June 13, 2021 •
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Social Action Committee

Tikkun Olam

Social Action Committee Programs

The goal of Social Action Committee (SAC) is to provide TBA congregants the opportunity to take part in Tikkun Olam (healing the world) and perform hands-on mitzvot and activities. We will have volunteer opportunities for adults, youngsters, families, and individuals.  Many of our programs are in partnership with other groups at TBA and I hope that you will find something of interest and get involved either directly through SAC or through another committee, constituency group, or religious school.  You do not need to join SAC to volunteer for activities. Our goal is to be a conduit for providing meaningful opportunities and experiences for Temple members and friends.

smallgf_santuary_logoTikkun Olam (healing the world) has long been a watchword of the Temple’s Social Action Committee. From the days in Newark to the present, through a myriad of hands-on mitzvot and activities the Social Action Committee has engaged members of all ages in acts of loving kindness and the pursuit of justice, assisting the poor and disadvantaged, dialoguing with other faiths, assuming stewardship of the environment and supporting Israel. The Social Action Committee’s Green Team led the congregation in pursuit of an environmental certification from the interfaith coalition, GreenFaith which encompasses building practices, education, worship and community outreach.

Here is a sampling of our upcoming activities. Please let me know if there is something for which you would like to volunteer and/or if you have ideas for new programs and events:

Hello TBA Members! Below you will find a variety of programs we are enthusiastically working on. We hope that you can participate by a myriad of ways like attending, or assisting, or volunteering or supporting. We are hoping to keep this section fresh with all of the latest happenings not only around TBA but within our community. Please share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you!

Warmest regards, Janet O. Penn  & Ruth Ross, SAC Co-Chairs

Social Action Committee Programs

         Annual High Holiday Food Drive Outreach

Virtual Shabbat Dinner in the Sukkah (joint event with Sisterhood)

Mitzvah Day

Turkey & All the Trimmings Food Drive

Women’s Interfaith Forum (virtual) (joint event with Sisterhood)

Request information about Social Action @ TBA

4 + 8 =

The Social Action Committee’s collection of used children’s books during Mitzvah Week
was a huge success!

Jewish Family Services was the recipient of 100 books for their reading program.  A Safe Home was the recipient of 60 books that were used for children for reading and for Holiday gifts. Approximately 300 books were given to MEND, an organization that supports 17 food pantries in Essex County through food drives, logistics, storage and fundraising. These food pantries have provided critical support to some of the neediest families in our community. The Children’s Book Pantry began at the food pantry of our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange. Children’s books are distributed to clients at the Our Lady of Sorrows food pantry as well as the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges. The rest of the books and all of the puzzles and games were delivered to a Book Giveaway at Saint Joseph’s Church in Maplewood – just in time for families to enjoy for their Holidays!

Thank you Temple B’nai Abraham members who contributed to this worthwhile cause -keeping children reading and engaged during the pandemic!

book colleciton JFS 2

book colleciton JFS 1


Mitzvah Week/Day 2020 was—to say the least—unusual BUT FANTASTIC. No Pandemic could possibly quash the volunteer spirit at our beloved Synagogue!!

The day began with a Men’s Club Minyan sponsored led by Rabbi Vaisberg and Max Edwards at 8:30 AM.

Our Mitzvah Week projects were a big hit:

  • Screenshot_20201209-130811_FacebookLUNCHES OF LOVE – were distributed to 3 Churches in Newark (St. John’s, St. Ann’s and St. Michael’s) sponsored by the Social Action Committee, Project Volunteer Coordinator: Janet Penn.
  • COOKIES FOR CARING FIRST RESPONDERS – Livingston Police, Fire and Emergency Services were grateful for two huge boxes of goodies, Sponsored by Sisterhood—The Women’s Connection, Project Volunteer Coordinator: Deborah Jacob, Sisterhood Co-President.
  • COVID-19 MASKS – distributed to local area residents. Project Volunteer Coordinator: Ruth Ross.
  • DOGGIE TOYS FOR FURRY FRIENDS – distributed to a local animal shelter. Project Volunteer Coordinator: Betty Rubin.
  • FEED OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS – this was a fun project helping birds who often have difficulty finding food. Project Volunteer Coordinator: Ruth Ross.

Our various collections were quite successful with such a greater need for some very necessary items such as:

  • CHILDREN’S BOOKS, GAMES, & PUZZLES with Project Volunteer Coordinators: Honi & Bennett Wasserman.
  • GIRLS HELPING GIRLS.PERIOD (feminine hygiene products) with Project Volunteer Coordinator: Arlene Bookbinder.
  • DIAPER DRIVE with Project Volunteer Coordinator: Debbie Ziering, Erika Lippman.

Our co-chair for the Social Action Committee, Ruth Ross, undertook several exceptional tasks of not only recruiting new volunteers but providing valuable project guidance with a variety of instructions and images to make our Mitzvah Week fun for the whole family!

Many thanks to our clergy, leaders and awesome volunteers who went above and beyond in frigid weather to volunteer. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. 💕💕💕

Janet O. Penn, Social Action Co-Chair

Weekly Green Tips

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