Social Action/Social Justice

Mission Statement:

Using the gifts, talents and resources G-d has given us, we will make a difference in our local, national and global communities by engaging in Tikkun Olam.  We will connect with each other through social action in all aspects of congregational life.  We will endeavor to inspire the participation of all generations in the pursuit of social justice and social action.

Social Action

TBS has selected Homelessness and Food Insecurity as a focus for Social Action.  Multi-generational direct services activities such as collection drives, educational programs and other opportunities for direct service in our local community are planned throughout the year.  Each activity is open to all members.  Each activity responds to the Mission Statement and is advertised through many media sources. 

“Sometimes it is easy to walk by because we know we can’t change someone’s whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize is that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.”

Monica and Irv Engel and Steffanie Belasco deliver clothes to OCRM

Community Connections

TBS has engaged with county based organizations as part of their program.  A recent partner recipient of support is Casa Teresa in the city of Orange.  Adult members are invited to engage in providing a hot meal for the twenty female residents on the 1st Sunday of the month. Casa Teresa has monthly drives to help these women become more independent. Please see the links:
casateresa.org.  For their Wish List : The Collection-casateresa.org

All TBS members are invited to participate in food preparation and/or provide donations.  Interested participants may contact Steffanie Bellasco at 714.420.5320.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

Education

This program provides educational opportunities such as the Illumination Foundation and United to End Homelessness throughout the year. Offerings are listed on the TBS calendar and advertised throughout the year.  For more information, please contact Soni Rice at 714-998-8775.

United to End Homelessness visits TBS

Collections

The Mitzvah of the Month program, under the direction of Monica Engel, has been an active part of TBS for many years.  The following is the list of monthly items to donate.  These items are distributed to various community programs selected by the committee.

  • January – toiletries
  • February – warm clothing for children and adults
  • March – socks and underwear for children and adults
  • April – general donations ( board games, decks of cards, puzzles)
  • May – summer clothing
  • June – books (new or used) for children and teens
  • July / August – backpacks and school supplies
  • September – High Holy Days Food Drive
  • October – clothing drive for all ages
  • November – turkey and pie donations
  • December- “Giving Tree” Holiday Drive for Children

For more information, please contact Monica Engel  at 949.458.8732

Monica and Irv Engel delivered an abundance of donations to OCRM thanks to our generous congregants

Advocacy

Interest in advocacy is supported and encouraged to make the changes in the world we need to see for all who are hungry and/or need shelter.  Check our link to organizations that work to make a difference.
Those interested in participating in advocacy activities, please contact Michele Shugarman at 714.541.5003 or Cindy Grossberg at 949.279.8734
Religious Action Center- Ca: rac.org/take-action
Link to United to End Homelessness: www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org
Second Harvest Food Bank: Feedoc.org
Orange County Rescue Mission: www.rescuemission.org
Elected Orange County Congressman: ocalmanoc.com//Government

Homeless and Hunger Recommended Reading for Children

The fabric of our Jewish lives includes training our children to be aware of and engage in tikkun olam daily.  The following books can assist families in helping their children with understanding its meaning through story.

Children through Young Adults

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by Dyanne Disalvo Ryan- A young boy helps his uncle work in a soup kitchen and learns not to be afraid of homeless people.

Shelter by Celine Claire- The animals are cozy and warm in their dens when a storm approaches and two strangers come in search of shelter. The story illustrates the importance of community in times of need.

Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno- Cara is in middle school. She is a big sister and homeless. How will she find a place to call home?

Changing Places: A Kid’s View of Shelter Living by Judy Wallace- Eight different children ages 6-13 talk about what it is like to live in a homeless shelter.

Maddi’s Fridge by Louis Brandt- Sofia wants to help her friend; a lovely story of friendship and how children can do more to fight hunger.

Adults

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond- The struggle of eight families to keep a roof over their heads.

Tell Them Who I Am by Elliot Liebow- The stories from a Washington DC homeless shelter and the obstacles the women faced to regain the dignity they once possessed.

Educated by Tara Westover- the author takes us on a journey of her life and struggles from her small mountain home in Idaho to a successful life and career.

Rachel and Her Children by Jonathan Kozol- the challenges that homelessness brings to bear on American families

Film

We believe is another powerful tool to awareness of the social condition.  Here are some recommendations.

Amazon Prime Presents “The Public”– screen play and direction by Emilio Estevez. An act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over a public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

Prime Video presents “Hunger in America”-narrated by James Denton, this documentary tackles the hunger epidemic in America and will change your perception on hunger.

CBS “Day in the Life of the Invisible Homeless in America’s most populated country. ( 2019)– American has a new and growing class of homeless.

For information on how to get involved with any of our programs or to volunteer, please contact our Paula Pitluk, our SJ/SA chair at 714.225.2058