Today is April 15, 2024 -

Social Action

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank

Welcome to the Kol Haverim Social Action Page!

Kol Haverim strives to be a vibrant, “Social Action” congregation with a focus on sharing time and resources with people in need in our community.  The Committee also works to raise awareness about caring for the earth and other issues of Social Justice that impact us nationally and globally.  Some families participate in projects together and find this a very enriching experience.  Tikkun Olam, healing the world, is the work of our entire Jewish community – be part of it! ​​​

For further information on any events or programs or to suggest a new program, contact us at socialaction@kolhaverim.org. We welcome new members at any time – please consider lending your support to our efforts! Keep reading to find out more about the organizations we currently support…

Glastonbury Links Together

Founded by Rabbi Kari along with other local clergy, this community organization sponsors the Glastonbury Self Select Food Bank , hosted at the Riverfront Community Center.  Donations are needed year-round, to help fill the shelves for needy recipients.  Please see the “Shopping List” on the right for most needed items.  They can be dropped off in the Community Center office between 8:30 and 4:30, Monday through Friday.

High Holiday Food Drive

Each Yom Kippur, at a time when we purposely deprive ourselves of food, our congregation remembers the many people in our community who are deprived of food for financial reasons.  We do this by holding a food drive for our hungry neighbors. This “Food for Families” is distributed through Foodshare, our region’s food bank. Congregants have donated nearly one ton of food annually to Foodshare for people in the Greater Hartford Area.  If you are interested in helping to coordinate this food drive next year, contact the Social Action Chairs. The project is easy to organize, and the tangible results are immensely rewarding.

Red Cross Blood Drive

We help the Red Cross as a Blood Drive location on a regular basis. We would like to increase our presence in this life-giving mitzvah by also offering more congregant donors and volunteers to provide food and beverages for donors.  Contact us if you would like to help increase our participation.

The CKH Caring Committee

The Caring Committee is available to all CKH members and offers such services as local transportation to doctor’s appointments, errands such as prescription & grocery pick up, gift baskets after a surgery and more.  We are currently seeking volunteers and/or financial contributions to keep this program running.  If you can assist, or have any questions, please contact Christine in the Temple Office.

Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen in Hartford

Project Thanksgiving

Over the past few years, Kol Haverim has provided the ingredients for preparing traditional Thanksgiving Dinners to 100 families of Dwight Elementary School in Hartford.  These families benefit from the extra help at holiday time.  From turkeys to stuffing to dessert, children of our Religious School as well as many other members gather the ingredients for complete Thanksgiving meals.   Participation in this special annual event ranges from shopping for particular food items, making a financial donation, working the ‘assembly line’ on the morning of delivery, to driving to the school and lining up the bags in the school office in preparation for pickup the following morning.  Any level of help is encouraged!

Christmas Day Volunteering

Over the years, our congregants have shared their time to help make the Christmas holiday brighter for our neighbors in Glastonbury and Hartford, by volunteering at nursing homes, delivering meals in Hartford through the Salvation Army, and providing food and entertainment at the Naubuc Green in Glastonbury.

Global Warming and Environmental Issues

The Social Action/Social Justice Committee offers educational programs and provides information to congregants on global warming, energy conservation, clean and renewable energy, care of the earth and environmental peacemaking.   Previous events have included showings of “Kilowatt Ours” and  “An Inconvenient Truth,” a sale of compact fluorescent light bulbs, and a lecture by Friends of the Earth Middle East.   Some programs are provided in collaboration with Gaining a Greener Glastonbury, an interfaith environmental action and awareness group, and the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, Connecticut’s Interfaith Power and Light.

 


Past Projects:

Afghan Refugee Resettlement Support 2021

Kol Haverim’s Social Action Committee has recently joined other local faith based and civic community groups to form an alliance called the River East Resettlement Alliance (RERA), a community of volunteers located in Connecticut (with members from the greater Hartford area east of the river) who have come together for the purpose of supporting an Afghan refugee family to resettle in our area.

RERA is applying to be a co-sponsor group of IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigration Services), a CT-based resettlement organization established in 1992. IRIS partners with community groups like ours throughout Connecticut to help refugee families restart their lives in towns across the state. IRIS provides structure and guidance, but each community group is responsible for raising the money and the volunteers to do the work.

Our RERA group will provide support by assisting families with the many challenges they face as they arrive in a new land. This includes helping them acquire housing, healthcare and school enrollment, learn English, obtain employment, learn the public transportation system, and much more. We also assist new families financially during their first year. With this guidance and assistance, a family is empowered to support themselves within a year and become members of their new community. The goal is for families to eventually become US citizens (after 5 years).

We believe that these efforts enrich both the individuals and the communities we serve. Helping the family offers them hope and support which comes back to the community as friendship, gratitude, and an interest in learning about our culture as they teach us about the richness of theirs.

Kol Haverim supports Walk Against Hunger – April 2019 and Sept 2021

A group from Kol Haverim participated in the Foodshare Walk Against Hunger on April 27, 2019. We plan to participate in this event annually so check back here for details.

Who benefits? Funds raised from the Walk support Foodshare and their partner programs who serve the 127,000 people in Hartford and Tolland counties struggling with food insecurity. The funds also support long-term efforts to increase access to healthy food and address the underlying issues that contribute to hunger. In supporting the Foodshare Walk Against Hunger, you will help us continue this important work.