TIKUN OLAM: SOCIAL ACTION AT BETH EL
Tikun Olam means to "heal the world". Given the enormity of this task, our Tikun Olam committee is trying to achieve this goal in a number of ways.
Tikun Olam has distributed tens of thousands of dollars to organizations whose purpose is to help those in need. Tikun Olam also provides teams of volunteers to work in the pantry of Operation Hope, a free homeless shelter and food collection center.
Helping Operation Hope - Cooks Needed
Operation Hope provides the opportunity for individuals and families to experience transformative change. By addressing basic needs for food and shelter, as well as offering long-term solutions to hunger and homelessness, including affordable housing, life skills training and personalized clinical support, we help people reach their potential in an environment where compassion inspires dignity and hope.
Operation Hope counts on our synagogue to provide 2-3 dinners a month for their 50 guests, including men, women and children. We know Fall is a busy time but Operation Hope needs your help. If cooking on your own feels like too much, get together with your friends and divide up the meal. Operation Hope thanks you.
Please click here to sign-up for a specific day.
Please e-mail Peri Cook at Peri1118@aol.com or Tara Cook-Littman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Look for the Tikun Olam Update column in the Beth El Bulletin which alerts congregants to various needs within the community. Here are some examples of areas that Beth El and its members are involved in:
- Delivering hot kosher meals for homebound elderly in conjunction with Jewish
Family Service every Thursday and Friday.
- Membership in the Bridgeport Children's Advocacy Coalition (BCAC).
- High Holiday Food Collection for Operation Hope Food Pantry.
- Annual gift of the Congregation to Operation Hope - Shelter for the homeless
and soup kitchen for the hungry in Fairfield (approx. $2500).
- Families cooking and serving meals for the shelter guests (4 meals per month).
- Volunteers working and helping at all levels in Operation Hope and Micah
Housing from the board-to committee chairs-to those doing clerical tasks.
- Preparing and serving breakfast on Christmas Day for Operation Hope.
- Pre-Pesach (cleaning the Hametz) food drive for the benefit of the Food Pantry
at Operation Hope.
- Assisting Operation Hope with their food drives and sorting and stocking their food pantry after the Postal Workers' Food Drive in May (40-50 thousand pounds).
- Food for Bridge House.
- Bringing apples, honey and cake to poor and elderly Jews for the High
- Bringing lulav and etrog to Jewish patients in the hospital.
- Lighting Hanukkah candles with Jewish patients in the hospital.
- Collecting toiletries, used clothing and toys and delivering them to local shelters, including Operation Hope, The Center for Women and Families, Thomas Merton House, Prospect House, Alpha Home, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Family Matters at Calvary Church.
- Collecting toys at Hanukkah for Toys for Tots Collection with Beth El PTO.
- Bringing flowers (and a smile) to hospital patients.
- Assisting Jewish Federation at Used Clothing Distribution Center.
- Membership in the Community Relations Committeeof the UJA/Federation of
Eastern Fairfield County.
- Collecting socks and gloves (singles or pairs) for the Bridgeport Rescue
Mission to distribute to those in need.
- Assisting individuals and families in dire financial need.
- Volunteers tutoring school children in Bridgeport in reading and participating
in the Read-Aloud Program through the Jewish Coalition for Literacy.
- Collecting children's books for public school children in Bridgeport.
- St.Jude's Ranch - used holiday cards sent for art projects.
- Military Project - sending needed items to a Marine unit stationed in a remote
area in Iraq.
- Passover baskets for service men and women in Iraq.
Congregation Beth El has made gifts to a variety of local, national, and international organizations which bring relief to those in need and suffering. They include:
- Alpha Home
- Alyn Hospital - rehabilitation center for handicapped children in Israel
- America's Second Harvest
- American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
- American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
- American Jewish World Service
- A.R.M.D.I.- American Red Magen David for Israel
- AMIT - Helps Jewish orphans in Israel
- Boys Town Jerusalem
- Bridge House
- Bridgeport Education Fund
- Bridgeport Rescue Mission
- Caring Connections
- Caroline House
- CAVITH (Communities Against Violence in the Home)
- Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County
- Community Closet
- Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport (for Janus House)
- Dorot - feeding program for homebound elderly
- Emunah - a facility in Afula, Israel, in which children from dysfunctional families can live and go to school in a loving environment
- Family Services Woodfield
- Feed the Children-Disaster Relief
- GOALD (Greater Opportunities for Adults with Learning Disabilities)
- Goodwill - Thanksgiving dinners for the needy
- Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation
- Greater Bridgeport Interfaith Action
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
- Israel Action Committee - helping victims of terrorism in Israel
- Jewish Chaplain's Council of JWB
- Jewish Family Service
- Kennedy Center
- Lifeline for the Old (Israel)
- Meir Panim-Relief Centers in Israel
- Micah Housing
- NACOEJ (North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry)
- Project H.O.P.E. - improving health care in communities around the world
- Project H.O.P.E.- Passover baskets for the needy thru B'Nai Brith
- Prospect House Connecticut Food Bank
- Regional Network of Programs - Prospect House Transportation Fund
- Salvation Army - Disaster relief, food for the hungry
- Save the Children
- School Volunteer Association
- St. Stephen's Food Pantry (through NCJW)
- The Conservative Yeshiva of the United Synagogue, Jerusalem
- Thomas Merton House
- Torah Fund of the Jewish Theological Seminary
- UJA Federation-Disaster Relief
- UJC - Emergency Relief Fund
- USCJ-Disaster Relief
- Warm Thy Neighbor
- Ziv Tzedakah Fund