Open Hearts. Open Minds. Strong Values.
Social Action Committee
The mission of Congregation Beth Israel's Social Action Committee is to galvanize our Jewish community to do the work of tikkun olam (repairing the world), inspired and guided by our traditions and teachings on social justice. We will achieve this goal by harnessing the knowledge and passion of our community to create a more just and inclusive community. If you would like to be on the Social Action Committee email list, please contact Lukas Holldorf or go to our Social Action Committee's Facebook page for more information and current activities.
Local Organizations Supporting Tikkun Olam
There are many ways in which each person can make a difference, including volunteering, making monetary donations, or just lending a helping hand to a neighbor, an ill person, or someone struggling to make ends meet. Below are some of the nonprofit organizations in Central Virginia making a difference. You may also choose to donate to the CBI Tzedakah Fund which was created as an opportunity for CBI and the Jewish community of Charlottesville/Albemarle to give to charity as a group.
The primary purpose of AIM is to provide emergency assistance to families threatened with homelessness, loss of power or fuel, or other temporary financial crisis. AIM is a coalition that receives financial support from 46 congregations in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. CBI was one of the founding members of AIM, over 35 years ago, and continues as a constituent member. CBI members and its rabbis have served on the board [Rabbi Emeritus Daniel Alexander is past president] and as volunteers. Volunteers are always needed. To learn more about AIM or make a contribution, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPACT is an interfaith action organization devoted to social justice; it is comprised of Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim congregations in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, and, from its inception, Congregation Beth Israel. Rabbi Emeritus Daniel Alexander was among the clergy who initiated this effort, and for several years, served on its Executive Board. Currently, Vikki Bravo, heads the CBI IMPACT Team (we call it "Rodef Tzedak," meaning one who pursues justice.) Each year, CBI members join other IMPACT congregants in a process of listening in order to identify one or two areas of injustice which calls for change. Then, a process of research takes place which leads to recommeded actions that will yield systemic change. The last stage of the process is to appear in large numbers at the largest annual public meeting in the region, the annual Nehemiah Action, to invite decision-makers to accept the recommended action. IMPACT needs your presence at the Action and, if you are inclined, your energy in the process of listening and research, and your investment in the cause. Click here to see IMPACT's past victories. For more information, contact Vikki Bravo, Rodef Tzedek (CBI IMPACT) Team Leader at email@example.com or call the IMPACT office at (434) 977-3022.
This grassroots organization coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for individuals in the Charlottesville area who are homeless. More than 80 faith congregations, including Congregation Beth Israel and community groups in the Charlottesville area come together each winter to address the need for shelter by opening their doors, serving evening meals, giving financially, and/or providing companionship. CBI usually hosts female PACEM guests, annually, in late December. While hosting occurs, CBI provides snacks, social interaction in the form of games and conversation, as well as providing access to movies and TV viewing. In addition, CBI works in collaboration with First Presbyterian Church to provide a week of evening meals during the period that First Presbyterian provides shelter to PACEM guests. For more information about volunteering to help during CBI's hosting period, contact Michael Weiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UJFC is our local "UJA" and reflects a core principle of our faith: we Jews are responsible for helping one another. And the UJFC’s spending priorities also reflect fundamental Jewish values: the importance of education, and the centrality of children and youth in our lives.
The Social Action Committee formed the Tzedakah Fund to give CBI an opportunity to support the work of local human service organizations. Since its inception, the Fund has given over $125,000 to over 50 local nonprofits. What makes this fund unique is that we have targeted our resources to programs where small sums of money can make a huge difference in their success. The Tzedakah Fund supports local agencies that provide direct services to benefit those in need. Please find the grant application forms here.