Tikkun Olam – repairing the world – is how we respond to the inequity in our imperfect world, through social action and the pursuit of social justice. Temple Beth-El of Great Neck has a long tradition of purposeful action in the work of tikkun olam.
At Temple Beth-El, tikkun olam is not a special event, rather a daily part of our communal life, where congregants pursue justice and act with loving-kindness. Our social action program, through our Social Action Committee, has three principles:
Education. Action. Advocacy.
Each of these is important and connected to our programming. We support activities focused on social justice, including the environment and decreasing hunger and poverty on Long Island.
Education includes a bi-annual event called Social Action Roundtables, which alternates annually with a Social Action Shabbat. Topics covered are selected by our council members and connect our Jewish values to social justice initiatives relevant at the local, state, and national level. We are interested in hunger and homelessness on LI, our environment, anti-war efforts, separation of church and state and freedom of speech and, of course, Israel as our Jewish State. Temple Beth-El’s Israeli Affairs Committee keeps our focus on issues effecting Israel, issues affecting us.
And education means understanding … in particular understanding our neighbors. To this end, Temple Beth-El has long been a leader with our Black-Jewish Dialogue (talking and sharing with our neighbors from Mount Olive Baptist Church and others in the Great Neck-Manhasset community, especially in the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., Shabbat).
Action includes supporting walks, marches, volunteering at soup kitchens to provide hot meals to those less fortunate, Mitzvah of the Month activities, food drives, pajama drives, purchasing roses from Israel, the Tzedakah Project during the Thanksgiving to Christmas time of year, funds for relief work, blood drives and supporting community supported agriculture programs and fall gleanings.
Advocacy includes letter writing to legislators on diverse topics of interest to congregants, including letters to Jewish soldiers serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Social Action at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck is inter-generational and encompasses all congregants. We encourage programming ideas from all of the temple’s arms to assure our ideas reflect the interests of all temple groups. Our goal is to connect Jewish values to our daily lives and to think about social justice in small steps each day as a community seeking equality and peace. These small steps engage each of us in Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World, locally and globally.
Join our conversations on compelling Jewish issues, Panim el Panim, either face to face at meetings and programs or by email updates.