Action lies at the heart of Judaism. Doing Jewish is central to being Jewish. For generations, we have been inspired to act by the mitzvot (commandments) found in the Torah and Rabbinic tradition. Mitzvot connect us to each other and to God as we seek to make the world we live in a better place for all. Reform Judaism articulates a vision of a future that each of us plays a part in creating through our deeds to improve the world through acts of Tikkun Olam (social justice; literally ‘repairing the world’).
Mitzvot take on many forms – ways of volunteering within Congregation B’nai Shalom to support our programs, activities and fellow members, and helping causes and needs in the greater community.
Social Action Focus: Homelessness
Advocacy – in order to address some of the underlying causes of homelessness, education about the issues
Education – for our youth and our adult population to better understand issues related to homelessness and what we can do, and
Action – through volunteering, fundraising, collections of goods, and more.
To help steer these efforts and add your talents and passions, please contact the Social Action Chairpersons.
In addition to projects and volunteering opportunities generated throughout the year by our Social Action committee, we are dedicated to helping congregants who bring a passion to a specific volunteering opportunity make use of the volunteer capacity of our congregation to support their project whenever possible.
The Religious Action Center (RAC) of the Union for Reform Judaism
For more than 50 years, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (or “the RAC”) has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C. As the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism, the RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more. As a member of the URJ, social action at Congregation B’nai Shalom is guided by core values espoused by our movement. The RAC provides opportunities to learn about social justice advocacy with a teen program called ‘L’Taken’ (to repair) that our Confirmation class attends every year, and an annual convention, ‘The Consultation on Conscience’. The RAC provides resources on how to bring the lens of Jewish ethical teachings to respond to contemporary issues in the social and political realm. To respond to RAC calls for advocacy on a range of issues currently under consideration in draft legislation, click here. To learn more about the RAC, click here.
Ongoing Volunteering opportunities
CBS Cares is our congregation-wide online network that enables us to provide for the short-term needs of fellow congregants recovering from illness, recent surgery, or mourning a recent loss. All members are part of town or area-based groups, so that neighbors can meet neighbors, and members can help each other locally. Drop off a meal, help with an occasional trip to a doctor’s appointment, make a friendly visit, or help set up refreshments at a shiva for someone in mourning. Contact our CBS Cares coordinator to learn more.
Sisterhood Oneg Hosts
Every family in our congregation who is able-bodied is asked to host a dessert Oneg after a Shabbat service approximately once every two years. In addition, a dedicated team of Sisterhood members take in turns to be team coordinators, following a simple check-list of tasks. Please contact our Sisterhood Leadership if you can help a few times a year.
Brotherhood Café Shalom
On a Sunday morning when a family program is in session, members of Brotherhood are there to provide bagels, muffins and hot coffee for sale at Café Shalom. The guys take it in turns to cover about 10-12 Sunday mornings a year. They also assemble a team to help cook and serve at the annual Brotherhood end of year BBQ. Please contact our Brotherhood President if you can help out.
Our congregation takes a turn as part of an interfaith network providing and serving a meal approximately every six weeks at Northborough Community Meals, hosted at Trinity Church, Northborough. Drop food off at the temple, or come to the church to help serve and interact with local people who come in search of a hot meal and some company. See the temple calendar for upcoming dates.