How Will I Change the World This Year?

Isaiah 58:5 reads: “Is this the kind of fast I desire, a day of merely depriving one’s body? Is it not the sharing of your bread with the hungry, the bringing of the wretched poor into your home, or clothing someone you see who is naked, and not hiding from your kin in their need?”

[T]Be Involved Social Action Committee encourages you to participate in our social action programs. Events are subsidized by the Chico Bomchel Memorial Social Action Fund at Temple Beth El. Thank you for your support.

Jan. 18: MLK Day of Service with SAC and United Way Hands On

The Social Action Committee encourages you to use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a “day of service” through United Way Hands on (formerly Hands On Birmingham). Hands On pairs volunteers with local opportunities to give back to our community. As projects are posted, the SAC will select one for TBE members who wish to participate as a group, if they so choose.


Purim with SAC: M’shaloach Manot Bags

The Social Action Committee is again planning to assemble M’shaclah Manot Bags to distribute at Highland Manor for Purim this year. Rather than gather at Temple Beth El, the SAC is looking for volunteers who would be able to assemble bags in their own homes, and distribute bags masked at Highland Manor. SAC will also be accepting donations of individually wrapped items for drop off at 3417 Mtn Pk Dr. Help SAC fill 105 bags this year! Email Diane Slaughter for more information or to get involved.


SAC Suggested Action: Consider Uniontown

The SAC has been working to provide resources and donations to the city of Uniontown, Alabama. Uniontown is one of the poorest cities in the US in addition to experiencing environmental injustice from toxic spills and materials in the area that threaten the health of citizens. We have already contributed children’s books, food and other used items of need. Do you have items to donate? Things you’d be giving away to a thrift store? Why not provide those items to Uniontown, a community with which we are working to form a responsive relationship? Click here to learn more about environmental inequities and the community’s struggle for justice. To donate items contact Adam Johnston. To learn more, email Diane Slaughter.


Tzedakah

The [T]Be Involved Social Action Committee and Rabbi Stephen are encouraging charitable giving in connection to our Jewish holidays. As the Talmud states, the mitzvah of tzedakah is equivalent to all the other mitzvot.

Tu B’Shevat is the New Year of the Trees, a time for ecological awareness.  As we celebrate the “birthday of the trees,” we should give a gift to the earth by supporting organizations that work toward environmental sustainability.

The next holiday, Purim, commemorates the saving of the Jews. Donating to those in need, mattanot la-evyonim, is part of the prescribed celebrations for Purim; it has become customary for rabbis/synagogues to collect funds on their behalf.

For these holidays, we encourage congregants to give tzedakah to the following worthy causes:

1.) Hazon—the Jewish Lab for Sustainability — Hazon, the largest faith-based environmental organization in the U.S., strives to strengthen Jewish life and create a more environmentally sustainable world for everyone.

2.) American Jewish World Service — AJWS fights poverty and pursues justice in the developing world through philanthropy and advocacy. The issues it addresses include disaster response, genocide, persecution of women and minorities, environmental justice and ending child marriage.