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7360 Bayview Avenue, Thornhill, ON | 905-889-2252 | info@harzion.ca

Social Action

 

 

One of the foundations of Judaism and our synagogue is Tikkun Olam, the imperative upon us to heal the world and be active participants in bringing justice and healing to those around us and our planet. Our synagogue has a very active social action committee which has a number of on-going programs reaching out and helping in our community.

Over the years this committee has raised funds for Ethiopian Jews through the Million Quarter Project and established the MOSAIC INTERFAITH Out of the Cold Program which won an Irving J. Fain Social Action Award. From simple things like collecting milk bags to be converted into sleeping mats for the homeless in Haiti, and pop tabs to help Variety Village repair and purchase wheelchairs, to more complex projects such as raising awareness of First Nations’ issues.

We are part of the National Social Action Committee of the the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism, and have actively participated in bringing two resolutions to the previous two Union for Reform Judaism biennials:

* Raising awareness of the injustices to First Nations in Canada at the 2013 Biennial in San Diego

* Bringing forward a combined Canada/US resolution on Refugees in December 2017 in Boston.

Our Social Action Committee partners with MOSAIC INTERFAITH, a multi-faith based grass roots organization formed in 1980, to offer educational programs and a yearly Peace Meal along with a new series of programs entitled From Abraham 3 Faiths; which brings together our Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Michael Stroh, Reverend John Hill and Dr. Liyakat Takim to discuss some of the core issues confronting religious faiths today.

With our neighbours, the Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre, we were able to sponsor three Syrian refugee families and also show that Jews and Muslims could work together to model the call to Social Action inherent in both faiths.

 

Out-of-the-Cold

Our Out-of-The Cold Program has been serving the community for many years.. For eight Wednesdays each year from November to January, an army of volunteers from Temple Har Zion, alongside other caring people in the community, warmly welcome homeless and socially isolated people as guests to our synagogue for a hot meal and a safe place to spend the night.

Our guests are given the opportunity to be seen by a nurse and to choose clothing and toiletries as needed. After dinner, many guests enjoy playing bingo with prizes to be won and those who stay overnight welcome the opportunity to watch a movie before going to bed. Overnight guests are on their way after breakfast with a bagged lunch.

Temple Har Zion’s Out of the Cold program is known as one of the best Out of the Cold locations in the city, providing our guests with a much needed mental and physical break from the difficult realities of life that they face. Our program is the huge success it is because of the large number of volunteers who help out “behind the scenes”  in the days before guests arrive, on the days they come and show love, care and respect to each and every guest.

As our program usually runs from mid-November through mid-January each year, we begin “gearing up” by mid-October. If you would like to be involved in this most worthwhile program, please check this space for our regular updates and the various volunteer opportunities this program provides.

To become involved in this worthwhile committee, please contact socialaction@harzion.ca

Mon, August 20 2018 9 Elul 5778