Mitzvah Moments - February 2019
Your monthly news & updates
on how you can Tikkun Olam
Dear TBE Tikkun Olam Community,

Instead of my usual take on the Parshah, I want to quickly share a more personal reflection from my recent trip to Israel. While in Israel, I had the opportunity to visit Leo Baeck, our 'sister community' in Haifa. During my conversation with Rabbi Na'ama Dafni-Kellen, I learned a great deal about the wonderful work the community is doing, as well as the state of Reform and progressive Judaism in Israel.

One of my big takeaways from my time in Israel was the power of partnership - and Leo Baeck was a great example. Along with it being an education center from preschool to high school, it also includes a community center and a synagogue. Leo Baeck is strengthened by its partnerships in Haifa, such as with the Ethiopian and Arab communities, as well as internationally, (including but not limited to TBE).

We too at TBE have many partnerships to take advantage of. As you can see below, our Tikkun Olam opportunities are in partnership with many organizations and communities in the area. We draw strength from our partners, and they draw strength from us. Together, in community, we repair the world.

From Strength to Strength.



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Help Shape Tikkun Olam at TBE
Tikkun Olam Conversation
February 26, 7:00 pm
Join our leadership and help shape Tikkun Olam at TBE. Lend your voice as we explore our capacity to repair our world. RSVP to Sandy at the link!
Tzedakah and Drives
In our Tzedakah Box this month 
Winter Walk
The Winter Walk is a 2 mile walk that supports Boston's homeless population and raises awareness about homelessness in our community. Click the link to donate to the TBE team! Every donation and dollar raised towards this effort to end homelessness makes a difference. Every amount counts.
What we are collecting this month
A Place to Turn - Mini water bottles
A place to Turn provides emergency food and clothing to those in need in the Metrowest area. As part of our Family Social Action project, we are collecting mini water bottles to be part of snack bags for children. Please consider buying a pack of them the next time you are shopping! Look for bins in the TBE atrium.
Family Table
Family Table is Greater Boston's only Jewish food pantry. As a community, each month we are responsible for supplying 50 cans of salmon and 50 boxes of whole grain cereal for families in need. Please bring in a can of salmon or a box of cereal the next time you come to TBE! 
Thank you for a successful January Drives!
Thank you for making our January drives so successful! We had many winter items for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). A big thank you to Jennifer Lawrence for spearheading this effort!
Direct Service
Winter Walk to End Homelessness
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 8:30 am
Join CASA and Racial Justice Initiative members at The Winter Walk, a 2-mile march, shoulder to shoulder as a housed and unhoused community, through the streets of Boston during one the coldest month of the winter. Following the Walk, participants gather on Copley Plaza for a breakfast and to hear stories from our homeless community and from some of the incredible people working on this issue. The Walk is a fundraiser that supports Pine Street Inn (a beloved CASA partner) and other vital organizations that are working to end homelessness and support Boston’s homeless population. TBE member Sheri Kassirer is coordinating the Temple Beth Elohim team.
Information Session on Mentoring First Generation College Students
Sunday, February 10, 2:30 pm
During the High Holy Days, Rabbi Sisenwine mentioned a new partnership with local organizations to mentor first-generation college students. We are partnering with Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters (JBBBS) to provide two distinct college mentoring programs. You have the opportunity to provide much-needed growth and support to these college students. Learn more from current volunteers and program organizers about how you can make a difference. If you are interested, please contact Julie Kreiss at the link.
CASA at Pine Street Inn "Brunch Club"
Sunday, February 24, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
CASA volunteers will provide ingredients, prepare, serve, and share a delicious Sunday brunch with men and women residents at the Beals Street transitional housing complex, run by Pine Street Inn. Up to 8 volunteers needed. CASA volunteers will contribute ingredients for the brunch – you can contribute ingredients even if you are not able to attend! For more info or to RSVP, contact Amy Benjamin at the link.
Family Social Action: Snack Bags for A Place To Turn
Saturday, March 2, 3:00 pm
We welcome you to join Family Social Action Group for a family friendly event benefiting A Place to Turn. We will work together to decorate and assemble snack bags for children in need to take to school.  

Please RSVP (with the number of kids/adults attending) to Sarah Docktor at the link!
TBE Volunteers at JF&CS Family Table
Sunday, March 10, 10:15 am
Come volunteer at New England's largest kosher food pantry, Family Table. During this volunteer opportunity, you will pack and deliver groceries for families in Greater Boston. To volunteer, please contact Jen Lawrence at the link ASAP, as the online registration and a CORI are due by February 25.
Volunteer with our TBE Literacy Program
Do you love to read? Would you like to share your love of reading with children in a one-to-one setting? Please consider joining our Literacy team for a rewarding volunteer experience reading with a child (or two) in grades K to 4 for one hour during the week. Our Temple Beth Elohim Literacy Team is beginning its 21st year of volunteering at the Potter Road School, our partner school in Framingham. You choose any day that fits your schedule. No prior teaching experience is required…just a desire to help a child improve their reading skills. Learn more by contacting Wendy Cultice at the link.
Learning and Social Justice
Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy Opportunity
Right Now!
Our TBE Congregants to Prevent Gun Violence is asking us to secure co-sponsors for two important pieces of legislation. Call or email your MA state representative and ask them to cosponor two bills:
  1. Rep Marjorie Decker's Bill HD2610: "An Act Relative to Crime Gun Data Reporting and Analysis 
  2. Rep Linsky's Bill HD836: "An Act Relative to Universal Background Checks for Private Sales."
You can find contact information for your representative at the link. For more information, contact Janet Goldenberg at
Hot Topics with Rabbi Sisenwine
Sunday, February 3, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
How does Jewish wisdom inform us on grappling with contemporary issues? Abortion? Immigration? Capital Punishment? Join Rabbi Joel Sisenwine in exploring Judaism's ancient wisdom in addressing contemporary concerns. All are welcome. 

To register for this class, please contact Lynn Burke at the link. There is no fee for this class.
Green Team Meeting
Thursday, February 7, 7:30 pm
Join the committee or join for one meeting to discuss their goals of making improvements in temple energy efficiency and educating the community. RSVP to Sheryl Goodridge at the link!
Me2/Orchestra Shabbat Dinner and Concert
Friday, February 15, 2019
We are excited to partner with and bring in the Me2/Orchestra for a special Shabbat evening. Me2/ (“me, too”) is the world’s only classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them. We will have a shabbat dinner followed by a concert. The evening will be interwoven with stories about mental illness.
Save the Date
Community Read of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 pm
Join us as we explore Robin DiAngelo's groundbreaking work describing the dominant white's culture's role in maintaining racial bias in society - and how it can be changed.  The goal of this discussion is a step towards creating justice for a racial minority that has experienced unfair treatment since the founding of the United States of America. We will be led in the discussion by Dr. Kathy McDonough, an experienced guide with more than 15 years of experience supporting groups seeking to understand these systems, engage in critical self-reflection and work for justice. RSVP to Sheri at the link.
Facing Ourselves and Others in Complicated Times: A Series of TBE Congregant Conversations
Session 3: When Hatred Hits The Headlines
Wednesday, March 13, 2019. 7:00 pm
Join TBE and Facing History and Ourselves as we contribute to building and strengthening our TBE community with the foundational values of inclusion, love and understanding. We continue with part 3 of a four-part series, as we connect to the stories of Jewish immigrants and refugees to gain a new perspective on the contemporary issues surrounding immigration today. You do not need to have attended the first session to attend this one! Learn more and RSVP at the link.
Immigration Justice Benefit Concert in support of Beyond the Bond and Legal Defense Fund, with Noah Aronson
Sunday, March 17, 2019, 4:00 pm
Temple Emanuel,  385 Ward St, Newton, MA 02459, USA
The TBE Immigration Justice Initiative is organizing a fundraising concert with Noah Aronson and his band. Proceeds will benefit the Beyond Bond and Legal Defense Fund, which helps immigrants obtain their release from ICE detention and reunite with their families.
Suffolk County D.A. Rachel Rollins at Temple Israel
Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Time TBA
Temple Israel,  477 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA
Join our Racial Justice Initiative as DA Rollins will be interviewed by Rashaan Hall of the ACLU. There will then be a Q&A session with the audience. This is a great opportunity to hear from one of the new District Attorneys in MA after a very large "what a difference a DA makes" campaign. Her election represents a potentially radical change to how criminal prosecutions are conducted in Massachusetts and has far reaching implication to the criminal justice system and the community as a whole. RSVP to Sheri at the link
In Case You Missed It
February Bulletin focuses on Caring Community
The February Bulletin showcases the impact of our Caring Community. To quote Carolyn Kohlman, our VP of Caring Community, "In reaching out to congregants, we live our Jewish values and feel the joy of being part of something bigger than ourselves." Read more of the bulletin at the link.
Volunteer with our partners
Help us and our partners repair the world!
Volunteer at Centre Street Food Pantry in Newton
Centre Street Food Pantry's mission is to provide families with consistent access to nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment. As many as 85 families shop each time they open! They are looking for volunteers to help during pantry hours: Tuesdays 12:00-1:30 pm and 3:00-8:00 pm, and the first Saturday of the month 11:00am-2:00pm. Shifts are available in 2 hour increments and you can come as often or as little as you want. For more information, contact Risa Shames at the link. Contact Risa Shames for more information
Be a Big Brother or Big Sister
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, one of the nation’s oldest mentoring organizations, transforms lives through friendship. Be a mentor to children and adults with disabilities. Approximately 40 Little Brothers and Sisters, and a roughly equal number of adults with disabilities, are waiting on a right-fit match.  
Support TBE Members Doing Good Works
MAVEN Project
TBE Physicians - Retired, Semi-Retired, In Industry and In Practice: 
Use your clinical expertise and make a difference - join us for an easy, fun, flexible and rewarding opportunity! The MAVEN Project seeks primary and speciality care physicians to provide advice, mentorship, and education via telehealth technology to clinic providers working in underserved communities. Join TBE Member Lisa Bard Levine in this important opportunity! Click the link to learn more or volunteer.
Tikkun Olam Calendar!
Along with our new newsletter, we are launching a calendar of all of our Tikkun Olam Opportunities, right on the website. In one central place, see how you can repair the world with TBE! 
What are Mitzvah Moments?
This Mitzvah Moments monthly e-newsletter provides a monthly snapshot of upcoming Tikkun Olam events, with links to more information. The goal of the newsletter is to improve communication, lift awareness of Tikkun Olam events and provide opportunities for the TBE community to come together throughout the year to combine community, compassion and connection.

The ultimate goal of Tikkun Olam at TBE is to provide integrated “Mitzvah Moments” throughout the year which enable the whole temple community to participate in direct service opportunities, education about social justice, and/or 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. 
Tikkun Olam Youth and Community Organizer
Vice President of Tikkun Olam