Our Congregation provides its members with many opportunities for social action. Our programs benefit women’s and teen shelters, foster children and homeless veterans, the homebound and the hungry. By reaching out to people in need, we not only help to repair the world, but also strengthen our Jewish identity and provide an important example of our values for our children.
The Social Action Committee also embraces and supports racial and social justice issues.
- Mitzvah Days for a variety of causes
- Blood Drives
- Community Benefit Events
- Meals on Wheels Deliveries
- Habitat for Humanity Project in Milton, VT
- Sudan Rising Fundraising
- Nothing But Nets
In addition, volunteers are encouraged to help the Chaverim Committee with activities such as new baby arrivals, illness, mourning, arranging transportation etc.
Join the Social Action Committee for regular updates on Tikkun Activities. For more info, or to join the committee, email the Social Action chairperson or email the Temple Office.
The Chaverim Team is working hard in the time of COVID-19. We recently delivered 30 Passover Care packages to members of our community so they had matzoh and kosher wine for seder. Thank you to Rabbi and Stacie Gabert for all of their help in this effort.
The Chaverim and Social Action committees have been active on several fronts to help people in need during the COVID-19 shutdown.
The current epidemic will likely tax what systems we have in place to protect and support the most vulnerable As Jews, it is our duty to do what we can, so we will consider Social Action in this time and place.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION
MEALS ON WHEELS
Age Well’s community meals program needs drivers during this coronavirus crisis. Help those trapped at home who cannot get out to do food shopping. Time commitment of about 2 hours once a week. Contact Laura Need at Age Well either by email or at 802-662-5273
PASSOVER FOOD DRIVE FOR SOUTH BURLINGTON FOOD SHELF
The coronavirus has increased need to provide food support for members of our community. Bring food donations directly to the Food Shelf at 356 Dorset Street, on Thursdays between 9:30-11:30 AM. Most needed: jams, jellies, coffee, cereal, rice, toiletries, canned fruit and a separate bag noted s perishable for cheese, meat fruit, veggies. Visit the Food Shelf website to make a donation or volunteer.
DONATE BLOOD OR VOLUNTEER
There is a desperate shortage of blood and blood drive volunteers. The Red Cross has instituted special precautions to ensure that you and the health providers are as safe as can be. PLEASE visit redcrossblood.org to learn more, and help out in any way you can. If you are eligible and healthy, please make a blood donation appointment as soon as you can by visiting the website or downloading the Red Cross blood app for your mobile device. To discuss volunteer opportunities, contact volunteer coordinator Alice Drislane.
HUNGER FREE VERMONT
If you have any concerns or questions related to food for yourself, family, or members of your community during this crisis, Hunger Free Vermont has created a web page dedicated to preparing for the impacts of COVID-19 on food access in Vermont.
NEED HELP YOURSELF?
Need help with shopping, pressing repairs at your home, pet care, etc.? Contact the Chaverim Committee or the Social Action Committee.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ACTION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE ‘
Let us know what actions you are engaged in. Suggest actions the Committee should consider. Contact the committee chair.
JOIN OUR TEMPLE SOCIAL ACTION EMAIL LIST
Add your name to our committee mailing list to receive meeting minutes, occasional articles, and action opportunities. And join our meetings on the 3rd Thursday of every month(6:00-7:00). Contact the Social Action Committee for more information.
A rich variety of Tikkun Olam opportunities exist in our community. Which are you drawn to?
MEALS-ON-WHEELS: Temple Sinai has the opportunity to adopt a route in South Burlington and provide regular delivery of food to those in need. If we create a Temple Sinai delivery team, we can deliver 1, 2, 3 or 4 days a month. We decide and commit to a schedule. The route takes about 2 hours to complete(9:00-11:00) and we would deliver to 10-12 homes. It’s good to have 4-6 people to make up the team, although one person can handle the route on any given day. We also would need a coordinator. It’s really quite simple. Interested in exploring this further? To learn more, visit the Age Well Meals On Wheels page or Contact David Shiman.
PASSOVER FOOD DRIVE: We will celebrate our exodus from Egypt with another food drive supporting the South Burlington Food Shelf. This will probably take place during the first week in April. Look for future announcements.
The Food Shelf also has all sorts of volunteer opportunities to help meet the pressing needs in our community. Contact Peter Carmolli.
CAMPAIGN FOR A STRONG FAIR AND IMPARTIAL POLICING POLICY (FIPP) IN SOUTH BURLINGTON OR BURLINGTON: There are groups advocating for stronger policy statements than presently exist. The campaign for FIPP is called No Mas Polimigra, which is a combination of Spanish word “poli” for police and “migra” for immigration authorities. The major goal is to end collaboration of police with immigration agents. If interested, make the initial contact yourself, but please inform us that you are getting involved. For South Burlington, Contact Nancy Hellen; For Burlington, Contact Madeline and/or Ashley.
DRIVER FOR MIGRANT JUSTICE: Drivers are needed who can, at very short notice, drive to Massachusetts to deliver bail money and return to our area with a bailed-out Migrant Justice worker who had been arrested by ICE. Person should be able to speak some Spanish and be able to give up an entire day. There is a pool of potential drivers, but there is always a need to add more to the pool. If interested, contact David Shiman for more information.
Other News – Planning Opportunities
PROGRAMS AT A SENIOR RESIDENCE: We are exploring possibility of collaborating with a senior residence facility to offer a “program” once a month. This might be a musical presentation, talk on topics of interest (e.g., income tax, travel experience, poetry reading) children’s performance, etc. Temple Sinai would recruit members of our congregation to present. Might you be interested in this? Contact committee chair David Shiman
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ACTION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: Let us know what actions you are engaged in. Suggest actions the Committee should consider. Contact Us.
Add your name to our committee mailing list to receive meeting minutes, occasional articles, and action opportunities. And join our meetings on the 3rd Thursday of every month(6:00-7:00). Contact Committee Chair David Shiman for more information.
View/Download printable version (PDF) of this post.
Over the past two years, a congregant family have been mentoring a teenage Somali woman. She and her family are currently living in the COTS Family Shelter, in Burlington. She is doing fine, but she is really struggling to keep up with her schoolwork and meet expectations for her grade level. This is mostly due to her lack of English language skills and challenges in reading and writing.
Here are some current social action opportunities for the Temple Sinai community and others!
DONATE A TURKEY PLUS
Time for Temple Sinai members to make contributions to the Food Shelf program of Feeding Chittenden, formerly the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. You can bring frozen turkeys or non-perishable food items to 228 North Winooski Ave (deliver at rear of building) or to explore other ways to help, visit the Feeding Chittenden donation page. If possible, let them know that your contribution is on behalf of Temple Sinai. You can also contact them directly by email or at 802-658-7939.
VOLUNTEER AT THE SOUTH BURLINGTON FOOD SHELF
The newly opened South Burlington Food Shelf at 356 Dorset St. has many volunteer opportunities. You can work as few or as many hours as you chose. Give them a call at (802) 858-5267, or contact Peter Carmolli. You can also sign up here for email updates, or consider other ways to donate.
DELIVER FOOD ON CHRISTMAS DAY
For years, Temple Sinai congregants have led the way, delivering Meals On Wheels to shut-ins on Christmas Day. We will do it again. Jeff Solomon, a member of our congregation, has taken over coordination of the drivers who deliver food on Christmas day to those unable to get out. This is an important part of the work of the local nonprofit H.A.N.D.S (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors). Please contact Jeff for more information or to volunteer.
TO LIFE! GIVE BLOOD ON DECEMBER 24
Karen Cote and David Punia will lead this blood drive which will take place at the Temple. Blood donors and volunteers and are needed! The need for blood is critical. We would also like donation of food on the day of the drive. Contact the organizers for more information and:
JOIN US AT A SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING: WE MEET NOVEMBER 14TH AT 6:00PM AND ON THE THIRD THURSDAY IN SUBSEQUENT MONTHS.
Questions or Concerns? Contact David Shiman, Chair of Social Action Committee