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TOPAZ: Tikkun Olam Projects (A-Z)

TOPAZ Mission Statement

TOPAZ (Tikkun Olam Projects from A to Z) creates the focal point for our socially conscious congregation. TOPAZ aims to have an impact on both our congregation and on the greater community by striving to make a difference in our three facets through actions and education.

TOPAZ Facets (Values)

1. Supporting Healthy Households: This facet includes programs that address issues of food security, clothing needs, school needs, and health.

2. Protecting Our Environment: This facet includes programs that address environmental sustainability.

3. Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This facet includes programs and activities impacting equality, inclusion, voting rights and outreach.

TOPAZ Charter

  • TOPAZ recognizes that the three facets are not isolated issues, but impact and influence one another. Topaz’s social action projects will be informed by a social justice lens, reflective of our Jewish values and teachings.
  • TOPAZ will work to strengthen these facets through active involvement of all member units at Har Sinai Oheb Shalom Congregation, whether a member chooses to work on one or many aspects of this initiative.
  • TOPAZ is committed to collaborating with our internal and external partners to address underlying needs within our local and global community.
  • TOPAZ will evolve and adapt, striving to meet the needs that are central to Tikkun Olam, while creating an open and welcoming environment for all. 

TOPAZ (Tikkun Olam Projects from A to Z) Facets

This grass roots committee relies on initiatives from our HSOSC members and is welcoming of other ideas and projects with the support of our congregants

Supporting Healthy Households:

This facet includes programs that address issues of food security, clothing needs, school needs, and health

  • Food Drives – High Holy day and Purim to Passover Food Drive
    • High Holy Day to go to Kennedy Krieger Institute (Baltimore City) 
    • Purim to Passover Food Drive to go to Community Crisis Center (Baltimore County) 
  • Seasonal Giving Drives 
    • FALL - School Supply Drive for Windsor Hill Elementary
    • WINTER - Gloves and Hats collection for Weekend Backpacks
    • SPRING - Clothing Drive for Grace Hospital
    • SUMMER - Camp Needs for St. Vincent Summer Camp
  • Weekend Backpacks at HSOSC 
    • Monthly project packing 600 bags of food for Weekend Backpacks, involving our JEM Religious School students and other congregants. HSOSC is responsible for funding $3,000 for each month's packing - donations can be made through HSOSC under the Weekend Backpacks at HSOSC link

  • The Shabbat Box Project

    • Monthly deliveries of items appropriate for Shabbat or various holidays are delivered to our seniors by our congregants
    • Congregants are needed to pack up boxes and to drive them to various locations in the Baltimore area
  • Bunches of Lunches
    • “First Mondays” with Religious School committing to packing 150 bagged lunches the Sunday before these collection
    • Need 3-6 volunteers for each Monday, with back up support of volunteers from Jewish Volunteer Connection
  • Community Produce Distribution - "Collaborating with Care"
    • Monthly drives (usually 3rd or 4th Sunday of the month, check schedule for specific dates)
    • Distributing bags of farm-fresh produce to those in need!
    • HSOSC volunteers are needed to staff this event
    • Donations can be made to the HSOSC TOPAZ Fund
  • Ronald McDonald House
    • Every other month program to host a meal at Ronald McDonald House following Covid guidelines 
    • This initiative is supported through the Schlenger/Pyser Fund
    • We welcome families and/or groups to adopt a meal or make donations to the HSOSC Ronald McDonald House fund under TOPAZ

Protecting Our Environment:

This facet includes programs addressing environmental sustainability

  • Community Garden with Ohr Chadash 
    • Beginning planning stages – likely 5 year project
  • Adopt A Highway on Brooks Robinson Drive
    • SUNDAYS - April 24, June 26, August 15, October 16 at 9:00 a.m.
    • Sign needs to be changed once temple name is finalized.
    • We welcome HSOSC committees and families to Adopt a cleanup!
  • Recycling and E-cyling
    • Bins for recycling at events
    • E-cycling of Computers and other items

Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This facet includes programs and activities impacting equality, inclusion, voting rights and outreach.

  • Voter’s Rights for All 
    • We are beginning to partner with other Reform Congregations to support this movement in Maryland through lobbying efforts with Reform Action Coalition (RAC)
    • Consider outreach to Women’s Club and Brotherhood as partners
    • May consider a postcard writing day for other states if appropriate
  • Dignity Plus Project with Women’s Club 
    • Women’s Seder: Dignity Plus is part of the Women’s Seder Tikkun Olam education and collection
    • Follow up of showing the documentary, having a packing party etc.
    • Keeping products available in all appropriate restrooms
  • CASTE - Book Discussion and Education along with Bagels and Books
    • Need an initial date with breakout groups and further meetings.
    • Needs to be in person for this type of community building to be successful
  • Signage around Building to be discussed
    • Gender Neutral Bathrooms (Lounge bathroom) -completed
    • Women’s/Men’s bathrooms to indicate if handicapped accessible; have changing tables etc.
    • Signage that supports our LGBTQ plus community; our interfaith families, etc.

CONNECTING COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Looking for more opportunities? Connect with these community partners supported and loved by our members!

Click the links below for more information.

Please email Sheryl Jacobs or Mina Wender if you do volunteer - we want to be able to thank you and hear about your experience.

Get Involved!

Contact Sheryl Jacobs (sherylrjacobs@gmail.com) or Mina Wender (minawender50@gmail.com)

 

Wed, May 18 2022 17 Iyar 5782