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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 and let the program’s leaders know of your interest. 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 socialaction@wct.org. Social Action co-chairs Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber and Roberta Roos are anxious to hear from you.

Opportunities for Engagement
(Click on each title to be taken to a page with more information.)

BACKPACK COLLECTION
Each summer, we collect backpacks and school supplies for the kindergarten/first graders of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center in Greenburgh. Donations are needed, as well as folks to fill the backpacks. 
Leader: Rabbi Lisa Izes,
socialaction@wct.org 

BLOOD DRIVE
We hold 2 blood drives at WCT annually through the New York Blood Center.  
Leaders: Margie Berman, Jill Garland and Steve Sagner,
Blood@wct.org 

BREAKFAST RUN/MIDNIGHT RUN
Several Sundays each year, we load up cars and head into NYC to provide breakfast, clothing and companionship to folks in need. Our Confirmation Class, along with other congregants and friends, provides food and clothing during its Christmas Eve Midnight Run.
Leaders: Julie Fischer, Tracey Frisch and Michael Frisch,
 midnightrunbreakfasts@wct.org 

BRIDGES TO FAITH & FRIENDSHIP
We firmly believe that developing relationships with people of other beliefs and backgrounds is a critical part of building peace and understanding in the world. Many of our activities are directed toward this goal.
Leader: Eric Katz, Bridges@wct.org 

CHILDREN'S VILLAGE GIFTS
We provide kids in a Children’s Village (a local residential community) cottage with a gift from their wish list during the Christmas season. Sign up to be called on when our drive begins.
Leaders: Jeanne Bodin,
socialaction@wct.org

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Informed by the values of Reform Judaism and the work of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) and RAC-NY in addressing issues of our day, we provide opportunities to act for social justice.
Leader: Andrea Olstein, 
CETF@wct.org 

COACHMAN
We work with Kesher to bring our 8th and 9th graders to White Plains for activities with kids residing in the Coachman Family Center.
Leaders: Julie deWinter Stein and Rabbi Lisa Izes, socialaction@wct.org

DESSERT FOR A WEEK
One week each month, we provide desserts for teens in a shelter in Valhalla. Please volunteer for a week - or to share a week with another family.
Leader: Jennifer Leff,
socialaction@wct.org

DISASTER RELIEF
Working with local groups, Woodlands provides assistance when disaster strikes. 

DOMESTIC ABUSE TASK FORCE
We help support the needs of women and children in, and about to leave, Hope's Door shelter, as well as educate our congregation about domestic abuse. Put your name on the list of those to be contacted when needs arise.
Leaders: Judy Stiefel, Jennifer Trevor-Hochman and Bill Woolis, domesticabuse@wct.org

ENVIRONMENTAL TASK FORCE
As we respond to the biblical commandment to till and tend our planet, we promote environmental responsibility in our community and nation as well as model this in our congregational life. 
Leader: Kirsten Kleinman, etf@wct.org

GUN VIOLENCE
We educate our congregants on gun violence and related issues and get involved in advocacy on behalf of legislation that will prevent gun violence. We welcome your interest and ideas.
socialaction@wct.org

HIGH HOLY DAYS AND ON-GOING HUNGER PROJECTS
We educate and advocate about food insecurity as well run High Holy Day and ongoing food collections for local food pantries.
Leaders: Sandi Lieb and Val Fox,
Socialaction@wct.org 

IMMIGRANT FRIENDS AT WOODLANDS
We advocate on behalf of immigrants, whether documented or not. In partnership with local organizations, provide them with direct support.
Immigrantfriends@wct.org

KNITTING & CROCHETING
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.  
Leaders: Angela Adler and Elizabeth Barnhard,
knitting @wct.org

PROJECT EZRA
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 in the winter and, in the spring, we provide them with food for their Passover celebration. 
Leaders: Harriet Kohn and Elise Wagner Ballan,
Projectezra@wct.org

RACIAL JUSTICE TASK FORCE 
We provide opportunities for congregants to learn about racial justice as a Jewish mandate, as well as work for equity, diversity and inclusion within our country, congregation and personal lives.
Leaders: Linda Einfrank and Rebecca Mazin, RJTF@wct.org 

REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
Continuing the tradition that first started when we sponsored a Boat Family, we now join 5 other faith groups in settling a refugee family from Afghan. 
Leaders: Leslie Litsky, Refugees@wct.org  

SPECIAL PROJECTS AND COLLECTIONS 
As needs arise, we run special projects and collections to meet these needs – diaper collections for food pantries, emergency supplies for hurricane victims, small appliance collections for those rebuilding after floods, toiletries for folks in shelters, etc. Please watch for the call – and answer it. 

TEEN SHELTER DINNERS
As part of a Greenburgh Interfaith Caring Community project, we provide home-cooked dinners to support teens in temporary shelter at the Sanctuary in Valhalla four times a year.  Please volunteer and we will put you on our notification list. 
Leader: Val Fox, Shelterdinner@wct.org 

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783