TBE Mitzvah Moments provide social action opportunities for the TBE community that combine community, compassion and connection in order to affect change in ourselves and the world around us.
About Mitzvah Moments
Since Mitzvah Day’s launch 18 years ago, we have grown tremendously as a congregation, in the breadth and depth of our programs, in the level of congregant engagement, and in our commitment to service and social justice. TBE Mitzvah Moments provide opportunities for the TBE community to come together throughout the year to combine community, compassion and connection. TBE Mitzvah Moments are intended to be an integrated program that involves the whole temple community and includes service opportunities, education about social justice, and collection drives—thereby linking our Jewish values to the act of doing/serving, compassionate giving, and affecting change—in ourselves and in the world around us.
To learn more, contact Sandy Aronson, TBE's Tikkun Olam Youth and Community Organizer.
As we approach the new year of 5778, we not only reflect on our behaviour, but also act on our tradition to repair the world. Join the TBE community as we perform sacred acts of service and advoacy. We will provide a full list soon, but see below for a few opportunities to make our world a better place:
High Holy Day Hunger Drive
Help address the urgent need for food locally, nationally, and internationally. Donations will be collected now through October 11. Click here to donate online. Contact Jennifer Meyerhardt, [email protected] or Julie Kreiss, [email protected]mail.com with questions.
Fall and Winter Collections
October 1 - December 17
Mark your calendars and drop off donations during our fall drives. We will have bins in the atrium for the following collections:
- Canned Salmon (or Tuna)
- Gently used Winter Outerwear including coats, mittens, boots and snowpants for all ages and sizes
- NEW unwrapped Toys for ages infant through teen
May 2017 - Caring for the Stranger in our Midst
Take your interest in social action to the next level by taking part in a workshop or participating in a hands-on community service project. (Please note that the learning opportunities are at the same time as the direct service projects)
- Reducing the Gaps: Learn from Jewish Family Services (JFS) Metrowest, our resettlement partner for the Syrian refugee families, on how you can directly help other immigrants and refugees in our area via their "Reducing Achievement Gaps" program.
- Speaking Truth to Power: Learn how to build relationships with legislators and advocate effectively in order to affect change on a local, state, or national level.
Direct Service Opportunities:
Projects for Adults and Families with younger children (grade 3 and under):
- Birthday Parties for Shelters: Can you imagine not having a birthday celebration? Assemble goody bags and put together birthday party ingredients so children in homeless shelters can celebrate their birthdays. Our birthday supplies will be donated to Birthday Wishes.
- Sandwiches for Shelters: Join in this favorite family activity. We will write notes and make delicious bag lunches to be delivered to the Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen in Waltham. NOTE: We will use Peanut Butter in this project
- Summer Book Bags for Potter Road Elementary: Sort books and assemble them into bags to be given to students at the end of the school year for summer reading.
Projects for Adults and Families with older children (grade 3 and over):
- Snack Bags for a Place to Turn: Make snack bags for A Place to Turn, an emergency food pantry located in Natick that provides qualified clients living in the Metro West community the opportunity to “shop” for almost two week’s worth of groceries every 60 days.
- Bundles of Care: Give women in shelters some of the comforts of home. Help assemble packages of items such as lotions, shampoo, and sugarless gum, which will be distributed to women at shelters throughout the year.
- Craft Kits for Preschoolers: Create seasonal craft kits for pre-school children in the Parent Child Home Program, an early intervention program that provides literacy, parenting and school readiness services.
Project for Adults only:
- CASA at Rosie's Place: Join our Community of Adult Social Action at Rosie's Place, the first women's homeless shelter in the U.S. This project will leave TBE via carpool at 9:15 am and return by 1pm. You must be 16 or older to attend. 16 and 17 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Space limited to 12 people.
Junior Choir Sings at Falls at Cordingly Dam: Junior choir members fill this senior living center with song and schmooze with some of the residents.
For any questions, contact Sandy Aronson.
October 2016 - Love Thy Neighbor
During the High Holy Days, we not only reflect on our behavior but also act on our tradition. There are urgent challenges that face our world, and leaders in our community are responding with organized action. Join us in October as we perform sacred acts of Tikkun Olam (social justice) that connect to our tradition of "loving our neighbors.”
Tzedakah and Drives
- High Holy Day Hunger Drive: Continue the tradition of giving to organizations that address the urgent need for food locally, nationally and internationally. Click here to view the list of beneficiary agencies and to make a donation.
- Family Table: Family Table is Greater Boston's only Jewish food pantry. As a community, we are responsible for supplying 50 cans of salmon and 50 boxes of whole grain cereal for meal delivery to families in need each month. Please bring in a can of salom or a box of cereal the next time you come to TBE!
- Family Social Action makes lunches for the homeless - October 22nd, 2:00-4:00pm: Help us make 'to-go' lunches for friends at Bristol Lodge, a local mens shelter. We'll be making sandwiches, writing some notes and packing the lunches up at TBE and then delivering them to the lodge in Waltham afterwards. Note: This is a peanut free activity, all ages welcomed. Registration will be online soon!
- CASA at Rosie's Place - October 23, 10:30am-1:00pm: We will help prepare and serve a delicious lunch for clients of Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women. To RSVP or for more information, contact Barb Turk, [email protected]. Up to 15 volunteers.
Learning and Social Justice
- The Syrian Crisis, Impact and Implications - October 26, 7:00pm: Join TBE and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for a discussion about the longest humanitarian crisis since the Holocaust and options for response. Registration is required. To learn more and register, click here.
- Beyond Stigma: Extending Ourselves to those Struggling with Mental Health Challenges - October 30, 6:30pm. We will have a member of our community speak about their family experiences with mental health issues. We will also strive to understand more the needs of our community, and work together on responding to the pressing issues that are at the core of this silent epidemic. Please contact Sandy Aronson for additional information.
May 2016 - Community Action Day (Mitzvah Day has a new name!)
Join a TBE Mitzvah Moment on Community Action Day
May 22, 2016
Join us on Sunday, May 22 to celebrate Mitzvah Day’s “chai year” as we launch into TBE Mitzvah Moments: Community Action Day with a morning of service, education and community. Learn more about Community Action Day.
Some projects need more people to make a greater impact on our community. Please consider these projects as you make your selections:
- Bundles of Care
- Ronald McDonald Mailing
- Healing Shawls
As we head into Mitzvah Day’s 18th –“Chai” Year–we want to celebrate the tremendous impact it has had on our community and honor the extraordinary contribution of Sandy Goldstein, Karin Leinwand, and Bernice Speiser, in leading this special day for so many years. We also extend our gratitude to all of you in our community who volunteer your time and energy as project leaders and participants. The goal this year with Mitzvah Moments has been to both broaden and deepen our engagement in Tikkun Olam as a community. It is from this spirit that we stand on the shoulders of our Mitzvah Day leaders and bring you Community Action Day as part of TBE’s year-long commitment to Mitzvah Moments.
Click here to view information about Mitzvah Day 2015
Click here to view information about Mitzvah Day 2014
Click here to view information about Mitzvah Day 2013
Click here to view information about Mitzvah Day 2012
April: Caring for the Stranger (2016)
As we enter the Passover season – the season of our own Exodus – we invite you to lean into one of the TBE Mitzvah Moments this April focused around caring for the stranger, especially the Syrian refugee crisis.
Tzedakah & Drives
- Matzah Donations - Needed by April 4: Bring a box of matzah to the temple to support Family Table, Help New England’s largest kosher food pantry prepare for Passover.
- Tzedakah: All donations from the Tzedakah box collection in the main lobby will be donated to the Holy Blossom congregation to support their refugee initiative. Click here for more information about Holy Blossom.
- Boat of Hope - Sunday, April 3: Students in the K-5 Limud program will be participating in Passover Pathways on April 3 by contributing to the Boat of Hope. Many refugees flee on a daily basis by boat. Limud classes and adults will have an opportunity to make a difference by writing notes of hope and joy, welcoming refugee families, as well as contributing their tzedakah to the relief efforts.
- Passover Packaging - Monday, April 4: Family Social Action will be helping Family Table recipients by packaging up bags of traditional Passover foods for families. Click here to sign up and for more information.
- CASA - Friday, April 8: We’ll serve lunch at NE Center for Homeless Veterans, Boston. Join us as we help serve those who have served our country. Click here for more information.
Learning and Social Justice
- HIAS Shabbat Speaker and Dinner - Friday, April 1st: Shabbat service and dinner with guest speaker Riva Silverman, VP of External Affairs at HIAS to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis. Click here to learn more.
- Shabbat Reflection on Syrian Refugees - Saturday, April 2nd - Our hope is to reflect on our own personal narratives and interweave them with the narratives of current Syrian refugees and of our text and tradition. Inspired by this tapestry of stories, we can come together to look at the multiple pathways of how we as a community can respond to this crisis. Please RSVP to Sandy Aronson if you plan to attend.
- Passover Pathways - Sunday, April 3rd: Different strands of learning for adults and students, some of which are focusing on caring for strangers and the Syrian refugee crisis. Click here to sign up and learn more.
- Annual TBE Passover Seder - Saturday, April 23rd (6:00pm): Passover is a time of renewal and rejoicing with family and friends. What better place to celebrate than our Makom? Perform the Mitzvah of retelling the Passover story and take part in a Mitzvah Moment by committing to caring for the stranger and fighting for freedom. Click here to sign up and for more information
December - Holiday Giving (2015)
As we enter the Thanksgiving and December Holiday season, we invite you to lean into the holidays by joining one of many Mitzvah Moments.
Help TBE support Boston area non-profit organizations in need by donating any of the items below. Collection bins are in the temple atrium through December 11.
Canned Salmon and Tuna
|Winter Clothing for Kids and Adults|
Personal Care Items
Click here for a complete list of suggested items.
Partner Organizations: JF&CS, BMC Grow Clinic, More Than Words, The Potter Road School, Cradles to Crayons, St. Francis House, Rosie's Place, and Family Promise.
- Sunday, December 6 - Join our Community for Adult Social Action (CASA) at Pine Street Inn. Open to ages 15+. To learn more and sign up, click here or contact Amy Benjamin. Learn more about CASA events.
- Saturday, December 19 - Join our Family Social Action Group at Hebrew Senior Life. Open to families with children in grades k-5. To sign up, contact Stacey Amster. Learn more about Family Social Action events.
- Sunday, December 20 - Join TBE members for Christmas in the City to help support and celebrate Christmas with Boston area homeless families. Open to ages 16+. To learn more and sign up, contact Barbara Turk.
- Friday, December 25 - Prepare holiday meals for the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner. TBE needs cooks and/or servers. Click here to sign up. To learn more, contact Pam Remis.
Learning and Social Justice
- Participate in the CANstruction project at TBE to raise awareness about hunger related issues locally and globally.
- Friday, December 4th - Listen to speaker Michael Gould-Wartofsky, author of The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement, to learn more about how we can connect social justice to our Jewish text and traditions. To learn more and sign up, click here.