Tikkun Olam–Social Action/Social Justice

Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is infused in every aspect of our Temple community. As Jews we are committed to healing, whether it be our Temple world, our surrounding communities, or supporting and lobbying for national and international social and political issues. Our Congregation provides its members with many opportunities for social action and justice. The social action programs benefit shelters, the homeless and the hungry, the elderly, and our environment.  The social justice projects involve education, communication, and outreach.  By reaching out to people in need, we not only help to repair the world, but also strengthen our Jewish identity and provide an important example of our values for our children.

At the center of our Tikkun Olam programs is our Social Action/Social Justice Committee. Our mission is to be the central resource for Jewish social action to both temple organizations and individuals in the temple who look for ways to make a positive impact on the world. Our committee strives to provide a Jewish framework for our congregants to perform tikkum olam.

In choosing and developing projects:

  • We try to be nonjudgmental, progressive and encourage collaboration with other faith and community groups.
  • We support pluralism, inclusiveness and tolerance.
  • We embrace issues supported by our Jewish teachings and tradition: justice, openness to the “other”, and support of the needy and vulnerable.
  • We work on a national level by being an active part of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Ongoing Activities

Assisting with IINE (International Institute of New England)

The Lowell  IINE site serves refugee families and individuals from around the world.They create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pa

thways to citizenship. Members of Congregation Shalom’s Social Justice/Social Action committee help by delivering food to food-insecure families every Thursday, being part of a group setting up apartments and providing transportation to various appointments. We are part of a larger volunteer team called the Chelmsford Faith Group, comprised of people from various churches and congregations in Chelmsford.

The Wish Project

In addition to coordinating donation drives of PJ’s, Mother’s Day bags, birthday bags and clothing,there are 3-4 opportunites a year for members to volunteer on a Saturday morning in the Wish Project distribution center.  Volunteers can be found sorting, organizing, helping in the Thrift Store or assisting a client in picking items. The Wish Project  is a non-profit that provides hope for low income or homeless families in need by providing clothing, diapers,household goods beds at no cost to the family. They have over forty community partners whom they  partner with. and serve as a distribution center for their  caseworkers and their clients. The Wish Project helps families throughout Greater Lowell and  the Merrimack Valley

Food for Lowell Transitional Living Center (LTLC)

Congregation Shalom members provide food each month for people in need at the LTLC.The Lowell Transitional Living Center is an emergency shelter for unaccompanied individuals over 18 years of age experiencing homelessness.The second Wednesday of each month, volunteers leave designated prepared food in a cooler in front of the temple. Requested food items are meatloaves, salads and brownies – but all food donations are accepted.

Serving Food for Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Every 8 weeks Congregation Shalom members volunteer to help serve food  to those in need at the Table of Plenty in Chelmsford. The Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Chelmsford, Massachusetts consisting of volunteers who desire to share community with those in need.

Projects Include:

  • “Every Voice, Every Vote” nonpartisan postcarding campaign to engage under represented voters. We team up with The Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center (RAC) to encourage every American to vote.
  • High Holiday Food Drive benefiting local food pantries
  • Red Cross Blood Drives
  • December Holiday dinner at local senior living center

We meet once a month on Wednesday night at 7pm via zoom. If you would like to join our committee, have project ideas, or  just want to volunteer – please contact us at socialjustice@congregationshalom.org.