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Social Action

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?"
                                                                                              - Rabbi Hillel, Pirke Avot 1:14

At Woodlands we believe in social action through participation. Giving one’s time to those causes that make the world a better place is at the very heart of Jewish life. While we find ourselves transformed and provoked by our sacred texts and prayers, we can transform the lives of others through expressions of participation and giving.

Whether you have a day, a few weeks, or just an hour, our Social Action Committee has activities for you. They span the areas of Service, Advocacy, Education, and Partnership, encompassing a wide variety of interests for people of all ages and time commitments. Take a look at our programs and decide what excites you and fits into your life. More programs are added throughout the year. All that is needed is a desire to help. And if you have an idea for a new project, let's talk about it. Reach us at Social Action co-chairs Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber and Roberta Roos are anxious to hear from you.

Opportunities for Engagement

Following the lead of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC), we inform the congregation of legislative and social concerns and provide opportunities for action.

We are pleased to be working with other Reform congregations in NYS to advocate for just and compassionate legislation. Through RAC-NY during the past legislative session, we successfully worked for Drivers Licenses for All, enabling all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration License to receive drivers licenses after passing their tests.  For information about our work with RAC-NY, contact Andrea Olstein at

The Social Action Committee has decided to make passage of the Parental Bereavement Leave Act a priority and take a leadership role in working toward its passage.

We are very involved in the effort to end gun violence. If you want to become involved, contact Shelly Katz at

See below for specific issues.

Donate blood at WCT through the New York Blood Center. Nov. 10, 2019, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Anyone from 17-75 years old who weighs at least 110 lbs can donate blood. 16 year-olds can donate with a letter from their parents and those 75 years old or older with a letter from their doctor.  Sign up. Co-chairs are Chuck Bauer, Margie Berman, Jill Garland and Steve Sagner,

Several Sundays each year, the Breakfast Run group loads up cars with oatmeal, French toast, hot coffee, yogurt, and more and heads into NYDC to provide breakfast, clothing and companionship to folks who are homeless or low income. Contact for information on helping. Our Confirmation Class, along with other congregants and friends, provides food and clothing for its Christmas Eve midnight run. Watch for notice of our next runs.

Making connections with people of other beliefs and backgrounds is a critical part of building peace and understanding in the world. This is particularly true in a time in which division, fear and anti-semitism are on the rise in the US and around the globe. Bridges to Faith and Friendship is building on existing relationships with the Muslim community of Peace Islands Institute and the initiatives of the Interfaith Caring Community of Greenburgh. This taskforce needs your creativity, enthusiasm and participation as we develop new relationships and focus on the commonalities that unite us all. Contack Eric Katz at to explore how you migh become involved. And - save Saturday evening, April 25 for our fifth annual Iftar with Peace Islands Institute. 

Each December we provide holiday gifts for the teens in a Children's Village cottage. To fill the wish of a teen, contact Jeanne Bodin and Natalie Werner at

One week each month, we will be providing desserts (homemade, bought or fresh fruit) for the teens in a shelter in Valhalla. To volunteer for a week - or to share a week with another family - contact Jeanne Bodin and Natalie Werner at

To help support the needs of women and children in, and about to leave, Hope's Door shelter, click here.

As we respond to the biblical commandment to till and tend our planet, this year we are increasing our efforts to become a "zero waste" community in both our temple and our homes. To get involved in any of our Reduce, Recycle, Reuse efforts, contact Kirsten Kleinman at

Together with our neighbors, Woodlands is vigorous in responding to hate incidents and teaching tolerance and understanding. Click here to learn what is happening and what you can do.

Each year the Yom Kippur Food Truck rolls into the Woodlands parking lot to collect healthy, non-perishable food. Congregants are asked to bring a box or bag of newly purchased healthy food to contribute to Woodlands biggest food collection of the year. Volunteers help at the van as well as help deliver the food to the food pantries on the morning after Yom Kippur. When the request comes (via daf and congregational email), please volunteer to work the food van and/or deliver the collected food.

Feeding the hungry is a major part of our work. We urge you to bring a donation to our Mensch of the Month food cart whenever you come to the temple.

To help disaster victims, click here.

Undocumented immigrants live in constant fear of apprehension and deportation by ICE. We are constantly looking for ways to ensure that they are treated with justice and compassion. For current opportunities to help, click here and here. For more information, contact Lesli Cattan and Steve Glusker at

We meet regularly to help and inspire each other as we complete projects such as blankets for babies in Israel, afghans and holiday presents for domestic abuse victims, and other projects. Email Angela Adler at knitting

We are proud of our 40+ year involvement with these elderly Jews of the Lower East Side. In the fall/winter, they are our guests at a luncheon and in the spring, we provide them with food for their Passover celebration. Get involved in either or both! For more information, contact Harriet Kohn, Elise Wagner Ballan and Janet Weinstein at

Our refugee resettlement team is led by Marge Glusker and Melanie Roher. Click here for an update.

Several times each year, as part of a project of the Greenburgh Interfaith Caring Community, Woodlands prepares Sunday dinner for the teens residing at The Sanctuary in Valhalla. If you would like to participate (really easy - food prepared at home), let the team (Val Fox, Melissa Goldsmith, Allison Pray) know at and they will put you on the notification list. Our next dinner will be on Sunday, June 9.




Click Here to read our Social Action Brochure

Sun, September 19 2021 13 Tishrei 5782