Tikkun Olam (Social Action)



Light the Night 2012 resized

Temple Anshe Hesed has always been actively engaged in Tikkun Olam. In the early 1980s, the Temple joined other congregations in the Erie area in declaring itself a Nuclear Free Zone and divested its  portfolio of companies engaged in activities in apartheid South Africa.

We strive to do some tikkun olam in everything we do. Whether in our Gesher school or through our adult education we are always trying to do the right thing and to help repair the world. Even in the midst of our fun Hanukkah celebrations, for instance, we collect books and toys to be donated to needy children in our community.

The Social Action Committee has addressed the issues fostered by the Union for Reform Judaism’s Commission on Social Action and the Religious Action Center.  Local projects have included food and toiletry drives, voter registration and transportation, blood drives, and fund raising for various environmental and social causes. We participate in the Erie community in annual events such as the Interfaith Thanksgiving Services, Martin Luther King Shabbat, recognition of Temple Mitzvah Makers, and other special events. In the past, the committee has sponsored political candidate debates, and worked closely with Separation of Church and State organizations, neighborhood watch groups and churches in the area.

The Temple has created an ongoing relationship with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel. In 2008, we became the first Jewish congregation in the United States to become carbon neutral by offsetting its carbon footprint with the purchase of solar panels for the Arava Institute in Israel.