Community Outreach / Social Action
“For Adonai your God…befriends the stranger with food and clothing. You too must befriend the stranger for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.”
Community Outreach is committed to reaching out and bringing the world closer to its potential for wholeness. Jewish tradition sees human beings as being God’s partners in creation. God created the world and it is our role to maintain it and bring it towards a state of perfection. We do this by identifying needs locally, regionally, nationally and globally and by responding in whatever ways we can to make things that much better. As it says in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Ancestors) “It is not incumbent upon you to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” (2:21)
The Community Outreach Committee plans and runs social action programs and collections, often partnering with community organizations to make a difference. Several projects are annual events. They include:
- SOVA High Holiday Food Drive – On Rosh Hashana each congregant receives a paper bag and is asked to fill it with non-perishables and toiletries and return it on Yom Kippur. We typically collect over 5000 pounds of food for SOVA at this collection alone. At a time when food pantries are in greater needs as their client numbers increase, we can make a difference for those who are chronically hungry.
- Mitzvah Day – On the first Sunday of November we join together with other valley and local community organizations to make a difference. On Mitzvah Day which is coordinated by the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance we collect many items on behalf of children, adults, families and animals. We do activities on- site and off-site and collaborate with others. It is a high-energy day with a focus on what really matters. Temple Aliyah’s Mitzvah Day Program is made possible in part through the generous support of Pam Wank.
- Annual Holiday Toy Drive – Every year our community collects toys for children in the greater Los Angeles community ho might otherwise not have toys during the December holidays. The toys we collect are distributed through Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.
- Christmas Dinner at the Pacific Boys’ Lodge – For over a decade our congregants have joined together to cook and serve Christmas Dinner to the boys and staff at the Boys’ Lodge who cannot be with their families on the holiday. It is just another day for the Jewish community but for the boys and staff it is a holiday brought to them with gifts, food, decorations and music. It is an opportunity to help others feel the joy of the holiday. We have had a long-time relationship with Pacific Boys’ Lodge and have built on this relationship with other activities during the year as well. It has become an opportunity for us to come to know one another and build relationships.
- Walk to End Genocide – Temple Aliyah has been a proud member of Jewish World Watch since its inception in 2005. We proudly participate in the annual spring JWW program which brings together thousands of people from around the greater Los Angeles area to raise money and raise awareness about genocide around the world and to remind ourselves and others of the biblical injunction to not stand idly by.
Up-to-date information about monthly collections and activities can be found on the website.