Smilebox_191878118Temple Beth-El members volunteer hundreds of hours each year in Tikkun Olam projects promote cooperation and understanding of other groups within the larger Birmingham community, and help to build friendships and a sense of community within our congregation. Four service groups with overlapping memberships work under the umbrella of the Mitzvah Corps. If you would like to volunteer for any of our service projects contact the Temple Office.

Family Promise of Birmingham is the new name for the Birmingham Hospitality Network, a network of diverse faith and civic organizations working together to provide safe, home-like lodging where homeless families can stay together while working to regain their independence. On any given day, more than half the guests served by Family Promise-Bham are children. Temple Beth-El as a support congregation has worked with Temple Emanu-El to provide temporary lodging and meals for families who are in transition. Four times a year families are provided temporary lodging and meals at Temple Emanu-El. Volunteers are needed to prepare meals and stay at the Temple overnight with families. Toby and Bert Siegel lead the group from Temple Beth-El in raising funds for Family Promise during the December Family Promise Gift Wrap at Brookwood Mall.

Habitat for Humanity – Volunteers from Temple Beth-El have assisted in the renovation of a home in Birmingham’s West End neighborhood in preparing the house for a new roof and painting the interior of the house. Habitat worked with us to coordinate a Sunday workday to meet the schedule of our volunteers. Future workdays will be scheduled to utilize the talents and skills of our members in building or renovating a house alongside a family who has never owned their own home.

Greater Birmingham Ministries – Rabbi Konigsburg, Sherrie Grunfeld and Vicki Lewis represent Temple Beth-El on the board of Greater Birmingham Ministries. GBM provides financial help, food, clothing and support for families and individuals in crisis and works in the pursuit if social justice in Alabama. We support GBM throughout the year through food and clothing drives to stock their pantries and closets.

Community Kitchens provides meals daily at Grace Episcopal Church in Woodlawn. The team from Temple Beth-El has been led for twenty years by Eva Wilensky in procuring food, cooking, and hosting the community by relieving the regular staff and providing something extra on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Volunteer skills are needed for soliciting gifts of food, decorating, cooking, serving, and lending a kind ear and a warm smile on these three holidays. But most of all, we need a new leader to step forward and take over this organization of the willing volunteers. Eva has the knowledge and records to pass along of what is needed for each holiday. Please contact the Temple Office if you can take over this important role.

The programs of the Mitzvah Corps are supported by donations to the Chico Bomchel Memorial Social Action Fund.