ViA Isaiah: Temple Isaiah’s Values in Action
A “mitzvah is where God and humanity meet.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
ViA Isaiah – Temple Isaiah’s Values in Action
Through direct services, community organizing and advocacy, we want to make a difference in the lives of others: our own members at their time of need, the underserved in our communities, and the common good. From one-time opportunities to long term volunteering, from working with Temple members to engaging in larger coalitions, we believe we can begin to repair a broken world.
Join Temple Isaiah in our mission to engage in acts of Tikun Olam throughout the year by making a positive impact on hunger, homelessness, education and more. These are just a sample of the opportunities to help those in need in our community and our neighborhood.
Your ViA Isaiah Leadership,
ViA Isaiah e-newsletter archive
Calendar of upcoming ViA Isaiah opportunities
Education and Youth Programs at Temple Isaiah
Social action and social justice are an integral part of our education and youth programs at Temple Isaiah.
The youngest members of our community learn about and practice being part of a caring community through the Angel Network, Adopt-A-Preschool, Mitzvah days, and more at Gan Ilan preschool.
Our Kulanu families with children in grades K-6, Camp Kefli campers in grades K-8 and youth groups (Anachnu, Simcha and LAFTY) participate in local ViA Isaiah opportunities, such as The Urban Farmers and Winter Nights Shelter, and initiatives with a broader scope through NFTY - The North American Federation of Temple Youth.
Our JQuest program for kids Pre-K-7th grade is rich with social action and social justice education and engagement. Please click here to learn more about Tikkun Olam at JQuest. Each JQuest class also helps our Temple Isaiah community directly through the Angel Network, Buildings and Grounds Committee, and more.
7th graders are immersed in social action throughout the year with innovative Mitzvah Corp opportunities including; Save The Bay, Glide Memorial Church, JFCS, a 7th grade fund grant making curriculum, and more.
Our b’nai mitzvah teens work closely with our clergy on a meaningful mitzvah project, as an important part of of their right of passage into adulthood.
10th graders go to Washington D.C. each year as part of the Religious Action Center.
11th and 12th graders now have the opportunity to participate in a Tzedek (Justice) internship to enhance their leadership skills learned during the 7th grade Mitzvah Corp program.
Jewish Coalition for Literacy
Can you read this? That means you can help a child who can’t. In just one hour a week you can help a student learn to love reading. Take part in this rewarding tikkun olam program and help a child succeed. Join the Jewish Coalition for Literacy as a volunteer reading tutor and make a difference in a child’s life.
Register for our next free tutor training workshop at http://www.jclread.org on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm in the Adult Lounge
Tutors Needed in Pleasant Hill, Concord, Richmond and El Cerrito . Tutoring is usually for classes K thru 3rd between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. However, tutoring may be requested after school hours.
High Holy Day Food Drive for Hunger in Contra Costa County:
Each year our High Holy Day food drive helps to provide over 5,000 pounds! Donations needed are nutrient-rich, shelf-stable foods in cans, plastic containers and boxes within labeled expiration dates.
Contra Costa Food Bank
Please check your mailbox for the annual Turkey Drive mailing each year to feed the hungry in our county during the holidays. Each year our congregations combined help raise over $100,000!
Loaves and Fishes
Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa operates five dining rooms from Martinez to Oakley where it serves free hot lunch Monday-Friday. Its free food pantry distributes over a ton of groceries each week.
• Help Serve Meals - Join fellow TI congregants to prepare food for approx. 2 hours the 3rd Thursday of every month from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Work takes place at the catering kitchen at Loaves and Fishes in Pittsburg.
• Perpetual Food Drive to benefit Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry - One Sunday a month, join fellow congregants in collecting food. The food pantry is critical as it helps bridge the weekend when the soup kitchen is closed! Seeking Food Captains, who will coordinate, as well as food donors!
Contra Costa Emergency Shelter lunches
The 1 hour Mitzvah that feeds 65 people! JQuest sponsors a project that reaches out to the hungry in our own community. On several Sundays throughout the school year our JQuest families have the opportunity to work together in Temple Isaiah ‘s kitchen preparing lunches for an adult transitional shelter in Concord. This is a shelter where the lunch meal is not usually provided. We are the only agency providing lunch and our efforts are greatly appreciated. In addition, toiletry donations are always welcome and can be brought to the Temple Kitchen on the dates of the shelter lunch program.
The Urban Farmers
The Urban Farmers focuses on feeding the hungry local produce harvested from backyard fruit trees and gardens. Donations go to local hunger relief agencies.
• Donate excess fruit by registering your trees on The Urban Farmers website: http://www.theurbanfarmers.org or call (415) 806-7005. Purchase a fruit tree from The Urban Farmers to feed future generations. Plant the tree on your property or donate it to a needy family.
• Join a harvest team and have fun doing light work outdoors to help Urban Farmers harvest backyard fruit. Help from home with important tasks, such as responding to e-mails or writing articles.
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
CCIH’s mission is to provide permanent, affordable housing and vital support services to homeless and at-risk families and individuals in Contra Costa.
• School Supply Drive - Join fellow congregants for next summer’s school supply drive for 25 high school kids who are a part of CCIH.
• Tutoring for Homework Club: Adult tutors are needed for children of all ages in the after school program. CCIH Homework Club hours: Mo, Tu & Th. 2:30-5:00 p.m.; Wed. 1:00 -5:00 p.m.
• Quarterly Tenant Dinners: help prepare, deliver and serve dinner to Garden Park Apartment tenants for their tenant meeting. Approx. 25 adults and 10 kids.
• Projects to Repair and Refurbish the Facilities - help the staff of CCIH make minor improvements to the facilities - projects may include a clean up day, painting, a handyman day etc.
• One-time events and projects - garden and work projects; office volunteers for mailings; committee work for fund raising.
Assists Shelter Inc. primarily by providing emergency funds to pay utility bills and/or short term rent to people at risk from becoming homeless.
Mt. View Emergency Family Shelter
Serving homeless families with children in need of emergency housing, this shelter supports up to 13 families at any given time. Join the WOI as they provide nourishing dinners for the residents. Dates and details at http://www.temple-isaiah.org/shelterdinners
New Friends Resettlement Program
VIA Isaiah is proud to begin a new program to resettle refugees from war-torn nations in the Middle East. We will be working closely with the Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay to help these individuals and families create an entirely new life here in our community. Details and sign-up at http://www.temple-isaiah.org/resettlement
Wardrobe for Opportunity
Wardrobe for Opportunity works in partnership with the community to assist low-income individuals to “Find a Job, Keep a Job, and Build a Career.”
• Clothing and Accessories Drive –Participate in temple-wide clothing and accessories drives. Donate, help sort , load vehicles and deliver to WFO Boutique in Concord.
• Sorting and Displaying Clothing and Accessories at the Boutique - Mon and/or Fri mornings, 10-12 help sort and hang clothing, etc. at the Concord Boutique
• Outfitting Both Male and Female Client - learn how to dress clients appropriately for job interviews and new job placements and have 1 hr. one-on-one appointments with the clients to dress them.
Multi-faith ACTION (Advocates & Communities Taking Initiative 4 Our Neighbors) Coalition
Multi-faith ACTION Coalition comprised of Contra Costa County residents working together to address the root causes of poverty through advocacy and public policy change. Our shared values and our experiences as faith groups providing food, shelter and other services make us strong voices for those in need.
We are organized into task forces focused on key areas of poverty: Housing/Shelter, Food Security, Job & Economic Security, Health and Education. We also have committees working on budget, planning, communication, outreach to congregations etc.
Details at http://www.multifaithactioncoalition.org
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County Winter Nights Shelter
Temple Isaiah hosts the Winter Nights Shelter for homeless families with children each year during winter break. Hundreds of volunteers are needed for: set up/take down; meals and food; activities for kids; a Christmas celebration, and more. Practice gemilut chasadim, “acts of loving kindness,” by joining Temple members in this rewarding community mitzvah. Sign-ups begin each October at http://www.temple-isaiah.org/wn
Community of Care
Temple Isaiah’s Angel Network
The Angel Network’s mission is to assemble a group of volunteers who offer comfort and support to Temple members and their families in times of need. Volunteers receive the training necessary to engage in acts of loving kindness as they reach out to the Temple Isaiah community with helping hands and caring hearts. When a need arises the Angel Network can respond with: supportive phone calls and notes, providing meals, offering rides for appointments, errands and Temple events, visiting the sick in the hospital or home, ongoing friendly visits and healing circles.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living
A 110,000 square foot multi-services facility in Danville that is home to 180 residents living in the Sukkat Shalom Skilled Nursing unit, the Assisted Living apartments, Tikvah Enhanced Care Center or Traditions Memory Care Center. Their mission is to “add life to years”.
• Join fellow TI members in volunteering your time and interests to run different fun activities with the residents.