The Reform Temple of Rockland has designed its program to encourage wide-scale congregant participation in tikkun olam. This effort was built on a long-standing commitment to community service that has been woven into the fabric of our congregation since its inception. We have inspired action by providing education — about the Jewish imperative to pursue justice, about the ongoing needs within our community and the world, and the ongoing opportunities for gemilut chasadim. We have provided ongoing assistance to those in need and to the organizations that serve them – the homeless, the hungry, the elderly, our brothers and sisters in Israel, the working poor of Rockland County, our own congregants, and the environment. And, we have responded in times of emergency.
The key to the success of our efforts has been collaboration between many Temple committees and partnerships with several organizations also working to heal the world. The organizations have included United Way of Rockland County, People to People, Meals on Wheels, Nyack Hospital, the Nyack Homeless Project, Rockland Lake State Park, Keep Rockland Beautiful, Helping Hands, Jewish Family Services, Rockland Family Shelter, DOROT, the New Israel Fund, and New York Blood Center. In creating ongoing partnerships with these organizations, we have provided real services to our local and international communities and paved the way for congregants to pursue meaningful ongoing work.
Our programs have included a tax assistance program for the working poor, a collaboration with other houses of worship to provide shelter for the homeless during the winter months, multiple community service days, multiple food drives, a Social Action Speaker Series, ongoing participation in a Kosher Food Cupboard, the generation of tzedakah for the New Israel Fund and organizations that work to alleviate hunger in Rockland and around the world, and a major effort to assist victims of Hurricanes.
The local press has reported on our efforts with substantial coverage, providing recognition for the Temple and education about the local needs being addressed by our work.
Opportunities for Mitzvot
There are many opportunities to perform mitzvot with the RTR community:
Back to School With Dignity: We’re currently partnering with People to People to collect school supplies to help low-income families in Rockland County. See the supply list here.
Rhoda Bloom Kosher Food Pantry: Each month, in conjunction with Jewish Family Services, RTR congregants help gather and distribute food to those in need in Rockland’s Jewish community. Click here for the dates to volunteer.
Helping Hands: During the winter months, RTR volunteers at the area’s homeless shelter for three nights per month. On those nights volunteers are needed to serve dinner and greet the guests. For all who participated last year, it was a rewarding experience. The dates to volunteer for 2018-2019 are: Nov 25-27; Feb 26-28; Apr 9-11. Learn more about Helping Hands here.