Join Temple Emunah members as we, with our community, contribute toTikkun Olam, the repair and completion of the world. We encourage members to develop and lead projects. To learn more about the Tikkun Mitzvah Pledge Program and the specific ways you may volunteer during the course of the year, please click here
Community Outreach - The Bene Ephraim Jews of India
There are many hungry people in the world; the problem appears so immense that we often feel that we can do nothing. But you can bring a spark to your life and to others by preparing or serving a meal at a shelter through Project Sarah, collecting and distributing food for hungry families through Family Table, or serving a meal on Christmas Day through Project Ezra. Bar and Bat Mitzvah and wedding families are encouraged to contribute to Project Mazon.
Currently, we are organizing an appeal to support the Bene Ephraim Jews on Andra Pradesh, India. The Bene Ephraim trace their history to the descendents of the Tribe of Ephraim (one of the 10 lost tribes). They currently live in a village in the south of India, where they practice modern Judaism. Our own Sara Feldman, daughter of Mitch Feldman and Andrea Fribush, lived with them this past summer, getting to know their families, learning about their Jewish observance, and understanding their basic needs. During Shabbat Services on September 3, Sara described her rremarkable and illuminating experience living with the Bene Ephraim. Click HERE to read her speech.
The Bene Ephraim and in need of your support! Their expenses for school, healthcare, and water are often much higher than what they can afford. Your donations will help pay for school fees, small community projects, and more. With your support, our community can help ensure that the children continue to get an education, and that community members continue to thrive. We hope you can participate in this wonderful mitzvah with us! Click HERE to see our flyer.
There are two ways you can help - To donate money to support this community, you can either: Write a check to Temple Emunah, with the note “Bene Ephraim” written on the memo line, and mail it to Alisa Billings at the Temple Emunah office (9 Piper Road, Lexington, MA 02421).
OR, you can go to the Temple Emunah Social Action page: The Bene Ephraim Project, which was created through the Kulanu Website. Kulanu ("All of Us" in Hebrew) is a non-profit organization that engages with isolated, emerging, and returning Jewish communities around the world and supports them in their desire to learn more about Judaism and connect with other Jewish communities.
Family Table began in 1993 as a community response to the rising number of Jewish families and individuals who could not afford the necessities of life. It is a program sponsored by the Jewish Family & Children's Services (JF&CS) working collaboratively with the Synagogue Council Of Mass, Jewish Community Relations Council and Hillell Council to bring this needed serve to families throughout Greater Boston to increase hunger awareness in our community. Family Table is a member of the Greater Boston Food Bank. The number of families receiving assistance is greater than 150. Many of these families are new to the United States. Some families have breadwinners who unfortunately have lost their jobs or are unable to work due to illness. Synagogues throughout Boston contribute a variety of different food items as well as paper goods and toiletries monthly.
On a monthly basis, our congregation collects 100 boxes of rice (no larger than a two pound bag) and 100 boxes of crackers. The food is placed in the baskets in the front entrance of the temple. The food is collected and brought to JF&CS once monthly by volunteers from our congregation. Temple Emunah also participates in special holiday food drives at Yom Kippur, Purim and Passover. In addition, we also provide Hanukah gifts to children of Family Table recipients. Once yearly, we not only bring our collected food to JF&CS, but we also pack up the groceries at the Waltham site and deliver the food directly to families.
Food and Flowers
After Shabbat, deliver Temple flowers to area nursing homes and leftover food from Temple functions to Sandra's Lodge in Waltham.
Hineni provides outreach to our congregation when special assistance is needed due to illness. Volunteers provide transportation, meals, friendly visits, and assistance with household tasks that may be difficult. Hineni also maintains a list of community resources for seniors in need of assistance. Click here for more information about Hineni.
International Humanitarian Relief
Temple Emunah has led nationally recognized efforts on behalf of civilians in war-torn areas; sending aid to Bosnia and resettling refugees locally; collecting funds to aid international humanitarian organizations in Kosovo. Help the Emunah community respond to international crises.
The genocide in Darfur continues unabated. Most recently, China and the Sudan government have signed new agreements of cooperation, without any concern on China's part for human rights. China supports the genocide not only monetarily by being one of the largest purchasers of Sudanese oil, but also by having a vote on the UN Security Council - and that vote is never in favor of helping the people of Darfur (www.savedarfurma.org). Temple Emunah has made a commitment not to stand idly by while the people of the western Sudan, the Darfurians, are suffering. Temple Emunah maintains a project whereby donations can be made to "Temple Emunah/Darfur" for the purchase of solar cookers to be sent into the refugee camps. The lives of women and children can be saved if they don't have to leave the camps in search of firewood and become targets of the Arab militia (Janjaweed). The policy of the Social Action Committee is to not stand idly by but to be as engaged as possible in working to stop the genocide.
K'sharim: Connecting People with Disabilities to Jewish Life
The Havdalah Happening is an annual Havdalah service and dinner for people with disabilities. Volunteers are needed to help with publicity and dinner preparations. Be a part of a welcoming community. K'sharim is now shared by six other congregations, based on the model created at Temple Emunah.
Red Cross Blood Drives
Twice a year, Temple Emunah sponsors a blood drive with the American Red Cross. Volunteers are needed to place telephone calls to donors, to help register people, to serve refreshments, and of course, to donate blood. Tired of giving gifts that aren't really needed? Give a gift that can be a lifesaver To volunteer please call Gila Appleby at 781-863-1326.
Do you enjoy working with school age kids? Would you like to help urban youngsters who are having trouble academically? If so, here are some great opportunities for you to consider.
One day a year our community comes together to do projects for our shul as well as for the community at large. Examples of past Mitzvah Day projects are making blankets for children in need, creating cards for those who are sick, collecting underwear and toiletries for people in shelters and helping our older members to donate household items in preparation for down-sizing.