Helping the Community
Our commitment to repair the world guides our social-action outreach
As Jews, we believe Torah obligates us to to help repair the world in ways large and small. Sherith Israel volunteers engage in many programs to assist our community.
Jewish Coalition for Literacy
Sherith Israel volunteers have been involved in the mitzvah of teaching and encouraging children to read since 1999. Donating just one hour a week, our dedicated volunteers share the wonders of the written word, the magic of books and the joy of reading with at-risk children from some of San Francisco’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Our JCL program, supported by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, is part of the Bay Area Jewish Coalition for Literacy and an affiliate of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy.
JCL information: Janet Parker, 415.282.1495 or email Janet.
Reform CA seeks to create a more just and compassionate California. To help, we join with Reform congregations across California in a joint campaign led by Just Congregations, the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism, and the Peace and Justice Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Being part of Reform CA allows us to add a Jewish voice to statewide issues, such as AB 953, the recently enacted bill to end racial and identity profiling. Other Reform CA opportunities include building relationships with non-Jewish congregations, being “on-call” to contact our representatives in support of social-justice campaigns and joining with others for a book-group style read of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Teaching tikkun olam (repairing the world) is the essence of Mitzvah Day, held twice each year. Mitzvah Day enables Religious School students and their parents to spend a Sunday morning doing service projects around San Francisco, often at the San Francisco Food Bank. Mitzvah Day teaches the values essential to our heritage and puts into action what is taught in our classrooms. Congregants of any age are welcome.
Mitzvah Day information: Nancy Sheftel-Gomes, 415.346.1720, x28, or email Nancy.
Caring for Aging Loved Ones
CSI is part of an interfaith group of congregations working to improve conditions for the aging population in San Francisco and to support each other in caring for aging loved ones.
Information: Email Mikiko Huang.
Learning opportunities and new initiatives
As new issues arise, Sherith Israel responds. In coming months we will be working with HIAS on refugee resettlement issues. We recently held an event on listening respectfully to others’ opinions about Israel, and we have had speakers from NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). Each year we hold special Shabbat discussions on contemporary issues relating to the law (Shabbat Yitro) and medicine and health care (Shabbat Metzora). And we often have Friday evening Shabbat guests speaking about various social-action/justice topics and inviting our involvement.
See our calendar for upcoming social action events.