Most members of TBT are fortunate to lead happy, fulfilled lives. But not everyone living in Central Oregon is so blessed. One of our core missions is to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, giving them hope that their tomorrows can be better.
Our members are especially giving and for a small congregation, we mobilize many mitzvahs to serve folks in need. We are committed to the Jewish values of tikkun olam, the Hebrew phrase that means “repairing the world,” and gemilut chassidim — “acts of loving kindness.” Please join the TBT social action movement and make it even stronger.
Read about our social action projects and see what speaks to your heart. Look for upcoming dates and details posted in homepage Events. Arrange your mitzvah by contacting the Social Action Chair.
Family Kitchen marked 30 years of service to the community in 2016. Every week Family Kitchen serves four lunches and three dinners, on average an incredible 5,000 meals a month, to guests seated patiently at their tables. Dog and cat food is available for furry friends and gently-used clothing hangs on a nearby rack, free for the picking.
More than 300 volunteers from local religious, civic and business groups staff Family Kitchen. Guests include seniors that have apartments but find it difficult living only on Social Security and families with limited incomes. They come to Family Kitchen to eat well and stretch their dollars. There are homeless as well, some of the same people we see for breakfasts at the Back Door Café.
As part of our Social Action programming, TBT members serve dinner at the Family Kitchen on the first Friday of alternating months, starting in January each year.
Back Door Café
Back Door Café at the Methodist Church provides breakfast for the needy every Wednesday morning. The Café menu varies weekly — ham and eggs, hash browns, French toast, pancakes, and always hot oatmeal, cold cereal, and fruit. The number of guests ranges from 60 to 100+; increasing as the weather gets colder.
As part of our Social Action programming, TBT members serve breakfast at the Back Door Café on the third Wednesday of every month.
Bethlehem Inn Dinners
Bethlehem Inn is a nonsectarian homeless shelter, and the largest shelter in Deschutes County. Temple members help prepare dinners and serve residents. Different groups of TBT members volunteer to ensure scheduled meals are provided.
For dates, check out Events or the TBT Newsletter.
Havdallah With a Purpose
During the year, TBT members celebrate Havdallah together in support of a designated charity. Join us for these evenings of ceremony, friendship and community support. If you know of an organization we can help, contact our Social Action Chair.
Expanding our focus beyond meal-related support, TBT member volunteers also serve several other organizations:
Assistance League of Bend
For the Assistant League’s Secret Santa program in 2017, a dozen TBT members purchased gifts and assembled gift bags to anonymously fulfill the wishes and brighten the holidays for two dozen low income residents of living facilities in Bend and Redmond. We look forward to continuing this partnership with ALB in 2018 as they add two La Pine facilities to the eight Bend and four Redmond facilities previously served.
MountainStar Family Relief Nursery
MountainStar’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect through community support and therapeutic services that help vulnerable children and families succeed. A well-attended Havdallah With a Purpose brought MountainStar to our members’ attention and raised money as well. TBT members continue to donate gift cards, diapers and children’s items. We are also proud of our BBYO teen group that has “adopted” the Madras children’s nursery serving two dozen children from 0 to 5 years old. Quarterly, our teens purchase, bag and deliver requested gift items for the kids to enjoy on their birthdays.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity builds strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Habitat for Humanity’s mission is so worthwhile and we wanted to revive our participation. Our first build day in 2018 for Habitat was a huge success and a wonderful experience for all involved. Habitat loved our enthusiasm and have welcomed our future participation. Likewise, we were impressed with the Habitat crew’s expertise, guidance and organization including the cold water and refreshing watermelon they offered us. We have signed on to participate in builds nearly every two months.
Past projects include:
Bringing Baby Home
Many new parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Charles Hospital need financial assistance. The Bringing Baby Home program provided pre-paid gas cards to families traveling many costly miles to support their NICU baby.
In conjunction with Bringing Baby Home and to further assist cash-strapped parents, we accepted newborn baby items to fill gift bags with diapers, sleepers, blankets, socks, clothes and other baby essentials.
Equine Outreach facilitates the rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and permanent placement of abused and neglected horses in Central Oregon. Sadly, this is a huge problem in Central Oregon and we contributed funds to assist in feeding the animals.
Habitat for Humanity
TBT members of all ages braved the heat to help clear 11 new building sites for Habitat for Humanity. They also pulled weeds, hoed and got very dusty. Within a few hours, they made the site locations accessible to bulldozers. In a second outing for Habitat, TBT members helped install dry wall in one of the new homes under construction. Throughout the building process, we deployed groups to help develop these sites.
When children experience loss of loved ones, they may not have the vocabulary to express their grief. But children love art, and artistic projects can be a powerful medium for them to release their feelings about death and loss.
In the Children's Art in Bereavement programs, kids are encouraged to express themselves through artistic projects. Whether they are painting a portrait of how they see themselves, remembering those they love, or expressing what it feels like to experience the death of someone they love, they are releasing their feelings about death and loss. They create keepsakes, such as memory boxes, to remind them of those things they cherished about the person whom they loved and lost.
Our Havdallah With a Purpose raised $1,000 towards the Camp Courage program.
Relay for Life
Joining the fight against cancer, TBT participated in the American Cancer Society's annual Central Oregon event, Relay for Life. Thanks to Lauren Olander's extraordinary leadership and a tremendous turnout by TBT members, “Team Heal the World” was the top fundraiser, raising $9,600 in 2009 and $15,000 in 2010. Sons Jake and Zack have proudly taken over the reins for mom with their own team, Kids for Cancer. TBT members are welcome to step in.
Have an idea for a social action project? Contact the Social Action Chair.