Social Action

“It is not upon you to finish the work, but you are not free to ignore it” -Mishnah, Pirkei Avot 2:21

At Temple Solel we seek the divine spark in each individual by working together, based on the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam and the teachings of Torah, to help the needy in our community and affect social change. We invite you to become part of our tapestry of neighbors helping neighbors, striving to fulfill our mission of being a vibrant and engaged social action community. If you are interested in joining our volunteers please contact Social Action Chair, Rae Rader at frankrae@cox.net or the contacts below.

Be a Light Parlor Meetings

Rabbi Linder spoke about our Be a Light Parlor Meetings in his Yom Kippur sermon. These small parlor meetings are a wonderful way to get to know fellow members of Temple Solel, either for the first time of more deeply. By listening to one another, we will identify new initiatives to be engaged within Temple Solel and the greater community. Please click here if you are interested to attend, facilitate or host a parlor meeting. For further information email Rae Rader, frankrae@cox.net.

Community Service

Tzedakah—giving of resources

G’milut Chasadim—acts of loving kindness

  • Streetlight USA: Julie Knoller-Schwartz, julieknoller@yahoo.com. Streetlight USA is a residential center in Arizona specializing in the healing of child sex trafficking and sexual trauma victims ages 11-17 in the USA. Each quarter Temple Solel sponsors a Milestone Celebration, a luncheon and awards ceremony that celebrates girls at Streetlight who have had significant improvement or reached a goal or milestone.
  • Joybus: Roger Robinson, rogerknowhow@gmail.com and Mal Lazinsk, mlazinsk@yahoo.com
  • St. Vincent de Paul: Bonnie Levitt, mdaptjs@aol.com. Our volunteers work at the Henry Unger Memorial Dining Room, 1075 W. Jackson Street in Phoenix, helping serve breakfast to 600-700 homeless adults two mornings each month
  • Ryan House: Dan Silverman, danargentman@gmail.com or Jennet Kirkpatrick, jennetk@gmail.com
  • Mitzvah Day: Robert Siamon, rsiamon@yahoo.com. Every spring the congregation of Temple Solel participates in a variety of hands on-mitzvah projects through our greater community benefiting a variety of charitable organizations.
  • Jonathan’s Walk: Roger Robinson, rogerknowhow@gmail.com and Mal Lazinsk mlazinsk@yahoo.com. Jonathan’s Walk-is an annual event honoring temple member, Ronda Paul’s son Jonathan (z”l) which raises funds and community awareness for The Friendship Circle, a non-profit organization for people with special needs.
  • Relay for Life- started fourteen years ago, as a social action project to celebrate life and raise money for the American Cancer Society. To date, Temple Solel Pathfinders have raised over $150,000 for this vital cause.

Shinui Kivun—changing the status quo

  • Valley Interfaith Project: Rae Rader, frankrae@cox.net. Since 1987 Temple Solel has joined forces with various churches and community organizations to advocate on behalf of working families and to promote interfaith alliances. VIP has advocated for the homeless, job development, Medicaid restoration, prison reform, respite care, legislation to increase minimum penalties for sex trafficking of minors, and environmental issues. VIP is currently advocating for increased public education funding and maintaining adequate healthcare for our community.
  • Abrahamic Collaboration to Welcome the Stranger: Faith Boninger, htaifb@gmail.com. Working with the Ascension Lutheran Church, the Islamic Center of the East Valley and Refugee Focus, Temple Solel is helping sponsor and mentor a refugee family who has recently settled in Phoenix. We helped furnish their apartment, welcomed them at Sky Harbor Airport upon their arrival and have been a continuing resource and support system during their transition.
  • Kino Border Initiative: Rabbi Linder and several Solel members traveled to Nogales, Mexico to tour the facilities run by the Kino Border Initiative which feeds, shelters, and counsels recent deportees arriving in Nogales.

Advocacy

  • Union for Reform Judaism- Religious Action Center – RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community around legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues including economic justice, civil rights, climate change, religious liberty, and Israel. RAC organized 200 rabbis from across the country to carry a Torah during the NAACP’s Journey for Justice commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama. Rabbi Linder, along with staff and lay leaders, joined the march from Augusta, GA to Columbia, SC.
  • Temple Solel members and Rabbi Linder participated in the Islamic Speakers Bureau Finding Common Ground Tour to learn about local mosques and the Islamic Communities in the Phoenix area.
  • Interfaith Groups- Temple Solel sponsored our first annual Interfaith Seder with members from local churches and mosques joining us for a Social Justice themed Seder. Rabbi Linder led the service organized by Religious School Director Alissa Zuchman with wonderful music from Cantorial Soloist Todd Herzog. We enjoyed making new friends and sharing Pesach traditions with our Christian and Muslim neighbors.In response to a weekend of organized protests at various mosques during Ramadan, Rabbi Linder invited members from our local mosques to join us for a Shabbat service followed a traditional Iftar, the evening meal after a day of fasting during Ramadan. Temple Solel members enjoyed welcoming our Muslim neighbors who enjoyed learning about our worship service and listening to our beautiful music. We enjoyed making new friends, sharing a meal, and learning about Ramadan traditions and the Islamic faith.

Interfaith Outreach

Temple Solel’s Interfaith Outreach programming serves to welcome interfaith couples, Jews by Choice, and those contemplating conversion. Led by Rabbi Linder and guided by other interfaith congregants, we create a feeling of comfort and belonging within the Jewish community. As a synagogue, we are committed to serving all members of our community by enriching their lives through the enduring values of Judaism.

Examples of our programming include Jewish Grandparenting of Interfaith Grandchildren, Secrets of the Sanctuary, Learner’s Minyan, the December Dilemma, and visiting speakers, such as Andrea King discussing her book, If I’m Jewish and You’re Christian, What Are the Kids?

Please email Doreen Feldberg for more information at doreenfeldberg@hotmail.com.