Social Action

Beth Sholom B’nai Israel demonstrates its commitment to social action by providing for human needs, offering social support, and lending a helping hand to members of our congregation and the surrounding community.

Here’s a sampling of our activities:

  • Feeding those in need through food drives, Thanksgiving baskets for families, and on-going contributions to local food pantries.
  • Children’s and adult clothing drives
  • Jessie’s Garden: planting, cultivating, and harvesting vegetables to benefit the local food pantry
  • Mother’s Appreciation Day at Head Start: donating and wrapping gifts for children in local Head Start programs to give to their mothers or another significant woman in their life.
  • Mitzvah Day: engaging in a wide variety of activities to benefit both the Temple and the wider community, such as bringing a few hours of fun to children in the DCF system, holding a sing-along at a nursing home, and sprucing up the Temple grounds and the Hockanum River Trails
  • BSBI Chesed: Kindness and Caring is asking you to let us know who might benefit from a card, a call, or a visit.  Help us extend the friendliness and warmth the congregation wishes to provide to all its members. We can be reached by phone or email: Cards: Marilyn Lassow, 860-646-2291,; Phone calls: Elaine Kahaner, 860-983-3929,; Visits: Debbie Cinquemani, 860-645-6146,

For more information, contact Social Action Co-Chairs, Merle Cohen and Jen Bundy.

Current Social Action Projects

  • Turkey Fund Drive: Please join us in supporting our synagogue’s “Turkey Fund” so that Thanksgiving Baskets can be delivered to needy families in our community. Because people are hungry not only at holiday time but throughout the year the funds we raise now give ongoing help to the MACC Food Pantry, HVCC, and the Jewish Services Food Pantry. Click here to download the form.
  • Jessie’s Community Garden: We are looking for volunteers to keep the garden going again this year, and hope you are willing to volunteer for a week or so (Sunday through Friday). It should be easier this year as the Temple custodian will be watering the garden on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so the responsibility of the volunteers will be to weed, harvest, and deliver the produce to either MACC or HVCC.  This will mean that you will only need to check the garden once or twice a week during the weeks you volunteer (and water only if the garden looks dry). The garden will be in operation from May until September. We will be happy to orient you for the specifics of how, what, when, where. For more information, contact Manny Lerman or Laurie Bayer. THIS IS A GREAT FAMILY ACTIVITY!!! THIS IS A PEACEFUL AND GRATIFYING ACTIVITY FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE!!!
  • Refugee Resettlement: The Social Action co-chairs would like to make congregants aware of a group here in Manchester who is co-sponsoring a refugee resettlement program with IRIS(Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services) based in New Haven. The group in Manchester is called the Manchester Community Refugee Resettlement Program and it is a community based group who is open to anyone interested in assisting with resettling a family. There are many ways to help which include monetary donations, offering to babysit, offering to tutor adults in English, transporting them to job interviews or appointments, helping to find housing or interpreters or even employment opportunities. If you are interested in making a monetary contribution, you can send a check to MACC at 466 Main  Street, Manchester, CT.  If you would like to be more directly involved in some of the things mentioned then you can contact the coordinator for MCRRG, Judi Durham via email  at