Healing the World at WJC through Social Action and Environmental Awareness
WJC’s Social Action Committee is actively involved in numerous projects that afford individuals of all ages the opportunity to get involved. Our projects range from one-time events to ongoing programs. The Mitzvah Card, which is distributed on Kol Nidre, is our main source of volunteers for these activities. We hope you will get involved! Please feel free to contact the chair of the Social Action Committee, Eve Edelman Russ at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
We also contribute to healing the world by becoming more aware of our environment through various activities sponsored by the Green Committee. The mission of this committee is to educate our congregation on how to sustain and respect the environment. Read here on ways we can change our habits and eat more humanly raised meat and sustainable food, all in keeping with the spirit of Jewish law.
ACTIVE PROJECTS FOR 2015-2016:
- Food Collection: Donate cereal for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry. Collection bins are located by the dairy kitchen. Contact Sondra Levy at [email protected] if you have any questions.
- Bikur Cholim: Sign up to make a meal for fellow congregants for Shivas, births or illnesses. We maintain a lengthy list of excellent chefs who are called upon on a rotating basis as the need arises. Contact Cindy Heller at [email protected]
- Community Craft/Baking Day: Participate in a family event to benefit local community groups. In previous years, families have gathered to make cookies and crafts, which were donated, to the KEEPS After School Care Center in Mamaroneck. This event is generally held on a Sunday in the winter. Contact Sondra Levy at [email protected]
- Help the Hungry - Join fellow congregants in preparing sandwiches for distribution to local shelters such as the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester. This event is held bi-monthly at varying times on a Sunday. Contact Sondra Levy at [email protected]
- Community Resource Center (fka Hispanic Resource Center) - WJC has forged a relationship in recent years with the neighboring Community Resource Center (CRC) in Mamaroneck. All year long, the CRC is in need of English teachers for Spanish speaking individuals. In addition, in December we host a holiday gift drive for the families. You can sign up to help organize the event as well as contribute a gift to those who are less fortunate. Contact Ruth Obernbreit Glass at [email protected]
- Honey from the Heart - Purchase an 8-ounce jar of delicious honey through the Honey From The Heart program, which supports both the Westchester Jewish Center Sisterhood and ORT America at the same time. Once your order is placed, we will arrange for an 8-ounce jar of delicious honey to arrive in time for the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
- Mitzvah Day – We collect gently used clothing for donation to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester. We collect over the counter medications for the elderly Jewish community in Ternopil, Ukraine. In addition, the Brotherhood holds its annual Blood Drive on Mitzvah Day. Clean out your closets and help those in need! Contact Eve Edelman Russ at [email protected]
- Mitzvah Drivers – Sign up to help drive an elderly WJC member to shul on Shabbat or doctor’s appointments. We maintain a list of volunteers who help fulfill this need on a rotating basis. Contact Ruth Obernbreit Glass at [email protected]
- Project Ezra – We seek volunteers to assist at an annual luncheon for elderly people who visit us from the Lower East Side. We serve them a healthful lunch and provide entertainment. Contact Janice Mallett at [email protected]
- Project Ezra Food Drive – We collect Passover foods for the homebound elderly Jewish population who live on either the Lower East Side or Pelham Parkway neighborhood in the Bronx. Volunteers are needed to help pack up for the donated food items for distribution. In addition, you can participate in deliveries to the homebound and elderly in the Bronx. Contact Sharon Silver at [email protected]
- Hunger Task Force: Food donations (in addition to the specifics noted above) for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry (which is housed at the CAP Center on 34 Center Avenue in Mamaroneck) can always be left in the white wicker baskets stationed both upstairs and downstairs at WJC. Over 200 families count on food distributed by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry biweekly. WJC also needs volunteers to transport food donations from WJC to the CAP Center in Mamaroneck. It is a great mitzvah for those seniors in High School who now have a car! Contact Sondra Levy at [email protected]
MITZVAH DAY - Each year, we ask members to donate and/or participate in the following:
- Clothing Drive: Donate clothes in good condition for needy organizations. Every year we fill a large truck completely.
- Medicine Drive: Donate over-the-counter medicines that are shipped to Ternopil, Ukraine. After the fall of the USSR we became “twinned” with the city of Ternopil in the Ukraine through Y'ad L'Yad (Hand to Hand), an organization that links Jewish communities in the former USSR with American synagogues to help keep an eye on their safety and health. Many of the elderly Jews there are living below poverty level and are in desperate need of OTC medicines.
- Brotherhood Blood Drive: Give Blood! The New York Blood Center comes to WJC to collect donations for the area hospitals. The Brotherhood coordinates this and provides refreshments. For more information, please contact [email protected]
We are always looking for new ideas and members. For more information, please contact Eve Russ at [email protected]