Social Action

Looking for Community Service ideas? Click here for an extensive list!


Syria Supper Club Dinner

It is the BHSS Social Action/Poverty Committee’s honor to open our welcoming synagogue’s doors and host Syrian and other Middle Eastern Refugees living in our surrounding area. We have chosen the Syria Supper Club as the logical vehicle to accomplish our mutual goals of combating poverty and fostering self-sufficiency in the refugee community. Each check paid for this dinner will make a positive impact on the lives of our cooks and their families by contributing to the expansion of their catering activities, as well as cushioning the cost of living faced in their community.  Attendees are welcome to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy at the Dinner if they choose to.

All guests will have a chance to meet the cooks and family members they might bring.  Interpreters from the Syria Supper Club will be on hand to help with fostering communication and meaningful dialogue throughout the evening which in turn will lead to new long-term friendships and cross-cultural exchange.

Only Synagogue members may purchase tickets on the link. As a Temple member, you may purchase for your friends. In this way we will assure that only our members and their friends will be in attendance. Please check the BHSS weekly email for details on date and time and how to sign up. Names of participants will be on a list to be checked at the door when you come in. All proceeds pay for food and the cooks and drivers from the refugee community.  Attendees must be 18 years and older.

 We will be sharing more information about the Syria Supper Club, our dinner and other ways to get involved in the coming weeks. We encourage you to visit the Syria Supper Clubs website to read about the history and goals of this amazing organization and their expanding programs throughout the U.S. and the world.

You will have a unique and fulfilling evening knowing that you are now part of an ever-growing group of social justice advocates who want to combat poverty in a meaningful way, in this case within the refugee community.  Moreover, you will help these refugees further acclimate themselves to life in the United States.

For questions contact:  Sheila Groskin, Social Action/ Poverty Committee, [email protected]

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Social Action Committee of Beth Haverim Shir Shalom is to serve as an umbrella for all the committees and organizations associated with the congregation that do social justice work in all forms under the auspices of the congregation.

As such, it will inspire coordination and collaboration amongst organizations, promote their work within and outside the congregation, engage members of the congregation at large to participate in social justice opportunities, and advocate with the Board of Trustees to allocate the resources necessary to ensure that social justice is at the heart of Beth Haverim Shir Shalom’s mission.

What We Do

There are many ways of performing Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) here at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom. The Michelle Mitzvah Group, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, the Caring Committee, the Youth Group, and other temple committees, are all involved in social action activities. Below are just a few examples — for a more extensive list, see above.

Register with the Gift of Life

Each year thousands of patients worldwide search for a suitable donor for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. They rely upon a stranger for hope. Registering is easy and done through a simple cheek swab.  Eligibility is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 and in generyal good health.  As the Talmud says, “He who saves a life, it is as if he has saved an entire world.”  If you have already been previously swabbed, there is no need to swab again. Monetary donations are also needed, though not required. Each swab costs $60 to process, so any amount is greatly appreciated! To learn about Gift of Life in 60 seconds, click here.

Center for Food Action (CFA)  – The Michelle Mitzvah Group has an ongoing year round collection effort for the CFA located in Mahwah. There are baskets and poster signs located in the front entrance and education wing of the synagogue . In addition to donating food, volunteers are always needed to help bring the food to the CFA.

When you order Bimah Baskets, usually donated by Bar/Bat mitzvah families, the products purchased are delivered to the need of your choice, including Center for Food Action, (including a baby basket), Animal shelter in Oakland, etc.

Emergency Family Shelter of the Inter-religious Fellowship of Bergen CountyThe Emergency Family Shelter provides meals and a safe place to sleep for several families who have demonstrated to the Community Action Program, (a county-run social work program) that they need a limited time to get back on their feet. Through the Michelle Mitzvah Group we “host” four nights every May. We need volunteers to prepare and serve a hot dinner while others will be needed to stay overnight and help with breakfast the next morning.

Wanaque Convalescent CenterThe Michelle Mitzvah Group celebrates Christmas with hospitalized and often forgotten kids. We bring gifts, sing songs and give lots of love to the children. What else should Jews do on Christmas?

Blythedale Children’s HospitalThree times a year the Michelle Mitzvah Group visits this long-term treatment facility for disabled and rehabilitating children. We provide clowns, pizza and laughter. This is a great opportunity to come with your family and bring some much needed joy to children.

Coat DriveThe Coat Drive, run by New Jersey Cares, is again sponsored by the Michelle Mitzvah Group through December 15.  We contribute hundreds of winter coats annually. Please donate your coats to this important event.

Operation Stars & Stripes – Throughout the year the Michelle Mitzvah Group will be collecting much needed items for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan .  We are sending these items to a Jewish chaplain we are in contact with located at Camp Victory just outside Baghdad .  Please look for baskets in front lobby and education wing.

The Michelle Mitzvah Group began a campaign to collect cartoon bandages and art supplies/toys for the children with cancer and blood disorders at Hackensack Hospital .  We are working closely with The Tomorrows Children’s Fund on this project.  This is a great opportunity for all BHSS families to work together on a mitzvah project. Stay tuned for more information on this much needed effort.

Sisterhood’s Project Linus: This is a national organization to which we send knitted or crocheted blankets to a local NJ chapter. Blankets (only) mostly go to Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, and sometimes to police departments who give them to children removed from homes, or mothers and children who have nothing.

Barbara Weiss Scholarship Fund: Donations from the congregation and Sisterhood.  Money is given to the rabbi per his request to students for camp, trips, etc.

Feel free to contact Whitney Speer at [email protected]