Social Action is an integral part of the Beth El community. We frequently hold Social Action events and encourage the entire membership to get involved in helping our surrounding community in need.
Gemilut hassadim, acts of lovingkindness, and tikkun olam, repairing the world are both fundamental to Judaism and its mandates for social action. The Torah tells us to feed the hungry, relieve suffering, promote justice, and respond to the needs of our fellow human beings in as many ways as we can.
Our Social Action Committee’s current main focus is Hunger/Nutrition and Child Poverty. We support various organizations and programs concerned with relief efforts in these fields. Click here to make sure you are up-to-date on all current and forthcoming events and issues by joining the Social Action Google Group. After joining, you can configure the settings to your particular preferences. Click here for information on specific programs and be sure to watch for updates as more projects are added throughout the year. Many projects are supported through the generous donations given to our Mitzvah Fund. Beth El is also a member of Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA), the Interfaith Council of Chapel Hill (IFC), and the HIAS Welcome Campaign.
- Beth El’s Social Action Committee organizes and sponsors a variety of social action projects such as food and blood drives, days of service and fundraisers.
- Our goal is to cultivate a culture of social action and community engagement at Beth El through the planning and promotion of opportunities for volunteering, donating and becoming educated about issues impacting the community-at-large.
- The Committee also serves as a central information point for individual and group volunteer opportunities, and a resource of collected information on social action engagement.
- Social Action partners and collaborates with Jewish and interfaith organizations.
Beth El’s Social Action Committee has identified addressing food insecurity as one of its top priorities. There are many opportunities that enable volunteers to provide assistance on their schedules whether it’s once a month or once every few months. Our participation is so meaningful to both the recipients of food assistance and to the broader community as we partner with others to respond to this need. Descriptions of the opportunities are listed below.
Urban Ministries serves dinners on-site at their location in downtown Durham. Members of Beth El, Judea Reform, and Jewish for Good provide and serve the dinners once a month on the 4th Sunday of each month. Requested food donations can be found in the Sign-Up Genius. Those items are collected from 12:30 to 1 p.m. the 4th Sunday of each month in the Judea Reform parking lot. If it’s the Jewish for Good parking lot instead, a note will be sent out. https://www.signupgenius.
Jewish for Good hands out groceries and hygiene items every second Tuesday during the summer months. Drivers also are needed for home deliveries the second and fourth Tuesdays. You also can donate non-perishable items or cash for its summer food drive. For information, contact Jordana Brown at email@example.com
Walltown Food Pantry hands out groceries to 150 families on the fourth Thursday of each month. There are two shopping dates earlier in the month, and food is sorted into grocery bags on the fourth Monday of each month. Beth El is one of seven participating congregations located in the Walltown neighborhood. The food pantry is currently located at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0d49acaa23a46-updatedwalltown
Iglesia Emanuel distributes groceries to 650 families every Wednesday afternoon at 2504 North Roxboro Street. Volunteer shifts for preparation are available every Monday and Tuesday morning and afternoon. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f48aaad23a6fa7-iglesia
Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in Carrboro provides hot take-out meals and runs a food pantry. For volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.ifcweb.org/volunteer
Meals on Wheels Durham and Meals on Wheels Orange County, NC, have daily volunteer opportunities to pack and load food or to make deliveries to older adults who do not have access to, or the ability to prepare, healthy meals.
To volunteer in Durham, visit https://www.mowdurham.org/volunteer or in Orange County, visit https://www.mowocnc.org/current-volunteer-opportunities
PORCH runs neighborhood food drives once a month. Residents place food donations on their front porches. A volunteer collects the donations and transports them to a central location where they are sorted, packed and delivered to families, pantries and schools. For volunteer information, visit https://porchcommunities.org/durham/get-involved for Durham County or https://chapelhill.porchcommunities.org for Chapel Hill/Carrboro.
If you have any questions or are looking for ways to get involved, please contact our Social Action Committee Co-Chairs: