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Social Action Programs

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?

– Rabbi Hillel

At TI, tikkun olam has traditionally meant a hands-on approach and for over twenty years our Social Action Committee has sponsored a wide spectrum of thriving projects. This year, some of our Social Action programs are in-person, but several others can be done outdoors or from the safety of your home. Our commitment to tikkun olam – healing and repairing the world – is a natural outgrowth of TI’s progressive concern for the both the local community and world around us—a concern that is needed now more than ever.

We welcome you to join us for a one-time event or for a more regular activity. Each person can choose the issues closest to their heart, volunteer the amount of time they can, and let’s work together to heal the world. You can easily sign up for the programs listed below and one of our volunteers will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Each activity description is followed by the name of a TI Social Action volunteer you can contact by email.

ROSH HASHANAH PROJECTS
Food Delivery
TI members participate in the annual food package delivery to less fortunate members of the Jewish community, run by the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), this year on the Sunday immediately prior to Erev Rosh Hashanah.  For food deliveries, adequate distance is always maintained.  To volunteer, contact Gene Herman

“Empty Your Pocket” Campaign
This year’s worthy recipient is the Emory Beacon of Light food pantry and homeless shelter. This food pantry and shelter serves meals to needy families in Ward Four, which is where TI is located. The number of needy families has grown so much that upwards of 1,600 recipients are provided food assistance per week. The money collected will help the food pantry and a related shelter procure food items for distribution. Click here to donate.  Questions? Contact Gene Herman.

 

TUTORING & MENTORING - MAINLY FOR CHILDREN
Shepherd Park Tutoring
2022-2023 will be the 20th year adults and teenagers from Tifereth Israel and our neighborhood have tutored students from our local public elementary school. Each tutor is paired with a young student (grade 2-6) for the school year. The pair meets for one hour, normally on Sundays, to read, practice math skills, or review homework. The weekly hour can make a tremendous difference in the academic performance of participating students by reinforcing skills learned in school. This informal homework tutoring will be done in person, at the synagogue. We will need to have a pool of volunteer TI tutors to launch this in late September. Adults, high school students and pre-Bar/Bat-Mitzvah tutors can work with students who are in primary school. If you are interested, please sign up by on the TI website. Question? Contact Tobi McFarland or Melissa Perera.


SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRANT ADULTS & TUTORING FOR CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
Over the past four years, a small but dedicated team of TI adults and adolescents have provided homework tutoring to the school-age children of three different immigrant families from Syria. These informal tutoring sessions are usually fun and rewarding, since these sweet kids really appreciate our support, and so do their parents. It’s rewarding to see how strongly they want to learn these reading, writing, math and basic science skills and how our help can significantly improve their performance and grades. We want to recruit new TI tutors and new volunteers who will be comfortable working with a new refugee family from Afghanistan or the Ukraine. If interested, sign up on the TI website. Questions? Contact Bob Feron.

 

ADVOCACY
Gun Violence Prevention

We are concerned with preventing gun violence and TI is working with the D.C. Area Interfaith Gun Violence Prevention Network. In June 2020, Tifereth Israel was among over 60 organizations that co-signed a letter to the DC Mayor and DC Council advocating on behalf of specific programs to prevent gun violence. With questions, or to volunteer on the issue of gun violence prevention, contact Claudine Schweber or Mona Berch.

 

OTHER MAJOR SOCIAL ISSUES

We are concerned about preserving the environment, promoting gender equality, protecting voting rights, ensuring healthcare, preventing police violence and promoting racial harmony. We invite congregants to play an advocacy role on one or more of these issues, as well as informing and/or mobilizing congregational attention and support for these efforts. To volunteer for advocacy on these or other major societal issues, together with other members of our congregation, contact Bob Feron or click here to sign up.

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING WEEKEND SHABBATON

Each year, on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, the Social Action team organizes a Social Justice Shabbat program. These programs are dedicated to MLK and his lifelong pursuit of social justice. For January 2023, the theme has not yet been selected, but it may be related to Jews from Africa and African American Jews.

Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783