Temple Israel's Social Action Committee participates in a broad range of activities to do our part toward Tikkun Olam, Healing the World. Our programs address issues of hunger, shelter, and literacy within the London community. We encourage interfaith harmony and mutual respect. We provide information about how to assist with disaster relief in the wider world. Please join in on Social Action programs -- they are not just for the committee -- everyone is encouraged to participate.
Social Action Meetings
The Temple Israel Social Action Committee continues to meet to make soup for local shelters and to plan social action-themed events. As always, all Temple Israel members are welcome at our events, which are announced on the temple website and through the weekly email. Most of our events are suitable for members of all ages. For more information, please contact Nancy Davis.
Social Action meetings (TISA) are typically held on the second Thursday of each month (7:00 - 9:00 pm). Dates do vary, so check the website to be sure.
The next meeting will be TBA at Temple Israel.
Social Action co-chairs are Nancy Davis and Lisa Faden. (Lisa is taking a break from TISA responsibilities for a while. We wish her a refuah shleimah, a speedy and compete recovery and reutrn to full strength. In the meantime, please send TISA communication to Nancy Davis.)
Social Action Report
The Social Action Committee is looking forward to a busy and productive fall and we're seeking your support and participation!
Keep checking this space for more information about opportunities to promote positive change and how the Social Action Committee allocates your donations. We welcome all members to participate in our monthly meetings and activities, which are posted in the weekly Temple email. If you'd like more information about the committee please contact Nancy Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Syrian Refugees Support
On March 29th Aileen Wittstein, supported by Barbara Gabriel and Randy Kissack of the Social Action Committee, welcomed Dr. Sherin Hussein of the Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) to our congregation to speak about the supports provided to new Canadians in London, particularly Syrian refugees. Dr. Sherin described how the CCLC supports new Canadians in London with its comprehensive system of services. These services are extensive, and include housing, language skill development, job support, and helping individuals and families connect to the community. She spoke warmly about the challenges and deep rewards of working to help families feel safe, comfortable, and welcome in their new home. It was a wonderful talk, and many members of the community were able to express both their hopes and concerns about supporting Syrian newcomers in taking their first steps in Canada. It was gratifying to see so many people from the congregation participate in learning more about opportunities to support Syrian refugees and other newcomers in London. The outpouring of interest and support was a wonderful expression of Jewish commitment to service and social action. It appeared that there are many areas of need, particularly in the realms of education and mental health, and also that there are many people within our community who have both the skills and the will to help. For those of you who are eager to become involved in supporting refugees in our community, a first step is to call CCLC at 519-432-1133 to register for the new volunteer orientation that is held on the evening of the first Monday of every month. At the meeting, you can obtain a voucher to get the required police background check at a reduced volunteer rate. After this initial process, finding an appropriate volunteer placement can be made. The Social Action Committee intends to continue to develop a relationship with the CCLC, and we will keep the congregation informed about opportunities and progress in this area.
By Nancy Davis
Food Sorts take place on the first Wednesday of the month, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at the London Food Bank (926 Leathorne St). See schedule below.
Members of the Temple Israel, Muslim, and Or Shalom communities have been sorting together since the Spring of 2013. However, to keep the number of sorters on a given evening to a manageable amount, Temple Israel and members of the Muslim community will now be rotating months with Or Shalom. Temple Israel will sort food with members of London's Muslim community on the following dates this year:
|Temple Israel Food sorts for 2016/17|
|Sorts take place 6:30-8:00 pm, on the first Wednesday of the month|
Food sorts are child-friendly, though best suited for those over 6 years of age. Given limits on the number of volunteers per evening, only TI members are invited to attend. The activity counts towards high school community service hours.
Be forewarned: In the (highly unlikely) event that there already are 30 volunteers (i.e., the maximum) at the Food Bank by the time you arrive, you will not not be able to sort that evening.
Although RSVPs are not necessary, it would be helpful to let the Temple Office know at least one day in advance how many in your party (adults and children) will be attending.
Social Action News
UPDATE TO SHARE THE WARMTH 2015 CLOTHING COLLECTED: Of the thirteen bags of clothing and toiletries and assorted toys and baby supplies/equipment collected at our very successful Share the Warmth in December, some of the baby and children's clothing and baby supplies/ equipment was set aside for a UWO Social Science based privately sponsored Syrian refugee family - a mother and her six children, aged 5 months to 7 years, who will be arriving (hopefully) soon in London from Turkey. We had hoped to donate the balance of the items to the Salam Community Donation Center (797 York St, Unit 2 - York at Rectory), a volunteer-run initiative to coordinate the giving and receiving of new and gently used items for new comer Canadians. However, owing to the generosity of the London Community, the center had no more room for adult clothing. So the children's and baby clothing were donated to Salam Community Centre and the adult clothing will be donated for Come in From the Cold (at the JCC, March 13). Leora Swartzman has been following through with this effort and reports the following: The Salam Community Center is still very much in need of kitchen items, personal hygiene products, pyjamas (all sizes) and new undergarments (all sizes). The center also is eager for volunteers to help with the following tasks: Sorting/organizing donations that are coming in Hanging up/ folding clothes Unpacking goods and putting them away Creating starter kits and more! Members of our Temple Israel community who have volunteered to date (Nancy Davis, Stephen State, Leora Swartzman and Harry Tilner) found the experience most gratifying. You can find a link to a doodle poll to sign up to volunteer on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SalamDonations/?fref=ts . If you are interested in dropping off donations but not able to volunteer, the center will be accepting donations Sat. and Sun., 12- 3 pm for the foreseeable future. Check the Center's Facebook page for announcements regarding dates and times they are open. The Facebook page also is regularly updated with a list of needed items as well as the weekday hours the centre is open for drop-off as that will vary on a week to week basis.
FURTHER SYRIAN REFUGEE SUPPORT: Broadening the base of the Social Action Committee's commitment to further support for London Syrian Refugees, a TI Syrian Refugee Steering Committee (Ailene Wittstein, Stephen State, Leora Swartzman, Linda and Wally Zimmerman) was struck by Barbara Gabriel to work out some proposals to bring to the wider TI Community, with the intention of broadening this base to include others interested in the London Jewish community - and with an express interest in working in tandem with the London Muslim community.
TOYS, ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLIES URGENTLY NEEDED AT MERRYMOUNT: Ailene suggested some of the support urgently needed: including driving individuals to appointments (which turned out to be more complicated since all drivers need to be officially vetted) and toys for children, who are in the throes of displacement and adapting to their new homes. At the moment, THE MOST URGENT CALL-OUT IS FOR TOYS AND ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLIES WHICH WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TO CHILDREN AT MERRYMOUNT. THESE CAN BE DROPPED OFF AT MERRYMOUNT, WHOSE DESK IS CONVENIENTLY OPEN 24/7 at 1064 Colborne Street. Please mark all donations "Todd" for easy recognition
We have decided to contribute to one charity over the next three months, instead of one per month..
We welcome TI members to participate in all of our monthly meetings and activities, which are posted in the weekly Temple email. If you'd like more information about the committee, please contact Nancy Davis .
Tikkun Olam Opportunities
Serve as TISA Interfaith Liaison. For more information about what this would entail, please contact Brenda Donner.
On a monthly or bi-monthly basis, collect and sort through the items dropped off at Temple Israel for Rotholme (in two labelled bins in the hallway near the kitchen) and take to Rotholme and/or the Men's Mission. Contact Wally Zimmerman.
Come to SOUP GROUP any month (or every month!) and help make soup for Rotholme Women & Children's Shelter. More details below.
Knit toys for Merrymount Children's Centre. Contact Ailene Wittstein for acceptable patterns.
Help provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the London Food Bank. Read more about their fresh food programs here.
Buy Local, Share Local -- at farmers' markets, buy some extra to share with the Food Bank, or volunteer to staff a booth to collect the food.
Community Harvest Ontario -- Join a "Harvest Mob" to harvest the remainders of a farmer's field, with permission. For example, Temple Israel has helped harvest apples.
Plant a Row, Grow a Row -- In your garden, plant an extra row of vegetables for the Food Bank.
gLean On Me! -- Volunteer to pick fruit from a homeowner's tree, or register your tree for harvesting. Fruit is shared between homeowner, pickers, and the Food Bank.
PLEASE NOTE: The tinyurl.com/gleanonme web address on the poster below DOES NOT WORK.
The London Food Bank says they are happy to receive fruit donations 9am-4pm, Mon-Fri, Phone 519-659-4045