Number 1 – Our Commitment to Social Action!
Temple Beth Ami has become a hub of positive social action. Through the commitment, dedication, and actions of many of our congregants we have positioned ourselves as "the place" to turn if you want to fulfill the sacred commitment of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world!
As the air has turned chilly and the holiday season is approaching, it is a perfect time to share just two of the mitzvot programs Temple Beth Ami actively supports two opportunities for you to feed a hungry child or keep a family warm during a cold winter night.
Family Promise! Family Promise's uniqueness lies in its simple but meaningful model of operation. Twelve religious organizations from the Santa Clarita Valley take turns hosting several local homeless families. Our congregants have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of real people by simply driving to Temple Beth Ami. It really is that easy!
These are local homeless families, usually with small children who, without this program, would be sleeping in our streets. In the morning, after leaving TBA, the families we host are hard at work gaining the skills necessary to land a job. During the several rotations Temple Beth Ami has hosted, I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand people land jobs, find apartments, and start rebuilding their lives –- Family Promise works!
I find Family Promise such a meaningful opportunity that I take the entire first evening for my family! Our congregation's week of hosting always starts on a Sunday. Many people would find that the most inconvenient day to volunteer -- but that is exactly why I do it! I want to teach my young sons that we do mitzvot when people are need of help without regard to convenience level.
Temple Beth Ami only hosts once every twelve weeks so do not miss your chance to help. There is NO excuse for not participating:
- You don't have money? No excuse as Family Promise asks you to donate time – that is all! I have been involved with the program for almost two years and not once have I been asked to donate money.
- You don't have time? No excuse because there are night shifts available and all you have to do is sleep at TBA – you are literally doing a mitzvah in your sleep!
- You are shy and don't like to interact with people? No excuse because you can bring breakfast in the morning without so much as seeing or taking to a single person. One morning I awoke from my overnight shift to a text message from a fellow congregant letting me know that she had left hot breakfast sandwiches at the gate for the families (and they loved them!)!
How do you get involved? Simply, send an email to our current Temple Beth Ami liaison Jackie Fisher using our Social Action Contact Page. Jackie will make sure you are included upcoming events!
SCV Food Pantry! Santa Clarita is a beautiful area of Los Angeles. I, as do most of our congregants, count among my many blessings the opportunity life has given me to live in such a beautiful, well maintained, and professionally managed area. The high quality of life, well manicured bike paths and walkways, and the family entertainment opportunities that abound in the SCV make it all together too easy to forget that in this valley of riches live many people who face a day-to-day struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables.
The fact is that that more than 16% of the households in the City of Santa Clarita earn less than $29,999 per year. The fact is that many of our senior citizen neighbors live on fixed incomes and are faced with the "Devil's Choice" between purchasing the medications they require or the food they need!
The SCV Food Pantry is committed to their mission statement that "no child in the Santa Clarita Valley should go to bed hungry!" Year-after-year, the Food Pantry has supplied tons of food to our neighbors in need! How can you help? Easy, you can bring canned foods to Temple Beth Ami's drop off barrel located in the sanctuary or contact our TBA liaison for the SCV Food Pantry, Francine G. Van Scoyoc, using our Social Action Contact Page.
Before I move along on my list of why I enjoy being a part of TBA, I would be remiss if I did not share with you that among the many other ways Temple Beth Ami furthers our collective commitment to Tikkun Olam include hosting groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous, Al-Anon; and Overeaters Anonymous as well as supporting fundraisers including Relay For Life and the Ride to Defeat ALS.
The list is virtually endless and if you want more information or have questions about any of our Social Action Programs please contact us at via our Social Action Contact Page or email me directly.
Number 2 – Fun Social Mixers!
From our two Synagogue Softball teams to the many Sisterhood events such as the recent fashion show, there are many opportunities to simply get together, meet new people, and interact with other congregants of Temple Beth Ami! Let me share two specific events coming up soon!
A Night In Paris – Casino Night! On the evening of Saturday November 17, we will be holding our most important fundraiser of the year which just happens to be a great way to mingle with other TBA congregants. It is open to the entire community so invite your friends, neighbors and family!
This year the event is being hosted at the beautiful Chateau Hann. For those, like me, who normally can not go to these great events for lack of a sitter, there is good news -- this event offers discounted babysitting! Take advantage of this rare opportunity to drop the kids off and enjoy some grownup company! Keep in mind this is an RSVP only event so get in on the fun by reserving you spot at http://anightinparis.eventbrite.com or call the Temple Beth Ami front office and ask for details!
The Kosher Turkey Flag Football Extravaganza! Hard to believe but this is our fourth annual game! On the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 23), the men of TBA battle for control the Sid Luckman Memorial trophy! The event is held at Chesebrough Park (23505 Sunset Hills Drive) and there is no charge to participate (but you do have to be a TBA and/or Men's Club to get in the game).
Here are the details: All men (21 years and older) who are Temple Beth Ami congregants and/or TBA Men's Club members come out for a friendly game of flag football! The teams are roughly divided by where you live (East of the 5 Freeway or West). All skill levels are welcome and everyone plays. There is an informal children's (12 and under) touch football game starting at 11:00 a.m. The main event kicks off at noon! Bring the entire family to cheer and mingle!
Out of Town? Follow the action via our worldwide play-by-play Twitter-cast @KosherTurkey or on the live feed at www.facebook.com/TempleBethAmi
If you have questions about this great event please contact the Men's Club.
Number 3 – Very Cool People!
Did you know that our Rabbi and one of our congregants have been named to the Signal's 51 Most Influential People in the Santa Clarita Valley? Kudos to Rabbi Blazer and Shelley Hann on this wonderful and well deserved honor! Rabbi Blazer and Shelley Hann are just two of the fascinating people who call Temple Beth Ami their spiritual home!
I love going to services and social mixers because it allows me to meet a diverse and interesting group of people. Every one of our congregants has a back-story and every back-story is just so interesting! We have congregants who are veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, The First and Second Gulf Wars, and Afghanistan. We have a congregant who lived through the London Blitz and whose families were involved in major historical events! Congregants come from all walks of life and all areas of the globe. Getting to know these individuals who collectively make up Temple Beth Ami has enriched my life!
Now it is your turn – send me the Top 3 Reasons you enjoy being a congregant of Temple Beth Ami! You can tell in person at Casino Night, at the Kosher Turkey Bowl, or during services. Or contact me directly!