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Volunteer

Service (Tzedakah)

Tzedakah is a vibrant element at Temple Isaiah and is vital to the fulfillment of our values around Tikkun Olam. This is important work, and we are blessed to be able to perform these mitzvot. Volunteers in any area are always welcome.

Here are the current opportunities to serve:

Blood Drives (February & May)
Bristol Lodge (monthly September – June)
Family Table (year-round)
Kesharim: Connecting People with Disabilities to Jewish Life (annual event)
Knitzvah (two groups meet monthly on Sundays and Mondays)
Lex Eat Together (Wednesdays)
Lexington Food Pantry (Two Saturdays a month from September – June)
Lexington Interfaith Garden (April to frost)
Mental Health Initiative Team
Mitzvah Day (May)
Navigating the Challenges of Aging Committee
Project Ezra (usually December 24 & 25)

Blood Drives (February and May)
Temple Isaiah hosts blood drives in February and May that are open to the greater community. Donors can feel good about giving back while at the same time helping the Red Cross fulfill their mission of ensuring the availability of a safe and reliable blood supply. If you would like to volunteer to welcome and register donors during the day of the drive, please contact Janey Solis or Leah Baigell at vptikkun@templeisaiah.net. Upcoming drives are scheduled on Monday, February 6, 2017, and Monday, May 22, 2017.

Bristol Lodge (One Sunday/Month)
The mission of Bristol Lodge is to provide shelter, food, counseling, and support to homeless individuals in the Waltham area. Volunteers prepare a salad, potato or chicken dish at home and deliver the food to the Temple between 8:30 a.m. and noon on the first Sunday of the month (September through June). Recipes are provided. To volunteer, contact Sally Huebscher or Janey Solis.

Family Table (year-round)
Family Table provides groceries and service connections to more than 400 families in need in more than 100 towns across the Greater Boston area. Temple Isaiah has been a part of that effort for many years. This year, Temple Isaiah has made the commitment to collect the following items for monthly delivery to Family Table:

  • 60 boxes of rice (preferably unflavored brown rice)
  • 60 of crackers (preferably whole wheat and low sodium)

All congregants are welcome to deposit the requested food items in the designated box in the Temple lobby. To volunteer to deliver food to Family Table, please contact Janey Solis or email vptikkun@templeisaiah.net.

K'Sharim: Connecting People with Disabilities to Jewish Life 
Temple Isaiah has joined the K’Sharim network of Boston area temples of all denominations that host annual Jewish activities for adults and older teens with disabilities. In December 2015, we hosted the event “Jews Around the World,” in which we celebrated traditions, enjoyed music and dance, sampled foods from different cultures, and set up games and crafts. To volunteer to help us plan and host our K'Sharim event in December 2016, please contact Ruthie Liberman. Also, please contact Ruthie with names and email addresses of friends or loved ones who may wish to attend the event.

Knitzvah (link to page) (monthly on Monday and Sunday)
Knitzvah is a Temple-wide group that meets year-round to share conversation and coffee/tea while knitting or crocheting for others. Learn More

Lex Eat Together (Wednesdays)
The mission of Lex Eat Together is to provide a weekly nutritious dinner in a setting that respects the privacy and dignity of those who come to the table. All are welcome to come to dinner on Wednesday evening at Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington. A lot of work goes into providing each meal, from setting up and cooking to serving and clearing. To volunteer, please contact Laura Derby. Visit website.

Lexington Food Pantry (2 Saturdays each month)
The Lexington Food Pantry is a nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers from local congregations including Temple Isaiah. On the first and third Saturdays of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Temple Isaiah provides five volunteers to distribute packaged food and produce, including fresh produce from the Lexington Interfaith Garden, to approximately 50 to 80 local families who are in need. Visit Lexington Food Pantry website. To volunteer, contact Jane Kramer.

Lexington Interfaith Garden (April to frost)
The Lexington Interfaith Garden was founded in 2010 with the goal of supplying the Lexington Food Pantry with sustainable and organically grown vegetables. On Tuesdays during the growing season, volunteers from two or three congregations come to plant, weed, and harvest. Visit Interfaith Garden website. To volunteer, contact Joyce Greif.

The Mental Health Initiative Team
The Mental Health Initiative Team formed in 2012 with a goal of bringing the issue of mental health challenges into the open. The team has offered educational programs, provided opportunities for advocacy, and has run training sessions on the concept of stigma within the Temple and beyond. View recent Mental Health Team Initiatives. If you have any questions or suggestions or would like to get involved, please contact Cynthia Piltch.

Mitzvah Day
Mitzvah Day is our annual day of community service in May when we invite our entire congregation to help repair the world in a number of ways. There are opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate in projects in-house and out in the community. Planning starts early, and we collect materials and accept monetary donations year round. Please email the Mitzvah Day Committee with questions or ideas for new projects. Learn More 

Navigating the Challenges of Aging
In 2014, a group of interested congregants wanted to begin a congregational conversation to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial/legal challenges of aging that most families experience. Programs have been held on the following topics: housing and community resources for elders, the Conversation Project (final wishes), elder law and financial planning, hospice and palliative care, Shiva and other Jewish rituals about death (with the Temple’s Bereavement Committee), chronic disease self-management (hosted by Minuteman Senior Services), and caring for someone with dementia (with the Temple’s Mental Health Initiative).

If you have ideas for more programs and would like to work with this group, contact Carol Sacerdote. If you would like to join the Isaiah Together Aging Parents Group, contact Judy Stein or Pavlik Mintz.

Project Ezra 
Every year, usually on December 24 and December 25, Temple Isaiah and Shir Tikvah in Winchester collaborate to prepare a full Christmas dinner for approximately 80 families in need as designated by local area social service agencies. For more information, email projectezra@templeisaiah.net. Learn more. In 2016, Project Ezra volunteers will gather on Friday morning, December 23.

Tue, November 21 2017 3 Kislev 5778