The challenges that confront our greater community are daunting, yet we accept the teaching of Rabbi Tarfon in Pirkei Avot (2:16): "You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to resist from trying."
We can all do more to improve the lives of other people living in the greater Houston area. As Jews, and as a congregation, we are strong when we care for the weak; we are rich when we care for the poor; we are invulnerable when we care for the vulnerable.
In the upcoming year, please join me in helping other people who are truly in need? A special thank you to our Social Action chairs, Melissa Levin and Samantha Melman, for helping me identify these meaningful social action opportunities.
Rabbi Brian Strauss
To view the 2018 Social Action Booklet click here. Select the projects you may want to participate in and send an email to our chairs, Melissa Levin and Samantha Melman, including your selection and best phone number. They will send you more information!
Search Homeless Services (SEARCH)
Search Homeless Services has many other volunteer needs, including Adult Literacy Tutors, Kitchen and Resource Center assistants, client intake assistants, and volunteers at the House of Tiny Treasures Early Childhood Center. SEARCH also has many in-kind needs such as hygiene items, cleaning supplies, backpacks, diapers and more. These items are essential to SEARCH's mission to transition the lives of the homeless, and collecting them makes an excellent mitzvah project for B'nai Mitzvah students.
Beth Yeshurun's Caring Community (BYCC)
Join our new synagogue support network! Help fellow congregants in need of rides to medical appointments, or to synagogue; make calls to congregants who are homebound, or visit those who live in retirement homes. Share a holiday meal in your home, or help out-of-town patients and families in Houston for medical treatment with needs such as meals and babysitting. We hope to compile a large list of people willing to reach out to fellow congregants who need support. No special skills needed! There is no specific time commitment, just an agreement to be called upon as needs arise, and respond if and when you are available.
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center Meals on Wheels (ERJCC)
Volunteers bring hot meals and a friendly contact to over 300 homebound seniors in southwest Houston each day. This unique program is possible only because of caring volunteers in our community. Driving a route takes 1 to 1 ½ hours, beginning any time between 10:30am and 11:30am, Monday through Friday. Volunteers are also welcome at most anytime to help sort canned goods and pack lunches at the ERJCC. Support the ERJCC Meals on Wheels Grocery Donation Program every time you come to Beth Yeshurun. You can help provide weekend meals for our community’s seniors by bringing single-serving, non-perishable items & dropping them off in our collection baskets by the main office, the school entrance, & in the Bender/Levy lobby. Suggested items include canned tuna or chicken, canned soup, spaghetti or pasta, fruit cups, juice boxes, Ensure, saltine or peanut butter crackers.
Voices in Prayer:
On the second Friday of each month, a small but meaningful Shabbat service is held at the Richmond State School, a facility for mentally retarded adults located 25 miles from Houston. The caring staff sets a beautiful Shabbat table and brings together the 6-10 Jewish residents. All that is needed is your "voice" to say the blessings and lead a few brief prayers. The time of day is flexible, morning or afternoon, and the service itself takes 15-20 minutes. This special Mitzvah was established through the dedicated efforts of Beth Yeshurun member Ileene Robinson. The need is for volunteers willing to participate once or twice a year. Ileene will contact you for scheduling, and give you instructions & driving directions. To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Ileene at or 713-621-2402.