Social Action Update – January 2015

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January 2015

Tikun Olam

Social Action Update



The purpose of this Bulletin is to make our TBS family aware of what has gone on, is going on, and will be going on for Social Action and Social Justice within our TBS community as well as the general Orange County community. Tikun Olam is one of the basic tenets of the Jewish people. – Mark Borovay – VP of Social Action 


Why is our Social Action a big part of us at TBS?

We have a great history in Social Action that we must preserve and… thanks to some remarkable people who give so much of their time, we will. Nat and Edie Lamm, z’l, were one of the original temple members whose dedication to social action began what is now a very proud tradition with our congregation. As our temple community has grown and evolved, so has our drive to be outstanding members of both our Santa Ana and Orange County communities. Cookie Stern led the initial Mitzvah Day. Monica Engel and Hollis O’Brien initiated what now is the fifth year of Mitzvah Meals feeding over 1,200 people per month. Our involvement within the interfaith and prison community led by our rabbi, cantor, Worship Committee, Sisterhood and Brotherhood auxiliaries has brought TBS national recognition. We walk for the Jewish World Watch. As a side note, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, z’l, the founder of Jewish World Watch, died this month. He was a titan in the world of social action. We stand on the shoulders of those who inspire us to do great work. We work closely with the county’s Adopt-a-Social Worker to provide food, clothing and other necessities to those less fortunate. The countless hours and devotion by our many volunteers is very much appreciated.

This year has been more challenging without a synagogue building and kitchen to call home. Thanks to Hollis, Monica, and the countless number of volunteers from our TBS family, and from the community, Mitzvah Meals is still going strong. Cooking at “Parties by Panache” has been a blessing for us – kudos to Hollis. However, this has left a challenge to keep our pantries full since we are now cooking in Brea. If you want to help, all you have to do is drop the food off at the Temple. I will bring it to “Parties by Panache” for Mitzvah Meals. With your help, the program will keep feeding the hungry for many more years to come!


It’s never too early to instill the value of social action and justice. The TBS Pre-School has a weekly food collection for Mitzvah meals.  Food seems to be something our young children can relate to!

Many thanks to Mrs. Finkel’s first grade class! They have taken on many wonderful projects to help our Adopt-a-Social Worker case manager, Renee Brown. One of their activities was to get all the items necessary for a birthday party for a family’s children. These children were so appreciative that they sent thank you notes to Mrs. Finkel’s class. The second activity was to provide food for Thanksgiving. Teachers like Mrs. Finkel are very special. Teaching tikum olam at such an early age is an excellent foundation on which to build.

These were among the Thanksgiving Day items collected from Mrs. Finkel’s first grade class.

Our Confirmation Class and Religious school are part of the Darius Goes West Project. The TBS Confirmation Class raised funds for Darius Weems, a twenty-five-year-old living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Other TBS Religious School classes will also be participating in events to help this special young man. Yasher koach to our TBS religious school staff and students for their interest and dedication to this program. You can learn more about Darius Weems on


 Our continuous monthly program for Adopt a Social Worker has been a challenge. I thank those who have contributed for the Mitzvah of the Month, and hope to see more of us get involved. Watch your on-line TBS news for the Mitzvah of the Month item(s). Our current campaign is to bring winter clothing (sweaters, coats, scarves, gloves) for our needy families.o what other activities were going on at TBS? I’m sure many of you are wondering how the High Holy Day Food Drive and the Gift Cards for Adopt a Social Worker Thanksgiving went. The total for both events raise over $4,200. The gift cards were distributed to four organizations: Adopt a Social Worker, Families Forward, First Presbyterian Church of Orange, Giving Children Hope, and Jewish Family Services. I distributed the cards at these organizations. They were exceptionally grateful and very surprised at the generosity of our congregation! We did a Mitzvah. I thank all of you for helping to change lives for the better.

The TBS Special Needs Network collected gifts for the residents of the H.I.S. House (Homeless Intervention Shelter). The H.I.S House is a transitional shelter located in Placentia for families who are homeless but have the motivation and capability with the H.I.S. House assistance to regain self-sufficiency and helps them secure employment and save money for permanent housing. The TBS Special Needs Network has supported this program for many years. Thank you to Sara Weiss-Gottesman and Susan Sherman for your dedication to the TBS Special Needs Network.

Individual deeds from our board members make big differences in the lives of our community. Our temple president, Lynn Matassarin, along with her family, led a family bone marrow drive during the 2014 High Holy Days.

Thank you to all of you whose generosity provided holiday gifts for our annual holiday Gift of Light program. We offered over 50 names of boys and girls aged 3 months to 18 years. Renee Brown, our Adopt-a-Social Worker case manager, was ecstatic with the tremendous outpouring of gifts.

Do you have a story to tell?

We’d like to know what you do in your community (for social action/ social justice). Do you lead voter-recruitment drives? Do you volunteer at an animal shelter/rescue organization? Involved in literacy activities with people young & old? Volunteer in a senior home or youth services organization? Does your committee/organization need volunteers? How can we help you do a mitzvah?

Do you have ideas for Social Action/Social Justice? Share your ideas. Our goal for this year is to plan for the future. If interested, call me, Mark Borovay, at 714-544-7889 or email me at

“You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.”-Bob Nelson

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