Social Action

Help us help others and work together to repair the world.

List of Upcoming Social Action Events

Find out more about Food for Thought, our new social action initiative to raise awareness and combat food insecurity in our community.


2015_SocialAction_gardenOur mission is to serve those who are disadvantaged or in need. We wish to educate and motivate Beth El members and provide opportunities for adults, youth and children to do social action. We recognize that, as Jews, we are commanded to pursue justice and to participate in Tikkun Olam “Repairing the World.

 

Our Social Action committee members volunteer their time, effort and talents to make the Beth El community a better place. Our current focus areas include the following:
Sustainability at Beth El
Beth El has taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint and find new ways to promote sustainability (how we live and support ourselves and our communities while ensuring future generations will have the resources they need to support themselves). We would love your input and help with additional ideas to keep Beth El moving forward! Read more about our commitment to being green.
Bikur Cholim
Specially trained volunteers are visiting members who are homebound, dealing with illnesses or other conditions that may limit their contact with the outside world.  Please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required if you would like to join us in this mitzvah. Please email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call the Beth El Office at 412-561-1168 to let him know if you or someone you know would like to be the recipient of these special visitors.
Shiva Mitzvah Corps 
Comforting the Bereaved / Nehum Avelim – The support of a strong community is most needed at the hardest time in people’s lives. Each time a member of our shul is sitting shiva, the Shiva Mitzvah Corps helps serve food in the shiva home. Please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required to help with this mitzvah. You can also join our “Minyannaires” club each weekday morning at 7:00 a.m. and each evening at 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays mornings at 8:30 a.m. to support those who must say Mourner’s Kaddish.  In order to let our members know when someone has had a loss so that we can support them, Beth El has established a Shiva Hotline.  In the event of a loss, we will email or call you.  To be added to the Hotline list, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required in the Beth El Office at 412-561-1168.
Help the Hungry
Beth El members collect non-perishable food items to donate to several area organizations assisting the hungry throughout the year and during Project Isaiah over the High Holy Days. Beth El members volunteer at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry several times a year and during the summer, you can donate produce from your gardens through the Plant a Row for SHIM project.   Please bring your non-perishable food items to the bin outside the Rabbi’s office at any time.
Give Blood
Beth El holds an annual blood drive, and we periodically host an emergency blood drive at the request of the Central Blood Bank.  The synagogue provides communication about these events when it is scheduled. You can also check our list of Social Action events to see when the next blood drive is scheduled.
Volunteer on Christmas Day 
Beth El members volunteer on Christmas Day in local hospitals and senior care facilities so that workers can spend the day with their families.
Help our Community
Beth El members reach out to help our community in times of crisis, and we will continue to do so as the need arises. During the great flooding that occurred in Heidelberg as a result of Hurricane Ivan, about 75 of our members went to the flooded areas and helped people in their homes and through an amazing level of donations. More recently there was a fire that consumed an entire townhouse building on the hill above Beth El, and we helped the victims who were left with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs, by making donations and providing them with a place to meet so they could support each other and become educated about their options in their dire situation.
B’nai Mitzvah Students Help
Each B’nai Mitzvah student performs a Social Action project of their choice as part of their preparation during their B’nai Mitzvah year. Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information.
Join our Teenagers 
Our teenagers, through their United Synagogue Youth (USY) chapter, conduct numerous Social Action projects throughout the year. If your teen would like to get involved, please email our USY Director email hidden; JavaScript is required.
Kadima Book Drive
Our 6-8th graders are collecting books for all ages, donations to be made to SHIM. If your middle schooler is interested in getting involved in this or other social causes through Kadima, please email our Kadima Director email hidden; JavaScript is required.
Community & International Aid 
Domestic and international, secular and Jewish projects are being explored by the Social Action Committee.
Beth El Members in the Military
Write a letter to members who are far from home.  Tell them local news or a simple hello to let them know we’re thinking of them.
AgeWell Rides & AgeWell Visits
Make a difference in the life of seniors but helping them stay active.  We need drivers as well as people willing to visit.  Find out more.
Jewish Assistance Fund (JAF)
Help families who need financial help. JAF covers emergency support for immediate necessities.  Find out more.

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Recent blog posts

“Not a man of words”: Thankful

Yesterday Martin was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Our hearts are full. Today I am reflecting on the lines from Exodus that inspired the title of this blog: Moses said to the Lord, “I beseech You, O Lord. I am not a man of words, neither from yesterday, nor from the time You…

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Martin’s Bar Mitzvah day is almost here. After months of weekly practice sessions and years of planning and going back to the drawing board and planning some more, we are just about ready to achieve a goal we once thought we wouldn’t even try to achieve.  It’s hard now to remember the days when Martin…

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Accessibility at Beth El 2016

Funny how there are issues which you think are someone else’s problem. Until one day it becomes yours as well. I’ve been aware of some of some of the accessibility problems in our building.  A few months ago, I even recommended an accessibility expert, who came out to do an assessment of our facility.  But…

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