Make A Difference with a Temple Israel Tikkun Olam Project!
Temple Israel’s Social Justice Committee has a new look, a new direction, and new opportunities for TI members to get involved in social action projects and programs. Many of the committee’s long-standing activities are still in place. Read below about see what your congregation is already doing and whether there’s an existing project run by the committee that interests you. The Social Justice Committee is also an incubator for new social activism projects, programs and events open to all interested Temple members!
We offer our congregants a wide range of social justice activities, make it easy for them to participate, and help project organizers make their efforts successful. Specifically, the committee proposes programs and projects suggested by committee members and others within the Temple Family, recruits program and project leaders and participants, supports the development and management of those programs and projects, and helps publicize them. We hope you will join our efforts to repair the world.
Cell Phones for DVIS
We collect used cell phones (with chargers) to donate to Domestic Violence Intervention Service (DVIS) which reprograms the phones to dial only 911 and gives them to women at risk of violence to enable them to call for help when necessary. Feel free to bring old cell phones to the Temple office and leave them in the box marked “Cell phones for DVIS”.
Community Food Bank
Temple Israel has a longstanding relationship with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Members volunteer regularly at the food bank to sort and pack food. Temple Israel’s greatest effort for the Food Bank is our annual High Holiday Food Drive. Congregants contribute both nonperishable foods and funds to support important Food Bank programs such as Senior Servings, Food for Kids Backpacks, and general support for the many food-insecure people in our community. Our congregation consistently raises over $50,000 each High Holiday season and collects over 3,000 pounds of food.
An ongoing mitzvah opportunity (AND teachable moment for our children and ourselves!) is forming the habit of buying one extra non-perishable item every time you shop for groceries. Keep a special shelf in your pantry for these items and bring them to Temple periodically. An ongoing reminder that, in addition to adult food insecurity in our community, one out of every four children goes to bed hungry at night!
Day Center for the Homeless Meals
Volunteers from Temple Israel have, for many years, provided holiday meals for both Easter and Christmas for the clients of Tulsa’s Day Center for the Homeless. Volunteers prepare the food in the Temple kitchen, contribute baked goodies for desserts, transport the food to the Center, and serve clients at their tables. This typically involves 15-18 volunteers.
Marshall Elementary School
Marshall Elementary School at 56th and South Peoria has, for many years, been Temple Israel’s Adopted Tulsa Public School. Volunteer opportunities include:
- Lunch Buddies
- Reading Buddies
- Test Proctors
- Field Trip Chaperones
- Donations of School Supplies and Uniforms
- Teacher Appreciation Week Luncheon
There are no required skills for volunteering at Marshall, only a willingness to be a role model for a young person. For more information contact the temple office.
Matanot L’evyonim – Gifts for the Poor
Purim is the traditional Jewish gift-giving holiday, hence our tradition of providing Matanot L’evyonim, gifts for the poor. A large figure of Haman (BOOO!) looms in the Temple lobby during the Purim season with his pockets (hamentaschen!) containing gift requests that support the work of Tulsa’s Parent-Child Center. This is an opportunity for congregants to fulfill this mitzvah of providing gifts for the poor.
Thank you to everyone for your contributions!
Temple Israel is proud to be a charter member of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. MAZON’s goal is to ease the pain of hunger for millions in our country and in the world. Temple members are encouraged to donate 3% of the cost of all food-related events, especially simchas, to MAZON, and to make Yom Kippur and Passover contributions as well. MAZON has made gifts to our own community by way of substantial grants to the Community Action Project of Tulsa County and to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Contributions are always welcome. Donation envelopes are available in the Temple lobby or office or go to www.mazon.org
Mitzvah Day brings congregants of all ages together working side by side in a variety of social justice projects. It is an opportunity to put Jewish values into action forming community among Temple Israel members and greater Tulsa.
A special thank you to everyone who makes Mitzvah Day possible and the dozens of people who participate.
We have worked with the following organizations:
- Coffee Bunker
- Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
- Family and Children’s Services
- Knitzvah Day
- Marshall Elementary Braverman Garden
- Mitzvah in a Bag
- Mobile Grocery Store
- Ronald McDonald House
- Sandwich Making for the Day Center for the Homeless
- Tulsa Advocates for the Protection of Children
- Tulsa Jewish Retirement and Healthcare Center
- Therapetics Service Dogs
Mitzvah Of The Month
Under the auspices of the Social Justice Committee, there will be an organized effort to provide a different mitzvah opportunity each month. Congregants are invited to participate in as many as possible, depending on their interests and abilities. The 2015 line-up includes the following:
- January: Mitzvah Day and Social Justice Shabbat: Focus on Education and Israel
- February: Collecting items for Homecoming Boxes for the Day Center for the Homeless
- March: Haman’s Pockets: Collecting needed items for play therapy (also disposable diapers and wipes) for the Parent-Child Center
- April: Preparing Easter Dinner for clients of the Day Center for the Homeless
- May: Book Drive for Marshall School
- June: Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
- July: Re-Usable Grocery Bags
- August: Collecting school supplies for Marshall Elementary School
- September: High Holyday Food Drive
- October: Project for ShalomFest Visitors
- November: Coffee Bunker (serving veterans)
- December: Preparing Christmas Dinner for clients of the Day Center for the Homeless
The Judy Halpern Social Justice Fund
Contributions to the Judy Halpern Social Justice Fund are the only source of funding for the many tikkun olam (repair of the world) projects coordinated by Temple’s Social Justice Committee.
Your choosing to honor or memorialize a loved one by means of donations to this fund contribute towards our efforts to make this world a better place. Thank you!