The Social Action Committee’s mission is to highlight Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah as a caring community. We facilitate the congregation’s participation in acts of hesed (loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repair of the world). We also provide opportunities to educate ourselves about ways we can serve those in need in our local community as well as the community at large. Most importantly, we welcome new members who are passionate about issues of social justice.
As you all know, these last few months have been a time of uncertainty and social unrest in our country. How do we want to respond? When we hear the shofar at High Holidays, will we follow the hidden message of the shofar that Maimonides stated to “Awaken from your sleep and do teshuva”? Elie Wiesel once said that there is a new commandment that “Thou shalt not stand idly by”. The theme of our volunteer activities is to not stand idly by and focus on racial equity and social justice. Obviously, these activities are only a small smattering of what you can do. The hope is that we as a congregation will perform chesed in whatever form you desire. We have enclosed volunteer activities that deal with the following issues:
Please read the following items and attachments as they provide more details about some of these wonderful programs.
If you have other great ideas, please share them with us. We will post these ideas on this page on the BHBE website. If you have any questions about these or would like to join our committee, please contact Jeff Roth or at 847-256-0398.
Food insecurity is a critical issue facing many in our community. Here is a list of local food pantries, with contact numbers, that you can check to see how to donate and what items are most needed. If you need further details, contact Barbara Bruno.
Stock the Shelves is a program to assist Chicago-area refugees. It is run by First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette (FPCW), partnering with Sukkat Shalom, Congregation Hakafa, Temple Beth El and First Congregational Church of Wilmette. The program provides what food stamps won’t and what stretched incomes cannot cover by giving household and hygiene supplies that are needed to lead thriving lives. In non-Covid times, the church collects donations, fills a truck each month, and volunteers deliver to a Rogers Park center where a mini-store is stocked with new, unopened items. Refugees arrive, check in, and shop the tables for items they need that month. During the last few months, the program has given the refugee families with diapers and gift cards to a dollar store. The program is now gearing up to fill their storage garage with much-needed items and begin actual product distribution in November. They miss the interaction with the clients! There are several ways to help:
Donate items from the list. There are specific needs of items that will be accepted. All must be new, unopened, and not travel size. Single items or a load full–all are appreciated! These can be dropped off at the home of Meghan Mills, 1334 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette (place inside the fence along Prairie Ave.) and she takes them regularly to FPCW.
Purchase items on the Stock the Shelves registry at Target: If you order online, have the items delivered to First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette, 600 9th St., Wilmette, 60091.
Donate money: Checks can be made payable to FPCW with “Stock the Shelves” in the memo line, and sent to the church, 600 9th St., Wilmette, 60091. Gifts are tax-deductible.
If you need further details, contact Barbara Bruno.
Bernie’s Book Bank, MASK and Cradles to Crayons
If you have any questions, please contact Jan Mahler.
Please see Family Promise Power Point above.
If you have any questions, please contact Marc Primack.
The document about RAIN describes an organization devoted to racial justice.
The document titled Winnetka conversations describes ongoing conversations going in Winnetka about racial justice.
If you have any questions, please contact Sheri Latash.