Social action is a core value of Judaism. Our community’s commitment to social justice in the world is an integral part of who we are at Temple Avodat Shalom. It is truly a way of life for our community and throughout the year we pursue justice in all its forms.
Prom Dress Drive for catherine's Closet
In Winter 2019, Sisterhood collected prom-style and similar dresses to donate to Catherine's Closet, which collects gently-used prom gowns and distributes them to teens in the New Jersey/New York area. Since 2002, Catherine’s Closet has distributed 16,000 donated prom gowns. The dresses will be be available to purchase for $10 before prom season and the money collected is used for scholarships.
Each week, several of our members visit and lead Friday night services at 5 Star, a local senior living residence. Additionally, during the High Holy Days our members ensure that the Jewish residents hear the shofar blown.
Feeding the Hungry
Seven to nine times throughout the year, our temple community comes together to provide and serve home cooked meals at a local food shelter for Bergen County residents who need assistance. Five of these times, our Youth Group spearheads this amazing effort. We make sure that there is enough food for up to 140 people including salads, main dishes, sides and dessert.
The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey runs an annual day of giving back to the entire Bergen County community. We participate each year by collecting non-perishable foods, clothing and toiletries. Additionally our Youth Choir sings at a local senior residence providing an afternoon of song and smiles!
Family Promise provides temporary housing for families who have lost their homes until a permanent residence can be found. Several times throughout the year we come together with three local churches to help four families for a week at a time. Meals are cooked, games are played and private sleeping areas are provided for these families.
Our teens volunteer as part of the URJ/NFTY Mitzvah Corp program. They have traveled the US, Israel and other parts of the world to participate in numerous projects. They have helped rebuild flood ravaged cities, assisted refugees and help underprivileged children. These are life-changing experiences for all who get involved!
Each winter, our Youth Group (SHATY) members collect warm clothing, toiletries and pack several hundred dinners for homeless people living in New York City. We then travel throughout the city on a school bus delivering these items to those who live on the streets.