Welcome to our TKAE Volunteer Social Action Page!

For more information about TKAE Social Action, please contact Josh Simon at jsimon@tkae.org.

Click to See Temple Calendar and Social Action Events

Mitzvah Day Is Now 'Mitzvah Day Is Every Day'

We have started a new tradition at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El: “Mitzvah Day Is Every Day.”  In 2016, we are adopting a local charity to have an ongoing sustaining relationship with them throughout the year (not one day, but every day). This year, we have partnered with Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward. Every part of our congregation will have an interaction with GJFS – from Early Childhood to Temple Friends.

Mitzvah Day will be an everyday, ongoing commitment to repairing our world and performing acts of loving kindness.  The programs and services offered at GJFS touch so many lives in Broward County and we have already been working so closely with them in a number of ways. As a result, we felt that this was the right organization to partner with in this first year.

The Hebrew phrase tikun olam, repairing the world, raises many theological questions that we often fail to consider.  The first is that the world is broken. On the surface this may not seem a deep theological issue. But, just turn on the news and look at the world around us. To declare God’s created world as broken is bordering on blasphemy.  How could God, the one and only perfect being, create anything that isn’t perfect?  Is this a reflection of God’s inferiority and weakness, or is it what we as human beings have done to degrade God’s gift of creation.

However, the phrase also gives us a certain sense of power over our world and in our relationship with God as partners in the ongoing work of creation. In the Kabbalistic or mystical understanding of creation itself, Isaac Luria wrote that shortly after God created light, the vessels of the universe proved unable to contain it and shattered (shevirat ha-kelim, the breaking of the vessels), and scattered the sparkles of light and the shards of the vessels to create the physical world.

Our broken world isn’t the result of an imperfect creation, but the raining down of God’s divine sparks of light. To effect a repair of the world (tikun olam), was to restore God’s light to its creator, and that this was accomplished through the performance of mitzvot.  Fulfilling that mitzvah liberates the spark (nitzotz) of light and the light returns to its source: God.  As Jews it is through our acts of social justice and social action that we help repair our broken world, not one day of the year but each and every day.

There is another Hebrew phrase that also speaks to our commitment to making Mitzvah Day Every Day that comes from Pirkei Avot’s The Sayings of our Jewish Fathers.  In it we read mitzvah goreret mitzvah, “one good deed will bring another good deed.” The performance of one mitzvah will lead to the performance of another.  The rabbis saw the performance of daily mitzvoth becoming rooted in each of us either by following the examples of others or by one becoming accustomed to the regular performance of mitzvot in our life.  Mitzvot lead to one another by either inspiration or perspiration.

It is my hope that by making Mitzvah Day Every Day that we will both inspire and become accustomed to the performance of our ethical and moral obligations as Jews each and every day. Perhaps you will be inspired by a program that we are participating in to make a difference in the life of a holocaust survivor or the victim of domestic violence here in our midst. Or perhaps you will find it becomes part of your daily routine so that each time you come to TKAE you instinctively and automatically bring a canned food item for those in need.

We recognize that to be a member of the Jewish faith binds us to God, to each other and the to the world, as imperfect as it is. We also know that our moral and ethical obligations don’t begin and end when you enter into the synagogue to pray, but are a part of our daily life.

In Judaism morality, ethics and religion come together to shape our lives, give us hope and command us to go out into the world in the pursuit of justice.  Seeking and loving God means to strive for holiness, righteousness and goodness each and every day.

L’shalom,

Rabbi Howard Needleman

Why Do We Have Social Action?

Social Action for families and individuals is an integral part of life at TKAE.  Social Action allows us to learn and grow together as we practice Tikkun Olam!

Volunteering is a great way for our temple family members to get connected, meet others and to collectively strengthen our community.  Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El has a variety of opportunities throughout the year.  Below is a description of a few of the programs that you and your family can be a part of here at TKAE!

For more information, contact Josh Simon @ jsimon@tkae.org.

Some of Our Social Action Projects

Food Delivery Program – Jewish Family Services of Broward County

Do you have a car and are willing to volunteer?  Then this is the project for you! Volunteers deliver a bag of kosher groceries monthly to JFS clients all over Broward.  The case managers of JFS’s various departments refer these clients.  They currently have 175 clients on the delivery list, of whom 75 percent are holocaust clients.

Broward Partnership for the Homeless Soup Kitchen

Would you enjoy an easy, very meaningful volunteer opportunity? Volunteers (age 16 and older) from TKAE serve meals to about 200 clients.

Ronald McDonald House 

This is a great event for families!  TKAE provides volunteers throughout the year during that cook and serve meals to the families who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Children’s Harbor

Do you want to cheer up young spirit?  TKAE visits two times a year with the children who are residents at Children’s Harbor and organizes a social activity, such as pizza parties. All ages are welcome!