Social Action

Social Action Trip to New Orleans

BJBE families are traveling to New Orleans for our ninth annual social action mission from March 23-26. We will continue to strengthen interfaith relationships with Christian and Jewish groups in the Crescent City, form new friendships within our BJBE community, and help rebuild communities in need. Together, we will also explore and enjoy the unique city of New Orleans.

We are collecting donations to help families in the lower 9th Ward, a community that is still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Your generosity will help people purchase groceries, diapers, clothes, books, and toys.

Donate!

In addition to donating money, we will be volunteering our time to help Garden on Mars, an urban garden project growing fresh food and flowers on vacant lots throughout New Orleans.

For only $100 you can sponsor the making of a Garden Box, a 4 x 8 raised bed to grow vegetables, flowers and more. Every Garden Box will help feed and educate families to grow and sell food and flowers in their own community. With your help, we can build these raised beds with our own hands, during our time in NOLA.

Green Faith Initiative

Our Journey and Mission with GreenFaith

After acceptance into the GreenFaith Certification Program in May of 2012, our first task was to create a mission statement.

AS GOD’S PARTNERS, WE POSITIVELY AFFECT THE WELL-BEING AND FUTURE OF OUR PLANET THROUGH EDUCATION, CHOICE AND ACTION.


About Greenfaith 

GreenFaith's mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Our work is based on beliefs shared by the world's great religions - we believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.

MLK Day of Service

Thank You to our over 150 volunteers who helped make our 4th Annual MLK Community Day of Service a success! Check out our video to see some snapshots of our day (link will open in a new window).

And, read a great article about our Day of Service from the Deerfield Review!

Community Resources

BJBE has a relationship and works closely with the following oganizations.

The ARK provides a comprehensive array of services for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of those in need.  The ARK is committed to providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to volunteer their time and perform mitzvot (good deeds).  Since 1971, The ARK has delivered medical, social welfare, legal and similar human services in the spirit of tzedakah (charitable acts) and chesed (loving-kindness). www.arkchicago.org, 773-943-1000.

Cancer Wellness Center is a non-profit organization that provides supportive services and health information free of charge for people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones. www.cancerwellness.org, 847-509-9595.

Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE), through their commitment to Jewish communal values, is a provider of community-based and residential programs and services for older adults and their families throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. www.cje.net, 847-929-3064.

Glenkirk provides quality, lifetime supports and services that empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate fully in all areas of community life.  Glenkirk offers a variety of residential, day and employment programs, as well as respite, medical, behavioral and home-based services. www.glenkirk.org, 847-272-5111

Keshet provides educational, recreational and vocational programs for children and young adults with special needs. www.keshet.org, 847-205-1234.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) takes a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women's rights and reproductive freedom.
The Chicago North Shore Section makes an impact through an integrated program of education, community service and social action. www.ncjwcns.org, 847-853-8889.

The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC) educates and mobilizes the American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on issues from economic justice to civil rights to religious liberty to Israel. www.rac.org, 202-387-2800.

Shalva provides services to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Jewish community. Free, confidential clinical services include: 24-hour help line, individual and group counseling, legal information, referral services and court support, rabbinical. shalvaonline.org, 773-583-4673.

United Power for Action and Justice represents an attempt by thousands of leaders within diverse communities to reverse generations of division and decline in the Chicago metropolitan area. United Power provides training and development opportunities for the current and emerging generation of leaders in the region. The organization seeks to build power systematically and wield power effectively. This power - the ability to act - enables the member institutions of United Power and the organization as a whole to operate with more impact and success with other power figures and power institutions in the private and public sectors. www.united-power.org

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For other social action resources, including a list of places to volunteer, please call the Temple office at 847-940-7575.

JCARES Partnership for Safer Synagogues

BJBE is certified as a Safer Synagogue by Jewish Community Abuse Resources, Education & Solutions (JCARES), a coalition dedicated to addressing abuse across the Jewish community and perpetuating healthy, peaceful, Jewish homes, families, and relationships. Our leadership has been trained in understanding the impact of abuse across the lifespan and improving access to support for congregants experiencing abusive situations. Please call the temple office or email Sherry Rundell (sherry.rundell@gmail.com) or Margot Andersen (margotandersen@aol.com) for confidential assistance.

G'milut Chasadim Trips

Jewish Life and G'milut Chasadim Trip to New Orleans
Thursday, March 23 – Sunday, March 26, 2017
Join fellow BJBE congregants in our ninth annual social action mission to New Orleans. We will continue to strengthen interfaith relationships with Christian and Jewish groups in the Crescent City, form new friendships within our BJBE community, and help rebuild communities in need. Together, we will also explore and enjoy the unique city of New Orleans.
Contact: Mike Goldberg, mikegoldberg@mac.com

Emergency Disaster Relief Trips
Make lasting connections, learn about Jewish life and culture and lend your hands to help in communities that experience devastation through natural disaster. Together we will have the opportunity to travel to rebuild and support the affected communities with the hope of revisiting whenever necessary. Previous trips have included Joplin, MO, Moore, OK, and Washington, IL. If you would like to get involved contact Susie Selbst, sselbst1@comcast.net.

Special Social Action Events

Annual High Holy Day Food Drive
Every year at the High Holy days, we join other area Reform congregations to collect food for those in our community who are hungry. Food and paper products are donated to The Ark.

Maot Chitim: Feeding the Hungry
Packing and Delivery Location: 8260 North Austin Avenue, Morton Grove
Twice a year, at Rosh Hashanah and Pesach, we join with this organization to pack and deliver boxes of food to people in the Chicago area who are in need. Participants must be at least 12 years old to participate in warehouse activities.
Contact: Brian Aronson, briana@aronsonassociates.com

Social Action Oneg Shabbat
Friday, January 13, 2017
After Shabbat Services, 9:00 p.m.
As we celebrate Shabbat leading into MLK Day weekend, we join together after the service to work on projects to help our community. Open to all members and non-members.
Contact: Susie Selbst, sselbst1@comcast.net

4th Annual MLK Day of Service
Monday, January 16, 2017
Make Martin Luther King's Day a day on instead of a day off. We provide various off-and on-site social action opportunities to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to participating, opportunities for planning and "day-of" leadership are available.
Contact: Anne Robbin, arobbin@bjbe.org

Spring Blood Drive
Date & Time TBD
The Social Action Network coordinates a blood drive for LifeSource to help those Chicagoans in need of blood and blood products. Committee members and donors are always needed.
Contacts: Rachel Tzinberg, rptzin@gmail.com and Richard Goldberg, richagoldberg@gmail.com

G'milut Chasadim Programs for Young Families
Getting our children involved in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and G'milut Chasadim (acts of kindness) at a young age is a primary goal of our programming. Making connections and growing friendships with other young families is another. Join us once or on an ongoing basis as we bake cookies for Project Nourish, collect food for the Ark, create craft bags for children in the hospital and much more.
Contacts: Melanie Berkowitz, berger.home@yahoo.com and Carrie Cohan, ckrivit@gmail.com

Sisterhood Social Action
Sisterhood organizes social action projects throughout the year such as collections for the Deerfield Food Pantry, creating Pillows for Breast Cancer Survivors, and sending notes to the Lone Soldiers in the Israeli Army.
Contacts: Jeannie Pearlman, theschwartzbewithyou@comcast.net and Linda Rukin, lmlsklr@yahoo.com

Monthly Social Action Efforts

Nurturing our North Shore Neighbors
Once per month during the school year
Drop-off to: Moraine Township Food Pantry, 777 Central Avenue in Highland Park
BJBE joins with other neighborhood synagogues, churches and community groups to provide bags of groceries for families in need. Moraine Township students who might benefit from this support are identified by their school leaders, and their families are able to pick up the groceries at their child's school. Our efforts are critical for families who need to supplement their income or for whom food stamps do not stretch the full month. Moraine Township Food Pantry provides a shopping list and BJBE volunteers sign up to purchase groceries for five families. Expect to make one shopping trip and spend approximately $125 to cover the cost of groceries for all five families. Groceries are then dropped off at the Food Pantry for distribution. This is a great program for groups of families and a valuable mitzvah project for B'nai Mitzvah students.
Contact: Laurie Egert Weissler, lweissler@senecastrategy.com

PADS Homeless Shelter
Fourth Sunday of each Month (October 2016-April 2017)
First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, 824 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL
BJBE provides meals and volunteers to support residents of Lake County who are homeless through PADS, Providing Advocacy, Dignity and Shelter. The Deerfield shelter is a joint initiative of houses of worship in our area. BJBE provides volunteers from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. in addition to dinner, breakfast and a bag lunch for up to 50 guests. Volunteers are needed for set up, meal preparation, and caring for/assisting our guests. PADS is the first point of contact for residents of Lake County who are homeless and often the only hope for someone facing a long night in the cold. PADS serves individuals, families with children, the mentally ill, and veterans by providing vital services, such as emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, street outreach, and social services.
Contact: Ruth Miller, oogiyot@comcast.net

Project Nourish
Fourth Sunday of each Month, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Once a month volunteers gather in BJBE's kitchen to pack and deliver lunches to help feed people who need extra food. Lunches are distributed to neighborhood residents at a church near the United Center, at PADS in Lake County, and Staben House in Waukegan.
Contact: Merilee Waldron, memi660@aol.com

Baking Cookies for Project Nourish
This is a wonderful Tikkun Olam opportunity for all congregants in partnership with the Young Families Social Action Network. Bake a batch of home-made cookies (no nuts or nut products please) and bag by two's in Ziploc bags to be added to Project Nourish lunches which are delivered to people who are in need of food. Please label your outer bag "Project Nourish" and put it in the far right freezer. We will include the cookies the next time we prepare lunches.

Social Advocacy Team (SAT)
Quarterly Meetings
BJBE is a member of UPAJ (United Power for Action and Justice), a non-partisan community organization composed of 35 religious congregations, not-for-profit groups, hospitals, health centers, and civic organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area. The SAT team's goal is to build relationships with congregants to identify mutual shared values and concerns and then share the stories behind them. SAT builds relational power for collective actions in the name of justice and the common good.
Contact: Susan Drucker, sdrucker@gemguide.com

Inspiration Café
Select Saturday & Sunday evenings throughout 2016-2017, 4:00-7:15 p.m.
Congregants and B'nai Mitzvah students have the opportunity to plan a menu, shop for groceries, and prepare and serve a nutritious dinner in a restaurant-style setting for up to 40 individuals who are on their journey toward self-sufficiency. This is a wonderful and gratifying group activity that requires 5-7 volunteers. Inspiration Café is located at 4554 N. Broadway on Chicago's north side.
Contact: Gil Bathgate, gilb@specialtyprintcomm.com

Tzedakah Niche

Each time you come to BJBE, bring something to donate to the Tzedakah Niche in the Village Center outside of our sanctuary. We have ongoing collections for eyeglasses, hearing aids, cell phones, batteries, printer cartridges, and travel-sized toiletries.

In our beautiful tzedakah box, we collect donations for a different charity each month.

Our February Tzedakah is: PADS
The goal of the PADS Emergency Shelter Program is to provide hospitality, food and overnight emergency shelter to the homeless between October 1 and April 30, seven days a week (including holidays). The sites are staffed entirely by volunteers who prepare, supervise and clean sleeping accommodations as well as prepare and serve dinner, breakfast and a sack lunch.

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