Our congregation has long maintained a tradition of starting and participating in a wide array of projects which are greater than us. Whether cooking food for our local soup kitchen, participating in a work day for Habitat for Humanity, or sponsoring a lecture on an important social issue, our Temple has committed to making a difference in our community through many social action initiatives. Here are several of our ongoing projects of which we are proud to be a part of.
Our Berkshires' Bounty
An important service to the community has been the Temple's participation in Our Berkshires' Bounty. For the past 10 years, under the aegis of the Red Cross and staffed by volunteers, Bounty has been collecting and delivering surplus food to meal sites in Pittsfield. A founding member of Bounty, the Temple as one of five or six participating organizations has been providing volunteer drivers who pick up donated food from local retailers and deliver it to assigned meal sites. That this service continues to have a significant impact on feeding the needy is exemplified by these statistics presented at a recent Bounty meeting: In 2004, 64,353 lbs. of food and 2998 gallons of milk and juice were delivered; and in 2005 through July the figures are 24,899 lbs. and 2057 gals.
Our volunteers are a dedicated and dependable group, but additional help is needed. If you would like to learn more about helping with this worthy activity please contact Phil Kaminstein at (413) 442-6758.
Soup Kitchen Preparation
A great Tikkun Olam project in which our Temple engages is to help feed those in need. For many years, our Temple has maintained a commitment to prepare food to be served at our local soup kitchen. Our group, led by Dr. Joel and Sue Colker, meet on Sunday mornings four times a year in our kitchen to prepare meals to be served the next evening.
More participation in cooking and preparation for delivery is always needed and encouraged, and to learn of our next soup kitchen preparation date, don’t hesitate to contact the Temple office.
PFTY High Holiday Food Drive
Each year for many years, the Pittsfield Federation of Temple Youth has used the High Holy Days as an opportunity to give back to the community by collecting non-perishable food items to be delivered to local food pantries.
In addition, the Temple maintains a basket in the foyer year-round and highly encourages members and guests to bring a bag of non-perishable items when they come to Temple.
When you come to High Holy Day services this year, please pick up a brown bag or two, fill it with non-perishables, and return it to the Temple. It is a great mitzvah to help those who are in need of food during difficult times.
Jumpstarted by Temple Youth Director Rachel Alemany, our annual Community Crib has evolved into a generous charitable way of making the holidays of those less fortunate more enjoyable.
Our Temple Community gathers together for a joyous Chanukah festival service and dinner
During each holiday season, a crib is placed in the foyer of the Temple, and Temple members are encouraged to contribute items for young children and parents. During our annual Chanukah Dinner and party, members of PFTY wrap these gifts and deliver them to local agencies who deliver them to people in need.
For more information of any of these projects, or to find out how to get involved with one or more of our social action projects, please contact the Temple office at (413) 442-5910, or E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org