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The purpose of the social action committee is to organize programs and projects that will engage the congregation in the Jewish mandates of social justice and provide opportunities for tikkun olam. The committee offers the congregation community service opportunities and educational programs.

In a polarized political climate, we strive to advocate for our social justice goals and affirm the Jewish values that transcend partisan politics. Temple Beth El participates in the Brit Olam (covenant with our world) an initiative of the Union of Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center. We have action teams focused on immigration and racial justice. 

The Social Action Committee meets monthly on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm. We welcome new members to our meetings and activities.

Mitzvah Opportunities

​​​Porchlight’s Men’s Shelter

Temple Beth El cooks, delivers, and serves a meal to the clients of Porchlight on the 5th Wednesday of every month. Porchlight provides emergency shelter, food, employment services, counseling, and affordable transitional and permanent housing. 

Volunteer Opportunities Available:

  • Shopping for Ingredients
  • Cooking the Meal at Temple on Wednesday 4:00 -5:00 pm
  • Baking Cookies at Home
  • Transporting food to Grace Episcopal Church 6:00-7:00 pm
  • Serving the food at Grace Men’s Shelter between 7:00 -9:00 pm

Contact Pam Robbins at
For dates, specific needs and to sign up, visit our page.

  • Transporting food to Grace Episcopal Church 6:00-7:00 pm
  • Serving the food at Grace Men’s Shelter between 7:00 -9:00 pm

Contact Pam Robbins at
For dates, specific needs and to sign up, visit our page.


High Holy Days Food Drive

Every year at Rosh Hashanah, we ask the congregation to remember those in our community without enough food by making a monetary contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

We challenge the religious school children to collect food to add to the Goodman Center Thanksgiving baskets, distributed to hundreds of needy families in Dane County.

Emerson School

With the other Madison Jewish congregations, we participate in the Madison Public Schools adopt-a-school program. We provide volunteers to mentor children in literacy and math, support evening activities for the families, and help provide backpacks and school supplies.

Contact Marcia Vandercook at

Thoreau School

We are part of an interfaith project to help families at our neighborhood elementary school, Thoreau. On a periodic basis, we fill backpacks for school families who otherwise would not have enough food for the weekend.

Contact Vic Levy at

Healing House

TBE recently completed 18 years of providing meals and shelter through The Road Home, a program that helps families experiencing homelessness find and maintain stable housing. The Road Home has now formed a partnership with Healing House, a program of Madison-Area Urban Ministry. Healing House provides housing, meals and care for homeless families when a member needs to recover from surgery, illness, or childbirth. We provide cooked meals several weeks a year. 

Contact Cathy Rotter at

Catholic Multicultural Center

The Catholic Multicultural Center provides free meals every day to about 70 south side community members and homeless people. The Center buys and prepares the food, while volunteers serve the food and clean up. A variety of church congregations and community groups provide the volunteer corps to support this effort. We help out the second Monday of each month.

Contact Sue Levy at For dates and to sign up, visit here.

JSS Refugee Resettlement Program

Jewish Social Services provides case management, job help, and housing for newly-arrived refugee families from a number of countries. Our volunteers work to set up their apartments with furniture and food. We also provide summer and after-school tutors for students from one family.

Contact Sherie Sondel at

January 28, 2021 15 Sh'vat 5781