Our Temple Beth El Offices will be closed on Monday, May 21 for Shalom Park's observance of the second day of Shavuot. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Choose from a variety of projects to help our neighbors in need.

MITZVAH DAY

Temple Beth El congregants come together once a year, to perform mitzvot (good deeds) and help with Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). We meet at 8:30 am in the David Silverman Social Hall for a bagel breakfast and then break off to work on our community service projects, There is a project for everyone; preschoolers, school age children, teenagers, and grown-ups. Find the project that works for you and your family!

Time Commitment: 1-3 hours

Save the Date: Mitzvah Day- May 19, 2019

BY THE NUMBERS

Tzedek Council by the Numbers, February 5, 2018

Tikkun olam and social justice can’t always be measured and evaluated by the numbers, but here’s a few numbers that provide a snapshot of social action and justice at Temple Beth El.

Giving Tree 2017
Total gifts collected:  285

  • Delivered to Jewish Family Services
    • Gift cards:  25
    • Presents:  11
  • Delivered to Sterling Elementary
    • 50 children from 41 different families received presents — a toy, a book, and an educational item.  Each of the 41 families received a Wal-Mart gift card and a toiletry kit/washcloths.
    • 6 children from other families received coats.

Hurricane Relief
Money donated by TBE congregants in 2017:  $2,250 divided equally among:

  • Hurricane Harvey relief:  Houston Jewish Federation
  • Hurricane Irma relief: Fort Myers Federation
  • Hurricane Maria relief:  Temple Beth Shalom, Reform synagogue in Puerto Rico

Jewish Community Refugee Initiative (JCRI)

  • Jewish Federation Impact grant awarded to create Welcoming the Stranger to the Table event later in 2018:  $1,800
  • Winter coat drive
  • Coats received:  119
  • Cold weather items (hats, gloves, scarves) received:  43

Mitzvah Day 2017

  • Number of projects:  23
  • Number of participating congregants:  Over 450

Navigating Aging programs

  • Attendees at December 2017 program:  Approximately 35
  • Attendees at January 2018 program:  Approximately 50

Purim Bags

  • Bags delivered in 2016 to seniors, shut-ins, & TBE staff in 2017:  190
  • Expected number of bags to be delivered in 2018:  200

Project Snowflake

  • Number of TBE volunteers serving breakfast/lunch at Men’s Shelter: 13
  • Number of casseroles provided by TBE volunteers: 10
  • Number of children’s pajamas donated to Women’s Shelter:  32
  • Number/amount of gift cards donated to Women’s Shelter:  28

Room in the Inn (RITI):

  • Estimated numbers for 2017-2018 season still in process
  • Number of Jewish volunteers serving neighbors.
  • Number of homeless neighbors served:  84

Shalom Green
In 2017:

  • Volunteers maintaining community garden:  Over 60
  • Pounds of food produced by garden and donated to local charities:  Over 200
  • Children visiting garden for educational programs:  Over 600

Shalom Park Freedom School
In 2017:

  • Number of scholars benefitting from program:  75
  • Number of volunteers:  180
  • Number of TBE volunteers on 2018 steering committee:  14

Sterling Elementary

  • Congregants volunteering on weekly basis:  23
  • Giving tree — see above

Urban Ministry Kitchen
2017 numbers (Note – TBE serves only on months with a 5th Sunday)

  • Number of times Beth El responsible to make lunch on Sunday:  4
  • Number of Beth El volunteers participating:  48

STERLING ELEMENTARY PARTNERSHIP

Our Temple “adopted” Sterling Elementary School as part of CMS’s Faith Community Partnership program. We need volunteers to get involved. What can you do?

  • Teach a child to read.
  • Help a child improve math skills.
  • Be a lunch buddy.
  • Help a teacher as an assistant or tutor.
  • Do “busy” work for teachers in the comfort of your own home (collating papers, stapling, sorting, and the like).
  • Donate new or gently used books or student incentives for a classroom.
  • Donate a computer to a needy family.We guarantee the time you spend with these bright, curious children and their teachers will leave you smiling and will make all the difference in their lives!
    Email Kim Wilkoff or call (610) 639-4705 to volunteer or find out more!

 

THE PURIM BAG PROJECT (SHALACH MANOT)

Are you passionate about aiding seniors – and looking for a way to make an impact in a short time?  We’ve got a satisfying volunteer project with your name on it.

Every year, Temple Beth El volunteers deliver 200 Shalach Manot Purim bags to seniors and homebound congregants.  Gifts of food are part of the Purim tradition.  Recipients love receiving their bags and seeing a friendly face from temple.

There are lots of ways to get involved:

  • Shop, assemble, and deliver the bags – and maybe grab a few friends to join you!
  • Donate cash, which we’ll use to buy hamantaschen, fruit, and candy. Send a check payable to Temple Beth El and put Purim Bags in the memo line.

Email Karen to volunteer or learn more.

TZEDEK COUNCIL

The Tzedek Council is committed to inform, educate, and involve the members of Temple Beth El in the doing of ‘Good Deeds’, ‘Mitzvot’, in the Jewish Community, and in the greater Charlotte Community. This Council will raise the level of consciousness of our congregation and hopefully our children and make a difference.

VOLUNTEER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

SHALOM PARK FREEDOM SCHOOL

The Shalom Park Freedom School (SPFS) is a collaboration of eight Shalom Park agencies working together to combat summer learning loss by providing a six-week literacy, character-building summer program for 80 low-income elementary school students. The first Jewish-sponsored Children’s Defense Freedom School® in the country, SPFS serves scholars from Sterling and Huntingtowne Farms elementary schools, the two schools in faith-based partnerships with Temple Beth El and Temple Israel. The camp runs from mid-June to late July. For more information or to volunteer, visit our website or email us.

SHALOM GREEN

The Levine JCC, Temple Beth El, Temple Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte and the Foundation of Shalom Park have teamed up for the Shalom Park Environmental Initiative – SHALOM GREEN. Together we are working to reduce the Carbon Footprint of Shalom Park facilities and operations, educate the community about Jewish environmental values, and operate the new Shalom Park Community Garden. For more information, check out these links or email environmental@shalomcharlotte.org

Find us on facebook and tweet us on Twitter

More information about the Shalom Park Community Garden

PROJECT SNOWFLAKE

You can be an “angel” for those who need a well-deserved night off during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Volunteers are needed to relieve staff members in men’s and women’s shelters, hospitals and social service centers. Contact Merle Gottheim.

Time Commitment: About 3 hours

ROOM IN THE INN

Sponsored by Urban Ministries Center, Room in the Inn provides shelter and food for homeless people during the winter months. Temple Beth El, Temple Israel and the Levine JCC join together to host our homeless “neighbors” from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The RITI volunteers, help as:

  • Monitoring overnight
  • Preparing or serving breakfast or lunch
  • Setting up (making beds, setting up tables and chairs)
  • Cleaning up (putting beds away, cleaning kitchen)
  • Driving (picking up and dropping off “neighbors”)

This is a great opportunity to include your teenagers so they can get a glimpse of the difficulties our less fortunate neighbors face on cold nights on the Charlotte streets. You can find out more information through the Urban Ministry Center. Contact Patty Torcellini to volunteer.

See upcoming Room in the Inn dates on our calendar

Time commitment: Varies (can be as quick as preparing food or as long as overnight)

URBAN MINISTRIES SOUP KITCHEN

Volunteers gather at the Urban Ministries Center on the 5th Sunday of appropriate months (four times a year) to prepare and serve soup and sandwiches for Urban Ministries Center’s homeless clients. Contact Gloria Peper.

Time Commitment: A 3-4 hour time commitment is typically needed on these Sundays.

B'NEI MITZVAH PROJECTS

Once they begin preparing for their simcha, all Temple Beth El students are expected to complete a b’nei mitzvah project. B’nei mitzvah students will:

  • spend 13 hours on this project.
  • pick a project enjoyable enough for them to want to continue even after their big day.
  • have contact with the people they are assisting. For example, if there is a donation collection, the b’nei mitzvah student will personally deliver the donations to the people in need.

Peruse this Action and Justice Project section for some b’nei mitzvah project ideas. Contact Rabbi Dusty Klass for more information.

JEWISH COMMUNITY REFUGEE INITIATIVE (JCRI)

The Jewish Community Refugee Initiative (JCRI) a lay-driven project supported by several Shalom Park agencies, empowers members of the Jewish community to assist refugees in Charlotte. The goal is to educate the Charlotte Jewish community about the plight and needs of the refugees so that we can help these families adjust and thrive here in their new home of Charlotte, North Carolina.

As this effort is an “initiative” rather than an establishment of a non-profit organization, JCRI is partnering with two well-regarded and successful organizations here in Charlotte:  Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA) and Refugee Support Services (RSS). Our partnership with CRRA & RSS will bring volunteer, donation, education & advocacy opportunities to the Jewish community for those interested in learning about and helping our community’s refugees.

Time Commitment: There are a variety of ways to help. You may volunteer only an hour or two of your time, or make a weekly, monthly or long-term commitment.  Many, but not all, volunteer opportunities involve direct interaction with the refugees.

Donating Clothes, Toys or Furniture:  We can always find a home for gently-used goods you no longer need or your kids have outgrown.  Think of us for donations from basketballs to beds. Contact Linda Hindel.

Questions? Contact JCRI co-chairs Penny Lipsitz or Amy Lefkof.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY

Addressing domestic violence is an opportunity for all of us to examine how we conduct our personal relationships and to face how we deal with people who are in trouble. As a problem for adults, families, and teens, it is an issue that cuts across all committees and programs, just as domestic abuse cuts across all socio-economic, educational and religious groups.
Few synagogues, however, acknowledge that abuse happens in the Jewish community. In 2007 Temple Beth El not only formally acknowledged it, but resolved to address it by becoming a “safe haven” – a community that promotes safety, justice and healing; and by working to end it through education and awareness-raising activities (see Resolution on Domestic Abuse).

Click Here for a Domestic Violence Resource Guide

In working toward these goals Temple Beth El has initiated or collaborated in many ground-breaking efforts including:
• Dedicated weekend in October and throughout month to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
• Dedicated activities in February for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
• Tailored educational programs for teens, women and men.
• Promotional materials including Resource Guide to programs and services

To become involved or for more information contact
Marsha Stickler at mstickler48@gmail.com.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

In 2010 the Temple Beth El Board passed a resolution authorizing institutional advocacy to address the underlying causes of homelessness and expanding affordable housing, recognizing the commitment of member families, the Reform movement and the tenets of our faith to this cause.

Empowered by this resolution, TBE has collaborated on education, advocacy and program changes in our community:

  • the award-winning documentary “Souls of Our Neighbors”
  • a community website for volunteers now adopted by the Homeless Services Network www.SolveThePuzzleCharlotte.org,
  • a pilot program moving families out of homelessness, resulting in the formation of the Moving Ministry at Crisis Assistance Ministry, and
  • A Way Home, a public/private endowment led by the Foundation For The Carolinas to provide rental subsidies.

Congregants interested in getting involved are invited to contact Judy Seldin-Cohen.