Temple Emanu-El is known throughout the San Diego area for its commitment to the tradition of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world)—demonstrated by its wide-ranging Social Action programs.
Ongoing monthly efforts include serving 600-800 hungry San Diegans at the St. Vincent DePaul Hunger Project and our Mitzvah of the Month collections. Our Bagel Brigade volunteers deliver unsold bagels donated by Einstein Brother's to Rachel's Women's Center. Temple members also reach out to the community by making and distributing blankets for the Linus Project, participating in the annual Stand Down for homeless veterans, marching in the Pride Parade, and clipping coupons for the Navy Marine Relief Society. We also have an annual food drive during the High Holy Days for Jewish Family Service, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, and other organizations.
Temple Emanu-El was twice awarded the prestigious Irving Fain Award from the Union for Reform Judaism. Our Social Action Committee was honored for the wide array of social action opportunities that are provided to the congregation, ranging from direct service to advocacy, and once specifically for our work with the Interfaith Shelter Network.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
January 15, 2018
Hunger Project at St. Vincent de Paul
1st Sunday of the month, 8:30 am–11:30 am
Every Wednesday afternoon
• Toiletries Collection
Monarch School uses around 170 toiletry “care packages” for their students each month. We will be collecting regular size items, not jumbo or trial, and assembling the care packages for the school to distribute. The only items needed are body wash (or soap), shampoo & conditioner, toothpaste, body lotion/moisturizer, women's deodorant and hair gel, men's deodorant and hair gel. Place your toiletries in the barrel in the front office lobby of the Temple, marked for Monarch School, and the Social Action Committee will package and deliver them. As of February 2017 we have donated 711 toiletry kits for the students.
Late September each year
High Holy Day Food Drive
Our annual Yom Kippur food drive benefits Jewish Family Service's Hand Up Food Pantry. In 2015, we collected 9,350 pounds of food which includes food which went to JFS Hand Up Food Pantry, pet food for Rancho Coastal Humane Society and toiletries. A new record for us!.
Social Action Fund Donations
Money contributed to the Social Action Fund supports carefully screened organizations and projects in America, Israel and around the world. Contributions to the Social Action Hunger Project Fund directly support this project at St. Vincent de Paul.
Stand Down for Homeless Veterans
Mid-July each year
San Diego LG BT Pride Parade
July 15, 2017
Thanksgiving Dinner at San Diego Center for the Blind
Mid-November each year
Mitzvah of the Month
Each month, the Social Action Committee picks a project to bring to our community's attention. This project will be highlighted on the home page of this web site, in Ha-Sofer, the monthly bulletin, in the Shofar email blasts and in other publicity.
Harvest Crops is a local non-profit organization which provides volunteers to pick fruit from residential trees which have produced an overabundance. The fruit is delivered to low income families and seniors in San Diego County.
Projects are scheduled for mornings during the year, normally on weekends. We meet in Lemon Grove and leave as a group. Long handled pickers and buckets are provided; no ladders will be used. Bring your own gardening gloves and your energy. Children are welcome if accompanied by a parent.
For more information, please see their website, http://www.harvestcrops.org/
Senior Gleaners, founded in 1994, gathers leftover food from grocery stores and orchards and distributes them through carefully screened charitable organizations in San Diego County. Last year, over 390,000 pounds of food reached people in need. This non-profit group has no paid staff, and no food is purchased. Money collected through donations or grants are used solely to help with rent for the warehouse and upkeep on vans to pick up food. Volunteers, age 55 and up, are needed to help with gathering food from the stores and picking in orchards.
To pick up day-old food from grocery stores and deliver to the Senior Gleaners warehouse, call (619) 209-1839. To help with picking in orchards, call Donna Wiens at (760) 432-0772.
Coupon Mitzvah Project
Many of our military families struggle to feed their families. There is an easy, low-cost way that you can help them stretch their food budgets. Clip unexpired newspaper coupons (please be sure they have at least 30 days to use the coupons) and mail them directly to:
Navy Marine Corps Relief Society
MCAS Miramar, P.O. Box 45339
San Diego, CA 92145-0339
You may write "From Temple Emanu-El" on the envelope flap, enclose a note "from your friends at Temple Emanu-El," or send anonymously if you prefer.
Tutors Needed in San Diego
Tutors are needed at a variety of programs in San Diego. Work with children, adults and families on literacy, math, general school work and preparation for citizenship. No experience is necessary, but most programs require a background check and provide an orientation session. Please contact the organization directly for more information.
READ San Diego Adult Literacy
Free literary instruction for adults 18 years and older is available through the San Diego Public Library. For more information, call (619) 238-6603 or see the library website at http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/services/adulteducation/read/index.shtml.
International Rescue Committee
Tutors at the IRC work with both adults and children. High school students as well as adults are encouraged to apply as tutors in this program. For more information on their programs, call (619) 641-7510 or visit their website, www.theIRC.org/sandiego.
San Diego Council on Literacy
This umbrella agency works with 24 affiliated literacy programs in San Diego to help children and adults, and also provides ESL (English as a Second Language) learning. Call their literacy hotline at (888) 850-7323, their local office at (619) 574-1641, or visit their website, www.literacysandiego.org.
Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program
Oasis matches adult tutors with children in grades K–4. Contact Kathryn Gray, Tutoring Coordinator, at (619) 269-8014 or visit their website, www.oasisnet.org.
SAY San Diego
(Social Advocates for Youth)
SAY tutors work with elementary and middle school students after school with reading, writing, math, crafts and other activities. Contact them at (858) 565-4148 ext. 261, or visit their website, www.saysandiego.org.
Embrace the Streets
Each Wednesday and Thursday, exactly 20 volunteers are needed to serve dinner to homeless people downtown from 6-7 pm. Food is provided, though donations of clothes, blankets or toiletries are welcome when you come. Sign up directly with the organization, www.Embrace1.org.
Links to other Social Action Sites
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) http://www.rac.org
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) http://www.coejl.org
Association of Reform Zionists of America ARZA/WORLD UNION http://www.arza.org
Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger http://www.mazon.org
The Hunger Site (donate free food) http://www.thehungersite.com
Israel Religious Action Center http://www.irac.org
North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) http://www.nacoej.org
St. Vincent de Paul Village http://www.svdpv.org
Stand Down for Homeless Veterans http://www.nchv.org/standdown.cfm
Being Alive San Diego (HIV/AIDS Resources) http://www.beingalive.org
Jewish Family Service of San Diego http://www.jewishfamilyservicesd.org
Americans United for Separation of Church and State http://www.au.org
Nothing But Nets http://www.nothingbutnets.net/