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Social Action

Social Action committee work involves direct services to those in need. Current active social action programs are:

Mitzvah/Tzedakah day
Each year on the day before Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, adults and children from the Shir Hadash community will participate in a variety of projects for the benefit of the temple and local communities. Sample activities from years past include making and serving meals to the homeless, making blankets for those in need, park clean-up, and a Habitat for Humanity project. These photos are from Mitzvah Day 2019.

Backpack Drive
Every Spring a paper tree appears in the lobby of the synogague building. It’s decorated with small cards that identify the name, age, sex and school supply needs of a child from pre-K through high school. A backpack is purchased for that student and filled with the needed supplies. Completed backpacks are then distributed by Next Door Solutions. This agency provides safe houses for battered women and their children.

Blood Drive
Every Fall and Spring Shir Hadash hosts a blood drive conducted by the Stanford Blood Center. For more information, check our calendar.

Community-Supported Agriculture
Through the CSA program, our members can support local farmers by buying their freshly-picked produce on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Our local organic Farmer is Spade & Plow Organics. Sign up to receive a box of the freshest, most nutritious seasonal produce each week (or as often as you like). The boxes are delivered on Tuesdays for pick-up at the Synagogue.

Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank
The Fall Food Drive starts on Erev Rosh Hashonah when bags for food are distributed. Filled bags are returned at the Kol Nidre or Yom Kippur service. Second Harvest always welcomes non-perishable canned and boxed goods, and especially needs nutritious foods. For specific needs go to A second food drive takes place in the spring.

Jews Around the World
Beginning in 2011, we embarked on a new program for 11th and 12th graders which involved service projects outside the United States. In the spring of 2011, a group of teens from Shir Hadash traveled to Costa Rica to participate in a service project expedition led by Matt Cook of CASE (Central American Service Expeditions). In 2013 our teens in Panama painted a local school and in the winter of 2015 our 11th and 12th grade class traveled to Guadalajara where they did community service at an orphanage supported by the local Progressive Jewish congregation.

Green Team
The goals of the Green Team are to help make Shir Hadash a green facility and encourage our temple members to conserve and protect natural resources in connection with transportation, food, energy and water use. The Green Team has promoted carpooling to religious school, recycling in the buildings, composting food waste for the student gardens, use of green cleaning products, efficient lighting, and reusable green shopping bags. The Green Team hosts an annual green Tu B’Shvat Seder. For more information, contact Rabbi Aron.

Healthy Living Fair
Shir Hadash organizes an annual health fair where free health screenings are provided to a large medically underserved community in San Jose. We team with the Muslim Community Center and the church hosting the fair for this event. Medical, non-medical and Spanish-English speaking volunteers all help to make this a highly successful event. For more information, contact chair Dr. Moris Dovek.

Holiday Visits to the Homebound for High Holidays, Chanukah & Passover
Volunteers from Shir Hadash deliver holiday foods from Jewish Family services, and give the gift of their company to homebound elderly. For more information, contact the Chairperson.

Rotating Shelter Feeding of the Homeless
This year we will be partnering with the Rotating Shelter Feeding of the Homeless program by providing and serving food to the church housing a group of homeless men.

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