Click here to read Rabbi Reuben's sermon regarding this topic.
Kehillat Israel is at the core a philanthropic community and our mission is to draw upon the spiritual teachings of Jewish tradition to serve those most vulnerable in our society. Shimon the Tzadik taught, 'The world is sustained by three things: by study of Torah, by prayer and by acts of loving kindness.'"- Talmud
Kehillat Israel's commitment to the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (heal the world) can be seen every day in the congregation's large network of task forces and community service projects that serve the homeless, teach literacy, provide support for new immigrants, comfort those experiencing personal and family traumas, support food banks, fight crippling diseases and work on behalf of a spiritual approach to the environment.
In Amsterdam, on her seventh birthday, Deborah said goodbye to her family, and was put on a bicycle pedaled by a young woman of the Dutch underground. She was taken to a farm village where she became “Greta” and lost her Jewish identity. Over the next three years, she was moved through a series of six hiding places.
“I remember trying to be quiet and good so they wouldn't give me to the Germans. I felt like a suitcase, being picked up here and put down there,” she recalls.
At the end of the war, she was her family’s sole survivor. Now 76 years old, she lives frugally on a minimal budget in the Fairfax District, and cannot meet the rent increase her landlord has imposed. The thought of being evicted from her apartment has re-traumatized her and sent her back to being on a bicycle and being passed like a suitcase among strangers.
There are many survivors like Deborah in our community who need help to avoid eviction.
KI has joined with many in the Jewish community to create a fund to supplement the urgent needs of Holocaust survivors. Please consider making a donation to keep these elderly survivors from eviction.
Click here for more information and to donate.
The Kehillat Israel Network of Caring - KINCaring - needs volunteers who can help us reach out to our KI family. Volunteers are needed to:
Please contact KINCaring to offer a hand or request assistance by contacting Marcia de Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond Shelter was founded in 1988 in response to increasing numbers of homeless families in Los Angeles. Since its inception, Beyond Shelter has helped thousands of homeless families - primarily single mothers with children - to rebuild their lives in permanent rental housing in residential neighborhoods located throughout Los Angeles County.
KI volunteers support Beyond Shelter’s families in many ways, including creating “move-in” baskets of household items, donating and delivering furniture to their new apartments, and our thoughtful pre-schoolers even chose to make their “pajama day” an occasion for a pajama drive to benefit the children of Beyond Shelter.
B’nai Mitzvah youth can get involved by coordinating a “move-in basket” drive and delivering the items to newly-housed families.
For more information, contact Laura Diamond at email@example.com.
Join with other volunteers to package and distribute grocery baskets to low-income families in South Los Angeles.
One on One Outreach is grassroots program that provides groceries to low income families in South Central L.A. One Sunday every month volunteers meet to pack and deliver groceries door to door in the neighborhood we serve. One on One was established in 1998 by Ashly Plourde who saw a need in his own neighborhood for families to receive assistance to make it through the end of each month. We deliver on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of every month. This usually takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. From small beginnings of 20 boxes of food we now deliver 150 boxes to apartments. We deliver 1000's of tons of free groceries annually. In the last few years KI members have donated their time and money to supporting this 100% volunteer program. They have seen the benefits of helping and interacting with the recipients of these boxes of groceries.
To sign up to volunteer and to get more information on One on One contact KI member Michael Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kehillat Israel is the single largest donor of food to the Westside Food Bank. We collect food year-round in Westside Food Bank barrels located at our main entrance. A special emphasis is placed on the Food Bank each year during the High Holidays. For the past several years, we have broken the record we set the previous year. In 2011, we contributed 30,000 pounds of food.
We also participate in Food Sorts each year in May and December, helping the Food Bank staff organize the thousands of pounds of food they receive to deliver to local food panties. It is a hands-on, family-friendly experience that everyone can do together, from pre-schoolers to grandparents.
B’nai Mitzvah youth can get involved by organizing a food drive and then participating in a food sort.
Contact Bruce Rosen for more information about the Westside Food Bank at BRosen5555@aol.com.
KI keeps setting records for food collection. Click here to see what we have done.
Koreh L.A., the largest volunteer children's literacy program in the Los Angeles, is the Jewish Federation's literacy program. It addresses the literacy crisis and growing achievement gap in Los Angeles’ public schools.
Kehillat Israel has a long affiliation with Koreh L.A., connecting our congregants with students in need of help, and hosting volunteer trainings. Over the past 12 years, the Federation has trained and placed over 10,500 volunteers as reading partners reaching over 22,000 LAUSD students in high risk schools.
For more information, please contact Kristine Eller at 323.761.8153 or Literacy@JewishLA.org.
Turning Point Transitional Shelter
1447 16th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Click here to see our Tikkun Olam directory.
For information on helping in the ongoing emergency appeals following the Pakistan floods and the earthquake in Haiti, please click here.
Here is a listing of the grassroots organizations in Israel as mentioned in Rabbi Reuben's sermons.
Kehillat Israel Adopts a Santa Monica Beach just south of the Santa Monica Pier.
Kayak, paddle board IN the bay for Heal the Bay.
Must be 16 years old and sign up ahead of time
Contact: Jody Norris at email@example.com
The Foster Youth Alumni (FYA) Co-Mentoring Project offers a unique opportunity to support foster youth who are "aging out" of the foster care system.
Dani Leshgold raised enough money to buy 80 desks for children in Malawi as her Mitzvah Project.
Click here to see her on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
Thank you Dani! You make all KI very proud!
KI’s commitment to Tikkun Olam led us to establish the first Terracycle center in Pacific Palisades, where people can recycle Oral Care items (used toothbrushes and toothpaste containers), Drink Pouches, and Fruit/Veggie Crushers – all items that would otherwise end up in a landfill?
Collect these items and home and bring them to the bins outside of the ECC/JEC.
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