Caring & Repairing

Gemilat Chesed

Acts of Kindness (Gemilat Chesed)

To learn about ongoing and one-time volunteer opportunities, join our mailing list by contacting Jenny Hage at jenhage@gmail.com.  If you are interested in helping to plan current or future projects, contact Barb Krupp, chair, at bkrupp12@comcast.net or Cantor Abrams at aabrams@bethelsynagogue.org.

Tikkun Olam – “Repairing the World”:
Projects that Support Organizations Outside of Beth El


Blood Drives:

Twice a year Beth El sponsors a blood drive through Memorial Blood Bank. We need more donors to partake in order to help save lives. Please consider becoming a regular donor at these drives. Contact: Dana Shapiro at danasueshapiro@gmail.com or Amy Shapiro at amyjshapiro@gmail.com.


Loaves and Fishes:

Six times per year, Beth El members, along with members of other Jewish Congregations in town, cook and serve a meal for approximately 200 guests of St. Stephen’s Church Soup Kitchen. We’ve been told our chicken dinners are something in which guests really look forward! Contact: Diana Rosen at rose0392@umn.edu


National Guard:

Beth El Synagogue adopted its first Minnesota National Guard Unit in 2011.  Since then, hundreds of soldiers and their families from all over Minnesota – stationed home and abroad – have received much needed support from dedicated community members. Goods for donation are dropped off daily at Beth El, and packed to be sent off to our brothers and sisters abroad. In addition, we have an email site where people can send kind, positive words of encouragement and gratitude which we print and forward to the soldiers: Cards4Soldiers@hotmail.com. Contact: Pam Friedman at pamela.friedman@hotmail.com.

Learn about the units we’ve adopted over the years:

Zabul Agribusiness Development Team (ADT)
C-CO 2-211 General Support Aviation Battalion
849th Mobility Augmentation Company (MAC)

Each year we host the Heroes Among Us Speaker Series, with proceeds going to benefit our unit adoption initiative.

To learn more about our Minnesota National Guard Support program, please contact: Pam Friedman.

If you have a friend or family member who is currently serving in the military, please let us know so that we can name them in our weekly list of heroes.


Ronald McDonald House:

This committee is always looking for new volunteers to help purchase, cook or serve (one or all three) for the 1st Sunday of the month brunch that Beth El produces at the Ronald McDonald House. Contact: Sarah Hanly at sarah.m.hanly@gmail.com.


Second Harvest:

Throughout the year, members of the Beth El community join together at Second Harvest to unpack and repack foods to be redistributed to local food shelves. Contact: Diana Rosen at  rose0392@umn.edu.


Sheridan Story:

Our participation in this project is two-fold: 1) Every Friday volunteers spend about one hour distributing backpacks of food to children with food insecurities at Nellie Stone Elementary School in North Minneapolis. Without this food, many of these children would have nothing to eat through much of the weekend. 2) We are in constant need of individuals willing to sponsor children monetarily who are receiving these backpacks of food. Contact: Steve Kaplan at skaplan@fredlaw.com


STEP Food Drive:

Participate in our yearly drives by 1) bringing your filled grocery bags on Yom Kippur and then helping to unload the truck and sort food at STEP the day after Yom Kippur, 2) bringing food throughout the month of March for  Minnesota Food Share Month, 3) bringing items for our monthly themed collections of items identified by STEP as the highest need at the time.  Contact: Diana Rosen at  rose0392@umn.edu.


Yad V’lev – “Hand and Heart”:
Projects that Supports Members within the Beth El Community

Transportation:

On Shabbat mornings we provide transportation for some of our congregants who live at Knollwood Apartments. These congregants are thrilled to be able to attend services.   Contact: Margie Goldfine at smmaahome@aol.com


Visiting:

We are looking for a few individuals who would like to visit with congregants who are homebound or in the nursing home. Contact: Jan Hamilton, Beth El’s Congregational Nurse, at jhamilton@bethelsynagogue.org


Widows and Widower Bags:

Twice each year, Rosh Hashanah and Pesach, bags with holiday treats are delivered to individuals who have lost a spouse within the previous six months. Help is always appreciated for preparing and delivering the bags.   Contact: Pat and Sam Lichterman at lichtermansammy@aol.com.


Yad V’lev:

This of dedicated individuals write notes, make calls and deliver challot/meals to members who have recently returned home for the hospital or suffered a loss. In addition, this is the “go-to” list for any other needs that arise – either for the Beth El community or outside of the community. Additional help is always appreciated. Contact: Jenny Hage at jenhage@gmail.com.