Social Justice & Social Action

Tikkun olam, or repairing our world, is a bedrock value of Jewish faith. Practicing tikkun olam strengthens our Jewish identity, enhances our Temple community and allows us to live our values.

Temple Emanuel provides many opportunities for involvement in social action and social justice through direct service, advocacy, education, and legislative or policy action. As world events occur… as national, state, or local issues emerge… or as unique service opportunities arise, our community responds through efforts led by clergy, lay leaders or congregant-initiated projects.

Our Social Responsibility Committee is focused on engaging all Temple Emanuel members in learning about and acting on Jewish values for justice, equality and a better world. Please share your talents, energies and interests, and join us. Here are some ways you can serve and participate:

Community Service, Collections & Tzedakah

Prepare Community Meals for Bread & Roses

Support of the Bread & Roses Community Meal Program is among Temple Emanuel’s longest ongoing social action projects. Once a month, temple members prepare a meal for guests of Bread & Roses, a Lawrence-based non-profit whose mission is to address the core necessities of the Merrimack Valley’s community members with a holistic and welcoming approach focusing on food insecurity. Join us in the temple kitchen on the second Monday of each month, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. 

Deliver Community Meals to Bread & Roses

We invite members of the congregation to deliver the meals we’ve prepared to Bread & Roses on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 am. A member of our custodial team will help you load the meal (prepared the night before) from the temple kitchen into your vehicle and a Bread & Roses staff member will help you bring the food into their kitchen. 

Serve Community Meals at Bread & Roses

Once a month, Temple members serve restaurant-style and take-out dinners to guests at Bread & Roses. Join us on the second Tuesday of each month from 3:15 to 6:30 pm.

Yom Kippur Food Drive and Food Collection for Bread & Roses

Temple Emanuel conducts an annual food drive to collect non-perishable foods and funds that help Bread & Roses keep its kitchen stocked. Additionally, our community collects non-perishable food items for Bread & Roses throughout the year. You can help by leaving the following items in the collection box in the temple’s coat room: canned fruit and vegetables, soup, pasta, long grain rice, tuna fish, powdered lemonade, instant milk, sugar, vegetable oil, napkins and paper towels.

Community Fridge and Pantry 

Temple Emanuel is proud to support Community Fridge and Pantry in partnership with Village Food Hub, a non-profit organization founded to strengthen our community food system. The 24-hour self-service food pantry and fridge is hosted at Ballard Vale United Church in Andover. On the third Thursday of every month, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, coolers and bins are placed outside of Temple’s main entrance for donations of both perishable and non-perishable foods.

Habitat for Humanity

Each year, a cadre of Temple volunteers gathers to help build an affordable home for a local working family in need of a safe and decent home. Volunteers work under the guidance of construction professionals, alongside other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners. 

Warm Clothing Drive

Each fall, Temple hosts a warm clothing drive to benefit Debbie’s Treasure Chest, a Methuen-based program providing aid and support for disadvantaged and at-risk families in the Merrimack Valley. We donate carloads of new or gently-worn hats, mittens, sweaters, coats and jackets for both adults and children.

Congregant Care & Concern

The temple arranges delivery of a delicious chicken soup meal, seasoned with care and support, to members who are bereaved.

Social Action and Social Justice

Every Voice, Every Vote Campaign

We’re proud participants in this Reform Movement civic engagement campaign, a non-partisan effort – grounded in our Jewish values and commitment to racial justice – to strengthen democracy, combat voter suppression, and protect voter participation. In partnership with the Indivisible Mass Coalition, our get-out-the-vote postcard writing campaigns encourage those who are impacted by barriers to participate in elections that impact their lives.

Speaker Series

Throughout the year, we invite leaders in their fields to speak on pressing social justice issues of our time.

Stand with Israel 

Join us in supporting Israel in its struggle for a peaceful existence. Find updates, programs and other resources here.

The Lawrence Unafraid Scholarship

Temple Emanuel’s Edelstein Family Fund seeded the Lawrence Unafraid Scholarship, a fund for college-bound, Lawrence High School graduates who don’t qualify for federal financial aid because of their immigration status. Temple continues to manage this fund to help fulfill the dreams of deserving students.

Thanks to congregants and friends for your donations to the Social Action Fund, which allow us to continue our social action and social justice endeavors.



Upcoming Opportunities

Please Note: Generally for recurring events, only the most immediate upcoming instance will appear in the event feed below.

  1. 11 Jun

    Serve at Bread & Roses

    3:15 pm - 6:30 pm