September-October 2014 Update From the Social Action Committee
May-June 2014 Update From the Social Action Committee
March-April 2014 Update From the Social Action Committee
October-November 2013 Update From the Social Action Committee
September-October 2013 Update From the Social Action Committee
May-June 2013 Update From the Social Action Committee
March-April 2013 Update From the Social Action Committee
January-February 2013 Update From the Social Action Committee
A lot of “Social Action” has been happening at SBE lately! Our main focus was on preparing and serving dinner at Kerr Street Ministries, on Monday, November 26. This dinner was made possible through the generosity of sponsors from within our SBE congregation, as well as discounts and donations towards the food by No Frills, and Maple Lodge Farms. THANK YOU to all of you who made this possible!
On the Sunday afternoon before the dinner, you would have found a number of SBE members in the KSM kitchen, baking the goodies to be served for dessert. Thanks to Anna Houpt-Taylor for donating the ingredients and leading our baking “team”, which consisted of Mark and Sandra Gorlick, Kim Elsinga, Carolyn Menka, Steve Taylor, Frimmy Burnstein, and Harriet Rich, who was there in spirit (locked out in the cold, to her dismay and our ignorance)! We baked colourful assorted cupcakes, chocolate chip cookie squares and cranberry oat squares. While we were busy baking up a storm, and trying to speed up the cooling of the cranberry sauce, Marsha Davies was out doing the shopping for the all important cooking session the next day!
On the Monday, Marsha lead our wonderful team of cooks, servers, and cleaners, consisting of all of the same dedicated members as named above, as well as, Elaine Gordon, Arnie Rincover, Judi Setton, Bruce and Sharon MacLean, Colin Taylor, Shirley and Stanley Smurlick, and Rabbi Wise, and thankfully, Harriet Rich, (who we let in this time!). Judi donated and created the colourful and festive “Décor”, consisting of brightly coloured disposable tablecloths, napkins, and edible candy centrepieces, which the families could take home and enjoy. It happened to be “Family Night”, so all families came with children, who were thrilled with this cheerful atmosphere. We served our signature roasted chicken dinner with mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and a wonderful root vegetable mash (consisting of carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, white turnips, and parsnips).
Great fun was had mashing giant pots of veggies with plunger sized mashers – good upper body workout! Rabbi Wise was amused by the giant containers of chicken schmultz we produced! He wanted to offer it up as gravy (but we wouldn’t let him!). Mark Gorlick really deserves special mention for staying all day and helping through all stages from chicken washing right up until washing the last pan and mopping the floor. Mark, you really do “own” that sink! Next time, it would be great to have a new team to take over the clean-up duty.
Most importantly, the families at KSM really enjoyed everything and were very appreciative of our efforts to make the evening special for them. We look forward to a return engagement next spring.
On a more serious note…
The Canadian Social Action Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism is taking on, as their main focus, issues surrounding Canadian First Nations Peoples. In this light, on Sunday, December 2, our SBE Social Action Committee held a special presentation for our congregation on this topic by our own SBE member, Dr. Mark Dockstator, Professor of Indigenous Studies at Trent University.
Mark is of First Nations descent and has strong ties to the First Nations community of Fort Hope, a fly-in community (did I see Steve Taylor’s ears perk up?) in north central Ontario. Mark showed a thought-provoking video called “Wrapped in Plastic”. This is in reference to the flimsy construction of the dwellings in which many of these people reside. They wrap homes in plastic to help keep out some of the cold. Mark led us in a question and answer period, where everyone was engaged. We came away with a much better understanding of the “third world nations” that we have within our own nation, and the challenges faced on a daily basis by many First Nations people. His presentation and the discussion that followed were inspirational to the many who attended. We were in brainstorming mode as the discussion concluded.
Our next steps will be to help the Canadian SAC in their campaign for greater public awareness of the issues, and to make a connection with Fort Hope (through Mark). We will hopefully define a project that SBE can take on to assist this community. Mark made the point that forming mentoring relationships (for business development) with these communities is the key in helping them grow their economies, and hence improving their quality of life, for the long term. Please give this thought. When any of you have ideas or want to become involved, please let us know (through Frimmy or Mark).
As with all of our projects, this project is open to all who are interested in participating. We need and welcome your support. Watch for more specifics on this in the New Year! In the midst of all of this busyness, we managed to put together special Chanukkah gift packages for our college/university students who are away from home during Chanukkah. This year, we sent out 18 packages. The students appreciated being thought of by our congregation, and it helps maintain their close ties to the Jewish community. This one is purely a “feel good” mitzvah project!
On Sunday morning of December 16, we held a Social Action Day at our SBE Religious School. The activities included a Clothing Drive for Safetynet Charity, Sandwich making for Kerr Street Ministries, and writing Chanukkah cards to Israeli soldiers and children in hospital. Thank you to everyone who donated clothing and food for these worthy causes, and who helped with these activities.
Hope you had a relaxing and joyful holiday season and are renewed with energy to join us in our worthwhile projects in 2013.
Volunteers are welcome and needed! Please contact Frimmy: firstname.lastname@example.org