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Social Action

Volunteering of one's time and expertise is not only a recognized Jewish value, but one that is highly prized in our Temple community.  The concept of Tikun Olam (repairing the world) reflects the Jewish values of Justice (tzedek), Compassion (chesed) and Peace (shalom), and has come to symbolize the quest for social justice, freedom, equality, peace, and the restoration of the environment.  It calls us to repair the world through social action and thoughtful interaction with the world and the people around us.  Tikun Olam recognizes that each act of kindness, no matter how small, helps build a better world.

Opportunities for Tikun Olam are numerous and diverse.  Our members are encouraged to lend their hearts, souls, and minds to the needs in our community that most interest and inspire them.  Beyond the immense satisfaction of assisting in organizing a program or helping an individual, volunteering is the ideal way to meet other members of our Temple Beth Am community.  Some of the opportunities focus on internal (temple) programs and functions, while others focus on the community at large.  Newcomers to South Florida or just to Beth Am will have an opportunity to meet people with common goals and values.  The best way to get involved is to SIGN UP, and contact one of the chairpersons to discover available opportunities for involvement. 

For any questions, Please Contact Sapir Roth 954-257-5275 or Steve Iskowitz 954-240-8627. 

HELP US REPAIR THE WORLD! 

CLICK HERE for application

Upcoming Events

MITZVAH DAY IS APPROACHING
This year, Mitzvah Day will actually be Mitzvah DAYS. We will have on-site (in temple) opportunities on Sunday, December 24 and off-site (community projects) on Monday, December 25. Click the blue "SIGN UP FOR MITZVAH DAY" button above and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. We need to know who is doing what, and how many people will be coming for lunch. Last year we ran out of food, so be sure to stand up and be counted ASAP!

 

MITZVAH DAY INFORMATION

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24

CARD-MAKING FOR BROWARD JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES: Sapir Roth will lead a card-making project as she did last year, when 100 cards were made and distributed in the bags of food provided by JFS to their clients.

LETTER-WRITING FOR IDF SOLDIERS AND DISPLACED FAMILIES IN ISRAEL: Ivy Tenenbaum will lead a letter-writing project to bring some positivity to Israeli soldiers and families.

EASY SEWING BLANKETS FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS (No skills required): Laura Sternberg will be leading this project. You can crochet blanket squares, OR, if you can’t crochet, you can sew the already-crocheted squares together. No previous crocheting experience is required. If you would like to donate any yarn (see brands below), contact Laura at 954-328-0577.

  • Red Heart Super Saver (Walmart, Joann Fabrics, Michaels)
  • Mainstays (Walmart)
  • Big Twist (Joann Fabrics)
  • Craft Smart (Michaels)

REPAIRING CHUMASHIM: Craig Goodwin will guide people in repairing and binding some of our worn-out chumashim.

LUNCH: Lunch will be provided on Sunday, December 24th for people volunteering either day.

DRUM CIRCLE: Craig Goodwin will lead a Drum Circle after lunch to end the day on an inspiring note.

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 25

BARC (BROWARD ADDICTION AND RECOVERY CENTER): Gary Weichselbaum will coordinate a fun Bingo and storytelling session for BARC residents.

ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: Heidi Carmel will lead a street cleanup along Temple Beth Am’s designated route along Rock Island Road south of the Temple to Atlantic Blvd.

SOUP KITCHEN: Help serve food at the All Saints Catholic Mission located at 3460 Powerline Road, north of Oakland Park Blvd. This is an interfaith project to help feed those in need, on their holiday. Andrea Levenson is the lead for this project. If you have questions, contact Andrea at 954-270-5581.

Sign up for Mitzvah Day

 

Ongoing Mitzvah Projects

FOOD DELIVERIES:  We continue to partner with Goodman Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Broward to assist with their monthly food deliveries.  They have two Sunday deliveries and one Tuesday delivery every month.  Food is delivered to Holocaust survivors and other Jewish people in need.  You MUST put in a short application with JFS to be vetted to do the deliveries; follow this link -- www.jfsbroward.org/,click on GET INVOLVED, click on VOLUNTEER, then click the blue rectangle marked "VOLUNTEER APPLICATION".  *Be prepared to upload photos of your driver's license and insurance card.  If you need help with this or if you have any questions/problems, please contact Steve or Sapir for further details.

DONATIONS:  There are boxes in the Temple lobby for toiletries for JFS RAK-PAK and food for JFS Cupboard.  Feel free to drop off donations at any time.  FOOD MUST BE KOSHER AND NON-PERISHABLE.

 

Now that the holidays are approaching, we are partnering with JAFCO to collect NEW, UNWRAPPED toys for any child, infant to teens. Please look for the donation box in the lobby.

Volunteer Opportunities

You might think Temple Beth Am’s Social Action initiative is about giving money, donating food, toiletries, clothes, toys, and school supplies a few times a year. Actually, the intent of our program is to make giving a part of everyone’s DAILY life. Most of us have more than we really need, but sometimes what people need isn’t material things. They need our TIME. They need our HEARTS. They need our expertise. They need US.

Below you will find a dozen worthy organizations who would welcome help. As you might imagine, most require applications, background checks, interviews, other vetting processes, or orientations to their facilities and protocols. Their locations vary, from Boynton Beach to South Broward. Some will allow you to volunteer on a flexible basis; others require more of a regular commitment. It is our hope that you will check them out and see if anything appeals to you and fits into your (busy) life. Thank you for your commitment to doing mitzvot!

If you already volunteer somewhere and they need more volunteers, please let us know, and we will add them to our list. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Steve Iskowitz or Sapir Roth, or contact the organization directly. The information below is current, but subject to change:

  1. Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward, including the Genet Cupboard:
    • WEBSITE: WWW.JFSBROWARD.ORG/Volunteer
    • CONTACT PERSON: Michelle Pines (volunteer coordinator for the Cupboard)
    • PHONE: (954) 336-1148
    • EMAIL: MPines@jfsbroward.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: Food deliveries (up to 3x per month); Friendly Caller program; office help; RAK-PAK; special event assistance.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online) for background check required; upload photos of driver’s license and car insurance required. Helping Holocaust survivors and other needy Jewish families.
    • FLEXIBILITY: Totally flexible.
  2. JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options):
    • WEBSITE: WWW.JAFCO.ORG
    • CONTACT PERSON: Linda Sachs (volunteer coordinator)
    • MAIN PHONE: (954) 749-7230
    • CONTACT PHONE: (954) 394-1182
    • EMAIL: Linda@JAFCO.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: Office/clerical; working at the shelter; working at the library; tutoring; cooking; other.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Tour*, application, orientation required. (*Community tour is on first Wednesday of each month, 9:30 am – 12N).
    • FLEXIBILITY: Unknown.
  3. Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida:
    • WEBSITE: https://equineatsf.org/support-us/volunteer/
    • CONTACT PERSON: Mollie Murphy (Executive Director)
    • MAIN PHONE: (954) 974-2007
    • CONTACT PHONE: (954) 532-4404
    • ADDRESS: Tradewinds Park North, 3601 W Sample Rd, Coconut Creek FL 33073
    • EMAIL: info@equineatsf.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: Start as a “sidewalker,” advance (with training) to be a horse leader; also help with cleaning stables/stalls; facility/paddock maintenance; grooming and feeding horses; office work, including reception and data entry; assisting at special events.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Orientation* and introductory training required. (*Orientation is in person on the first Tuesday of each month; time varies. Orientation includes learning about their programs, touring a barn, and first training about how to be a sidewalker). This organization serves children and adults with special needs. Of note, Bonnie and Michelle Taepakdee volunteer here. Please see their website for a calendar of all their events, including Orientation sessions!
    • FLEXIBILITY: Limited; you are expected to commit to at least 2 hours per week.
  4. Broward Health Coral Springs (formerly Coral Springs Medical Center):
    • WEBSITE: https://www.browardhealth.org/locations/broward-health-coral-springs
    • CONTACT PERSON: Christine or Sue
    • PHONE: (954) 344.3381
    • ADDRESS: 3000 Coral Hills Dr, Coral Springs FL 33065
    • EMAIL: N/A
    • HELP THEY NEED: Outpatient Center; Women’s Center; hospital inpatient floors; Same-Day Surgery.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Background check; TB testing, immune titers.
    • FLEXIBILITY: Limited. Prefer commitment of one day a week for a 4-hour shift.
  5. Margate Library (Catharine Young branch; Friends of the Library):
    • WEBSITE: https://www.broward.org/Library
    • CONTACT PERSON: Marva Bradford, Corinne Duncan; Manager: Michelle
    • PHONE: (954) 357.7500
    • ADDRESS: 5810 Park Drive, Margate FL 33063 (near Atlantic Blvd and 441, not far from Lester’s Diner)
    • EMAIL: N/A
    • HELP THEY NEED: Book Fair; Reading for Seniors; populating Friends Room.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Volunteer Interest form (online at *https://www.broward.org/Library/Pages/Volunteer.aspx)
    • FLEXIBILITY: Totally flexible.
  6. Women In Distress:
    • WEBSITE: https://www.womenindistress.org/
    • CONTACT PERSON: Emily Janas (education/speakers), Christine Goldman (event and donation coordinator)
    • PHONE: (954) 760-9800
    • ADDRESS: 1372 N SR 7, Margate FL 33063 (near Royal Palm Blvd)
    • EMAIL: info@womenindistress.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: Direct (working with women) and indirect (events, office/clerical, etc) volunteer opportunities available.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Volunteer Interest form (online at https://www.womenindistress.org/what-you-can- do/volunteer/); background check;interview;
    • FLEXIBILITY: Limited. Prefer commitment of 3 hrs per week.
  7. Kids In Distress:
    • WEBSITE: https://www.kidinc.org
    • CONTACT PERSON: Jessy Allain
    • PHONE: (954) 390-7654
    • ADDRESS: Main campus, 819 NE 26 th St, Ft Lauderdale FL 33305 (Wilton Manors)
    • EMAIL: info@kidinc.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: There are on-site and off-site volunteer opportunities available; helping with homework, reading; hand craft activities; Grandma Program (lead by Aretha); preschool, infant room, feeding babies (Yolanda).
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online at https://www.kidinc.org/get-involved/volunteer/)
    • FLEXIBILITY: Flexible.
  8. Feeding South Florida:
    • WEBSITE: https://feedingsouthflorida.org/
    • CONTACT PERSON: Ruth Bonet (volunteer coordinator)
    • MAIN PHONE: Warehouse in Pembroke Park, (954) 518-1818
    • SECONDARY PHONE: Warehouse in Boynton Beach, (561) 331-5441
    • ADDRESS: 4925 Park Ridge Blvd, Boynton Beach FL 33426
    • EMAIL: volunteers@feedingsouthflorida.org
    • HELP THEY NEED: Inspect, sort, and repack donated food in preparation for community distribution; help prep, cook, and pack meals in the Community Kitchen at Feeding Palm Beach County; assist their team at special events and distributions throughout the year; assist site coordinator at specific locations in distributing meal boxes to older adults.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online at https://feedingsouthflorida.org/volunteer/)
    • FLEXIBILITY: Totally flexible.
  9. Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital:
    • WEBSITE: https://sawgrassnaturecenter.org/ (you can message/chat on the website)
    • CONTACT PERSON: Abby (volunteer program)
    • PHONE: (954) 752-WILD ((954) 752-9453)
    • ADDRESS: 3000 Sportsplex Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065
    • EMAIL: N/A
    • HELP THEY NEED: 
      • Animal handling/care (minimum 3-month commitment, 1 day a week from 10 AM – 2 PM; shifts available 7 days a week)
      • Visitor Center (minimum 3-month commitment, 1 day a week from 9 AM – 12 N; shifts available T/W/Th/F). Greet visitors, answer questions, provide information about the center, keep the visitor center clean, including replenishing bathrooms with toilet paper and paper towels, doing some light cleaning (taking out trash, sweeping, mopping, and other tasks that may be added as needed).
      • Other: Groups and even young children can participate in some volunteer activities. Speak to Abby.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online at https://sawgrassnaturecenter.org/volunteering/adult-volunteer-application/); orientation. Volunteer opportunities are available for teens and adults.
    • FLEXIBILITY: Very limited (minimum 3-month commitment required for some volunteer opportunities).
  10. HCA Florida Northwest Hospital:
    • WEBSITE: https://www.hcafloridahealthcare.com/locations/northwest-hospital
    • CONTACT PERSON: Claire
    • PHONE:  (954) 974-0400
    • ADDRESS: 2801 N SR 7, Margate FL 33063
    • EMAIL: N/A
    • HELP THEY NEED: At this time, they are organizing a pilot program for volunteers. Check back in about a month; contact Steve or Sapir if interested.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: TBD
    • FLEXIBILITY: TBD
  11. SOS Children’s Village:
    • WEBSITE: https://www.sosflorida.com/volunteer/
    • CONTACT PERSON: Victoria Scott (office manager) or Brenda Hovatter (director of volunteers)
    • PHONE:  (954) 420-5030
    • ADDRESS: 3681 NW 59th Pl, Coconut Creek FL 33073
    • EMAIL: BHovatter@SOSFlorida.com
    • HELP THEY NEED: People good with crafts, sewing; outdoor play (e.g. jump rope); beautification projects (painting, gardening, decorating the homes for holidays); mentors; birthday buddies; independent living skills, including financial management, health and wellness, resume building; Luke’s Closet (sorting and washing clothes, organizing and managing inventory); Dinner Dates; other.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online). These are foster care group homes.
    • FLEXIBILITY: Flexible.
  12. UFAR (United For Animals) Rescue:
    • WEBSITE: https://ufarescue.org/volunteer-form
    • CONTACT PERSON: Bruna (volunteer coordinator)
    • MAIN PHONE:  (954) 761-6814
    • CONTACT PHONE:  (561) 305-7440
    • ADDRESS: 364 S SR 7, Margate FL 33063
    • EMAIL: N/A
    • HELP THEY NEED: Cleaning and organizing; greeting visitors, potential adopters; taking pics/vids of animals for social media; attending events; computer skills; accounting skills; playing with and brushing the cats; transporting pets (to/from events or vets); feeding pets; handyman skills); other.
    • REQUIREMENTS/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Application (online); Orientation (attend one Thursday at 5:30 PM for 30 minutes). This is a no-kill pet shelter, rescue, and adoption facility with 300 animals, mostly cats.
    • FLEXIBILITY: Flexible.

 

Little Free Pantry & Library

Social Action program has partnered with B’nai Torah Synagogue in Boca for this program.

Both the Pantry and Library are brightly painted wooden cabinets with a clear door mounted on a post at the southwest end of the temple parking lot near the bus stop on Royal Palm Blvd.

The success of the Pantry and Library includes community participation.  The concept is that at any time, anybody can donate non-perishable items (food, personal care products, paper goods, school tools, books,etc).  In turn, anybody in the community who needs these items can come and take them. 

If you would like to donate but are unable to physically come to the Pantry or Library, you can still donate using the Amazon wish list: 

https://bit.ly/TBALittlePantryDonation

The items will be delivered from Amazon directly to the temple, and they will be placed in the Pantry or Library.

While the Pantry and Library are on Beth Am’s property, this is really a community project.  We have facilitated a way for neighbors to help neighbors.

Do a mitzvah! Support Social Action!   

For any questions about the Pantry, please contact Contact Sapir Roth 954-257-5275, Steve Iskowitz 954-240-8627 or Maxine Szmulewitz at maxinepaula@gmail.com.

 

For any questions about the library, please contact Contact Sapir Roth 954-257-5275, Steve Iskowitz 954-240-8627 or Ivy Tenenbaum at tenenbaumi9@gmail.com.

REPORTTHATPANTRY.ORG - see the status of the pantry (full, half-full, empty).

 

 

 

ADOPT-A-STREET

As part of our Social Action program, we have partnered with the City of Margate to host street clean-up events at least twice a year, and in exchange for this, the city has posted signs at the north and south ends of our designated route (Rock Island Road, from NW 18th Street to Atlantic Blvd).

Anyone over the age of 12 is welcome. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE. Please see the FAQ section below as it answers some common questions. 

 

FAQs:

Q:  Who is in charge of this project?

A:  Heidi Carmel is the designated leader for this project and has completed all the prerequisite training.

Q:  Where will the event(s) take place?

A:  TBA has been assigned to collect trash along the 1-mile section of sidewalk on Rock Island from NW 18th Street south to Atlantic Boulevard.  We have agreed to collect trash on BOTH SIDES of Rock Island Road to help keep our city clean.  Participants should be physically able to walk 2 MILES (one mile up and one mile back), carrying a bag of trash.  Participants must stay together and walk AGAINST TRAFFIC.  Collected trash will be left at a designated area. 

Q:  How long will it take?

A:  Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how many people participate.

Q:  Can we just show up or do we need to sign up (register) to participate? 

A:  The City requires a week’s notice of our intent to hold a cleanup event.  We will need people to SIGN UP (register) on the Temple website so we know how many participants we can expect.  Please note that participants must be over the age of 12.

Q: Where will we get the trash bags?

A: The City provides trash bags, gloves, and vests for all participants.  Participants are encouraged to wear weather-appropriate clothing, protect themselves from the sun (bring hats and sunglasses, use sunscreen), and bring their own water to keep adequately hydrated. YOU MUST WEAR CLOSED-TOE SHOES.

Q:  Do we need to pick up trash in the gutters/street?

A:  NO! We are NOT to go into the street (i.e., where the traffic is).  We are also discouraged from picking up anything that seems dangerous (Your Project Leader will go over all this prior to the start of the event).

Q:  I am diabetic/have heart problems/use a walker/get sunburned (etc).  Can I participate?

A:  People who may be prone/susceptible to dehydration, low blood sugar, fainting, dizziness, migraines, shortness of breath, heat rashes, and/or any other medical problems, should not participate, and the Project Leader reserves the right to refuse participants. All participants must sign a release/waiver (on site, prior to participating), holding the City of Margate free of liability.

Q:  What if I can only come for an hour?  What if I can’t walk the whole way?

A:  We hope people will come for the whole event, but this is a voluntary event and you do not have to complete the whole thing.  If you can’t complete the entire distance, or you can’t stay the whole time, you can participate for as long as you can, and leave when needed.  We encourage people to complete the full event to make this the best cleanup possible.

Q:  How will I know when a cleanup is scheduled?

A: Cleanup events will be announced the usual ways: The Weekly What’s Happening, email, website, Shabbat bulletin, Shabbat announcements.  Stay tuned!

Q:  I still have some questions.  Whom can I call? 

A:  Please call the Temple office (954.968.4545), Steve Iskowitz (954.240.8627), Sapir Roth (954.257.5275) or Heidi Carmel (954.260.5305).

REVERSE TASCHLICH

Reverse Tashlich: On Rosh Hashanah, the traditional Tashlich service has us throwing bread into a body of water, symbolizing the casting away of our sins. Unfortunately, bread isn’t the only thing people throw in the water. An event called REVERSE TASHLICH usually takes place on the Sunday between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, aiming to remove trash people have thrown on our beaches.  If you missed our recent Third Annual Reverse Tashlich event at the Pompano Pier, please consider joining us at the next one (2024/5785).  More information will be posted here closer to the event.  We do ask that you reigster (if you want more information, go to www.repairthesea.org), so that we have a headcount to provide sufficient supplies.  Wear comfortable cool clothing, consider wearing a hat, and don’t forget sunscreen!  We will provide bottled water.  Expect to spend about 90 minutes.Update this content.

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784