 40 bird feeders made for the back yard
  • 10 chanukah cards for Avi Barzelai, local Jewish soldier in Kandahar
  • 6 chanukahcards for Israeli soldiers\
  • 80 birthday cards made for Temple Sholom over 80s seniors
  • 100 street kits assembled for homeless people, each with personal greetings from kids
  • Hundreds of sandwiches were made and delivered to First United Church (downtown eastside)
  • Louis Brier & Weinberg residentsentertained all day – ten school families, 30 of our 60+ seniors
  • Pacific Spirit Park restoration planting
  • Stamps trimmed and sorted for sale to a stamp dealer to raise tzedakah dollars
  • JFSA gardening crew
  • Dress for success
  • Bed time kits donated and assembled by Sisterhood
  • Soup cooked for shut-ins
  • My Favorite Thrift shop organized
  • 3 boxes of clothes donated to inner city schools
  • WISH organized and donations of makeup and toiletries provided
  • 6 boxesof Toiletries donated to First United and Wish
  • 6 boxes of gloves, hats and mitts donated to First United Church
  • A year’s supply of clothing, toys, and baby needs donated to a teen Mom with no resources
  • 4 boxes of baby supplies donated to Genesis for other teen Moms
  • Chanukah gifts collected for the Food bank
  • Money and awareness raised for B’nai Mitzvah projects
  • Art activities done with seniors at Sunrise for Ronald McDonald house
  • Towels donated to the SPCA
  • Batteries and paint cans safely recycled

 

Our tradition teaches: You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. (Pirkei Avot 2:21)

With compassion, generosity and kindness, the Temple Sholom community serves as a strong advocate for social action and social justice. We value that our heritage calls us to be active players in tikkun olam – “repairing the world.” As we lend a helping hand, we bring the words of Torah to life. Our vision of justice spans the challenges that we face near and far – from Vancouver’s struggle with affordable housing, to the violence in Sudan and Darfur. The Temple Sholom community is especially active with social action projects in Israel.

We believe that every person, both young and old, can help to make a difference in the world. With this is mind, all of our constituent groups include social action efforts as part of their programming.

  • As part of our B’nai Mitzvah program, every Temple Sholom Bar and Bat Mitzvah student chooses a special “mitzvah project” to coordinate. Over the years, projects have included a diverse range of activities including raising money for mosquito nets in Africa, visiting seniors each month at the Louis Brier Jewish Aged Foundation, and collecting books for schoolchildren in Israel.
  • Each class in our Religious School adopts a special social action cause, like the Hebrew Free Loan Society, Israel Guide Dog Society and the Fund for the Higher Education of Israeli Ethiopians to name just a few. Throughout the year, students learn more about their cause and collect tzedakah to contribute to it. Special sessions, like Mitzvah Day, are held to raise awareness of organizations in need and to focus on creative ways to do social action. This year students learned about sponsoring birthday parties in Israel for under-privileged children and participated via the internet in a simultaneous Vancouver-Israel birthday celebration.
  • Families are invited to attend the Family Mitzvah Club. Families recently made birthday cards to be distributed by Covenant House and Jewish Family Services.
  • Each month the Sisterhood collects specific items, such as food, toiletries, matzah or diapers to be distributed to those in need. Visit the Sisterhood link in order to learn about the collection of the month.
  • The 60 Plus group organizes tea parties for members of the synagogue who are home-bound. They also host a monthly tea party for Temple members who reside at the Weinberg Residence and Louis Brier Home. These events serve as afternoons of good company and conversation and strengthen the ties within our Temple family. In addition, the 60 Plus group sponsors a lively Bingo fundraiser night twice during the year. Visit the 60 Plus link for more info.
  • The Men’s Club collects books that are sent to Yizhak haNasi School in Northern Israel. Children’s books in Hebrew are preferred. Visit the Men’s club link for more info.
  • Our Temple Youth Groups often focus their energies on social action projects. A highlight of the Youth Group program is the semi-annual Feeding the Homeless event where we join with other faith communities to make hundreds of sandwiches and then distribute the food, along with warm clothing, to the Downtown Eastside. Visit the Youth Group link for more info.