CHAI HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE KICKS OFF
Participate in Temple Emanu-El’s annual High Holiday food drive, and you will make a difference in the fight against hunger. All donations go to the Community Assistance Center (CAC) and the Food Pantry at Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS). Both directly serve food-insecure families and individuals in our community.
Also known as Project Isaiah, this year the drive has been renamed the Chai Holiday Food Drive, as we focus on “chai”, the Hebrew word for “life”. And since “chai” is symbolized by the number 18, we’re asking congregants to consider donating from 18 nutritionally dense, non-perishable foods. Foods to consider include:
- canned meats
- canned soup
- canned chili
- canned vegetables
- canned tuna
- canned stews
- canned beans
- oatmeal & other cereals
- juice boxes or cans
- fruit cups
- peanut butter & jelly
- canned spaghetti sauce & pastas
- boxed pasta meals (like mac ‘n’ cheese)
You can drop off your donation weekdays through October 15, between the hours of 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. The Project Isaiah barrels are located inside TE’s administrative entrance doors. No need to come all the way into the building: the barrels are located between the two sets of doors. If you’d rather remain in your car, please call the office, and someone will come out to you.
Remember, we can all make a difference in the fight against hunger. The need is great, both across the city and in our own backyard.
Backpack Buddies is expanding!
Because there’s been such a terrific response from our generous congregants, we will be packing food for both Austin and Chesnut elementary schools this year. Before COVID struck, between 20 and 30 families regularly volunteered to pack breakfast and lunch bags so about 25 schoolmates could have healthy food over weekends. When the program had to be suspended because of COVID, we made sure no food was wasted. Working with the school’s administration, we delivered over 250 bags of food to families at Chesnut. What a MITZVAH!
Let’s keep the momentum of Tikkun Olam going for the year to come. We will begin serving both these schools in the next few weeks. Please stay tuned to the Kesher Quick for more information on when and how to sign up, or contact Julie Weiser at email@example.com to volunteer.
A New Initiative
When we think about social justice, we ask what we can do to repair cracks in our broken world.
Temple Emanu-El’s Social Justice Committee is excited to announce a new initiative to fight hunger. In partnership with the Atlanta Mayor’s Office and Temple Sinai, we have committed to providing food for a community of 25 immigrant families in the Sandy Springs/Brookhaven area for the next four months. In many cases these families have lost jobs due to COVID and are not receiving any government aid. The Mayor’s Office has deemed their situation a humanitarian crisis which, while temporary, is dire.
The first distribution of culturally sensitive food was on September 1, and it was a huge success. The families received crates of fresh vegetables and fruit, including peppers, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and oranges, in addition to bags of flour and tortillas.
Because of COVID concerns, Temple Emanu-El’s role is mostly a financial one. The food is distributed every two weeks, with the next date set for Tuesday, September 15.
Donations are welcome through our Tzedakah Fund. (You can make an online donation by clicking on “COVID Tzedakah for Outside Community”.)
COVID-19 has struck many communities hard, and as the crisis continues to unfold, Temple Emanu-El will continue to grow partnerships with other faith-based communities and non-profit agencies across Atlanta. Doing so enables us to help more families and individuals in need of food, shelter and overall care.
THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS
Summer Lunches a Huge Success!
- Since the program was launched earlier this summer, 2040 lunches have been delivered to Mary Hall Freedom Village.
- Over 70 volunteers decorated lunch bags with artistic flair and inspirational messages and filled them with nutritionally dense food for the women and their children.
MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
by Laura Wenner
Do you have a plan in place to vote in the November general election?
Casting a vote in the upcoming election should be straightforward. However, for many, voting is anything but easy. COVID-19 and other disruptions have created a lot of new confusion over when and how to vote.
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to hatch a plan to vote. Map out a strategy that works for your schedule, health concerns and location. Here’s a peek at mine.
Register to Vote
First, I reviewed the Georgia My Voter Page site to check my voter registration status, poll location, deadlines, and other information. You can register online until October 5.
Apply for an Absentee Ballot
Next, I sent in an application for an absentee ballot, because I don’t want to wait in a long line at a physical poll location. Any registered Georgia voter may apply for an absentee ballot. Applications must be received by your county board of registrar’s office by October 30. Here’s a helpful step-by-step primer on applying.
Be sure to check the My Voter Page site to make sure your application was received by the registrar’s office.
Once my ballot arrives, I’ll need to carefully follow the instructions and mail it to the registrar’s office ASAP, so it arrives well in advance of Election Day on November 3.
Those who wish to vote early at their precinct can do so between October 12 and October 30. (If I choose to, I can bring my mail-in ballot to my registrar’s office for that “vote in person feeling.”)
Become a volunteer poll worker
Make it easier for people to vote in your county by committing your time on November 3.
Although the risk of COVID-19 will move many to vote by mail, more than 5 million Georgians will vote at approximately 2,600 polling places in the November general election.
We want to help ensure that communities have in-person voting options that are safe, secure and efficient. It is particularly important this year, as the average age of poll workers in Georgia is 72, and many will not volunteer in the November election due to the coronavirus. People ages 16 and older may be eligible to serve in this critical job.
Temple Emanu-El President Robert Wittenstein worked at the Dunwoody Library during the runoff election on August 11.
“It was a long, hard day (14 hours),” he wrote in an email to congregants, “but I felt safe and I knew I was helping with a civic duty. The county gave all the poll workers an N95 mask. Except for one person, every single voter during that day was wearing a mask. At no point was I within 6 feet of any voter. One of my responsibilities was wiping down voting machines with disinfectant between each use.”
For more information, and to become a poll worker, sign up online.
Make Election Day a Holiday
Not everyone can take off work to vote on a Tuesday. Most of us will be short on time. Even though I will have voted by mail, I’m not scheduling meetings or sending a lot of emails on Election Day. It’s a great time to volunteer to help someone get to the polls.
Let’s treat November 3 like a day of service – to our country and to each other.
TEFTY PRACTICES ACTS OF
TIKKUN OLAM DURING COVID!
At their first event of the year, TEFTY members kept social justice in mind by collecting food for our Chai Holiday Food Drive, also known as Project Isaiah! They also planted over a hundred new daffodils in remembrance of children who perished during the Holocaust.
Temple Emanu-El youth engagement rocks! Kudos to all the teens who participated!
A LETTER FROM KAREN BARON,
your CAC Committee Chair
Gosh, do I miss you! I miss what we did. I miss seeing you. I miss working alongside you while we served others in need. However, most importantly, I hope that you are all safe and healthy.
I have spoken to many of you about whether or not we should return to CAC as volunteers. I know that we all want to. I know that we are needed. A few months ago we were not ready. Within these months, CAC has remained open and served many. They have also made ongoing changes as they have learned more about COVID and received safety information from health officials, In addition to the masks/cleaning/distancing, they have a different system in place now (Food Pantry outside and very few volunteers at a time inside with no clients inside/Thrift Shop with few volunteers and clients at a time). IF and only if you are ready, come observe. See for yourself if this is an opportunity you would like to participate in. Totally up to you when you are ready! Below is additional information about opportunities available.
There is also an opportunity for us to have a TE Saturday again. However it would look very different. CAC is in need of 4 volunteers to receive/mark/shelve donations on Saturdays. CAC is not open to clients on weekends at this time. You can sign up for these positions individually, or if enough of us are interested TE could take the third Saturday and rotate 4 volunteers each month. Please call or email me individually and let me know your thoughts about a TE Saturday.
As always, you are an amazing group that I remain fortunate to know and work with. PLEASE take care of yourselves!
SECOND HELPINGS ATLANTA UPDATE
- From October to August our TE volunteers rescued almost 11,000 pounds of produce!
- Food was rescued from Costco and Trader Joe’s and delivered to Malachai’s Storehouse and CAC.
- More than 30 volunteers participated!
- Occasional route offerings are happening now.
- Regular routes to resume when volunteers can safely participate once again.
- Contact Karen Singer for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
ZABAN PARADIES CENTER
Did you know? Zaban Paradies Center will gladly pick up furniture donations from your home or office?
The goal at Zaban Paradies is for the residents to transition from the Center into permanent housing. The Center welcomes everything necessary to set up a home, including, but not limited to:
- Kitchen items---pots, pans dishes, cutlery, glassware, towels
- Bathroom items-towels, toiletries, etc.
- Bedroom items-linens
Donations may be dropped at the Center, picked up with furniture or by contacting Nancy Shapiro at email@example.com
MUSIC WITH A MISSON: A VIRTUAL CONCERT
Benefiting Mary Hall Freedom Village
Presenting Music with a Mission is a virtual fundraising concert to benefit Mary Hall Freedom Village (formerly known as Mary Hall Freedom House). The concert will feature two talented performers on Thursday evening, October 1 from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
The first artist, Daphne Willis, is an accomplished singer, guitar player and songwriter. Edwin McCain is a singer-songwriter who released 11 albums and two top-40 radio hits. Please consider buying a ticket, becoming a sponsor or making a donation. The proceeds will benefit the women and children of Mary Hall Freedom Village. Click the link below for more details: