Tikkun Olam Monthly Report

September 2023

Our fellow members are engaged in Tikkun Olam on many levels and in many ways. Join us in being inspired, and consider joining in! Email tikkunolambethel@gmail.com for more information. If I’ve missed anything or if you don’t see contact info. Thanks to all for your important and amazing work!

It’s another year for the High Holiday Food Drive, so keep an eye out for details in your inbox and at services on Rosh Hashanah. This year we will be donating to Voices Against Violence, Sudbury Food Pantry, A Place to Turn, and (new this year) Sudbury Care Pantry.

Antiracism Working Group

The “N-Word” is one of the most controversial words in North American History. Domingo Guyton has been enlightening audiences across the US on the origins of the word and its evolution into the popular term it is today. The discussion will take you on a thought-provoking journey to explore and relate its use to today’s society. Please join us at Beth El or on Zoom Sunday, October 1st (9.30am-11am).

Stay tuned for more Antiracism Working Group updates next month!

Contacts: Judy Goldberg and Karen Blumenfeld (antiracism@BethElSudbury.org

Blood Drive

Would you update the blood drive details for the October drive?

Give the gift of life – sign up to donate blood at Beth El here 

To volunteer to help at the blood drive click here 


We continue to track efforts to undermine the insidious Mapping Project. Currently there is activity in the US House of Representatives on this topic. Contact Paul Rosenbaum for specifics. Additionally, we attend / share information about ongoing online education and updates regarding antisemitism.

Activities in the planning stage:

  • Tues. Sep. 12 4:30 — First CAST meeting on Zoom. Contact Martin Brauer for link.
  • Sun. Oct. 15 2:00 – 4:00 — Acton “Walk Against Hate” (organized by Congregation Beth Elohim Kulanu group; Beth El is a co-sponsor)
  • Tues. Oct. 17 7:30 — Discussion of Dara’s “People Love Dead Jews” #1 (chapters 1-4)
  • Thur. Nov. 2 7:30 — Discussion of Dara Horn’s “People Love Dead Jews” #2 (chapters 5-8)
  • Thur. Nov. 21 7:30 — Discussion of Dara Horn’s “People Love Dead Jews” #3 (chapters 9-12)
  • Tues. Dec. 5 & 19 – Beth El Teens / Adult Ed. sessions on Israel.  
  • Sat. Jan. 27 (or Sun Jan. 28) — event to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Sat. Feb. 4 & Sun. Feb. 5 — HIAS weekend focus on Taking a Stand, to incorporate I’ve Got Your Back ideas.
  • Sun. June 9? — InterDependence Day – date TBD

The Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL)

The Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL) mobilizes the Jewish community to help elementary school children discover the joy of reading by building meaningful relationships with a caring adult. Through partnerships, GBJCL engages volunteers in school-based one-to-one reading tutoring, book drives, and advocacy efforts in high-needs schools. Volunteers come from all backgrounds and do not need professional training in education, nor are they required to be Jewish. GBJCL is a community engagement effort of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. 

  • Tutor children grades K-5 in literacy
  • Daytime weekly commitment for one hour
  • In person and remote options
  • October/November – May/June
  • Orientation and training provided (required for first time volunteers)
  • Monthly workshops on literacy and relationship building
  • Regular check-ins with professionals for feedback 
  • No prior teaching experience required

For more information, please register at www.jcrcboston.org/literacy or contact Becca Shimshak at rshimshak@jcrcboston.org. 

Green Team

 If you are interested in taking part in Green Team initiatives, please contact John at jpharper47@gmail.com to connect with a Green Team member.  Join their list-serv by emailing greenteam-subscribe@members.bethelsudbury.org.

Inclusion Committee

Committee Members: Roberta Unger; Cat Kaner; Maxine Haron, Co Chair; Carrie Fuchs, Co Chair

  • We will be co-sponsoring a workshop titled: LGBTQ+ Intro and Best Practices, scheduled for Sunday October 29 at 10:00 am. This workshop will be open to school parents as well as the congregation. Specific information will be available once we finalized the details and flyers will go out in early October. 
  • IC Members attended Gender Neutral Bathroom congregational meetings to lend our support and provide guidance. We will continue to be involved as needed for consultation and support.
  • Ableism & Hidden Disabilities program: This program is confirmed for Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. This program is funded by Grant money received from Ruderman Family Foundation. We have connected with Rabbi Tuchman, who will be the presenter. The time will allow school parents/family to attend if they wish along with the Congregation. Rabbi Tuchman will be presenting via zoom. We will continue to work on the specifics for this program.
  • We are presently in the process of developing visual postings of resources such as a Mental Health Guide to be posted in the temple (Bathrooms? Other places to be discussed). The plan is to have this posting completed in time for High Holiday Services. 
  • We are also working on enhancing the process for fragrance free section signage for large gatherings of people, such as always having a sign placed on a row, as well as on a table if this includes social gatherings around foods. 
  • We will provide HH visual picture guide (Developed by Gateways), including prayers and social stories, to be placed on the cart for usage by individuals who benefit from pictures (children, non-readers, those with intellectual disabilities). We will also Interfacing with Cantor Vera about the visual materials for HH Machzor as well as other holiday booklets as requested. We will continue to be available as consultants for enhancing visual materials to provide greater accessibility. 

Contact: Maxine Haron or Carrie Fuchs

MetroWest Free Medical Program

As many of you know, the Metrowest Free Medical Program as had a long, close relationship with Beth El dating back to the Program’s founding in 2004. The Program saw patients in the Sanctuary most Tuesday evenings until we had to take a hiatus due to Covid in 2021.  Many of you have volunteered with us in the past and some are still volunteering with us in our new location at 246 Maple St. in Marlborough. We continue to see uninsured and underinsured patients who would not have access to health care without our Program. 

These are our current services for which we need volunteers:

  • Adult Medicine Clinic operates most Tuesday evenings 5:30-8:30 PM. 
  • Women’s Health Clinic operates most Thursday evenings 5:30-8:30 PM. 
  • We also operate a once-a-month Vision Clinic on Monday evenings 5:30-8:30 PM at the offices of Lexington Eye Associates, 534 Boston Post Road in Sudbury.  

The following volunteers are needed: 

Licensed Clinicians

  • Physicians
  • Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
  • Social Workers 

Other Volunteers for the Clinics

  • Medical assistants and scribes
  • Insurance Navigators to help patients apply for health insurance
  • Interpreters, especially for Portuguese
  • Administrative support volunteers

Other Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to helping in the clinics, there are many other ways you can support the Program.  For example:

  • Writing newsletters and press releases
  • Researching funding opportunities and proposal writing
  • Web site maintenance and development
  • General administrative support

To get more information and to let us know you’re interested, please click here. Updates on this program can be found in the monthly newsletter posted on their website at metrowestfreemedicalprogram.org.

Sanctuary Committee

  • A small group of us met with the Cantor. We discussed a number of things we (and she) had been working on over the years and solicited her questions, suggestions and input. We talked, in particular, about some specific ways we might work with the religious school and our congregation as a whole on social and political action. We were excited to have this meeting, and are all looking forward to continuing this connection.
  • As mentioned previously, we’ll be setting up an informal meeting with the Sanctuary Committee of Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton. That should be soon.
  • We’re continuing to work on the HIAS Refugee Shabbat in February.
  • We met with the Sudbury Community for Racial and Social Justice and described what we’ve been doing and invited them to participate in the Refugee Shabbat with us. We’ll continue this connection.
  • We’re continuing to support the weekly stand-outs on Friday afternoons (4:30 PM) in Sudbury Center. They’re very popular with passing motorists and really speak to a felt need in the larger world in which we are living.

Contact: Carl Offner


Allison Alter (she/her), VP Tikkun Olam