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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) 
  • Youth Oriented Drives 
    • St. Vincent Summer Camp Drive – summer camp needs for children served by this camp
    • School Supply Drive for Windsor Hill Elementary
  • Weekend Backpacks at HSOSC 
    • currently at $3k a month; however, as the need increases, our financial commitment will also need to increase
  • Grace Hospital Clothing Drive 
    • Summer Clothing Drive
    • Winter Clothing drive
  • 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 Food Distribution with Life Builders Church 
    • Monthly from June to November (last Sunday of the month, except for November – 3rd Sunday)
    • Moving from boxed food to a Farmers Market concept, asking people to fill a bag for $5
    • HSOSC volunteers are needed to staff this event
  • Ronald McDonald House
    • Every other month program to host a meal at Ronald McDonald House, following Covid guidelines
    • Funding is currently available through the Schlenger/Pyser family but we need to continue to support fundraising for ongoing meals.

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
    • Dates between April and October
    • Sign needs to be changed once temple name is finalized.
    • Push to have other committees “adopt” a day to help
  • Recycling and E-cyling
    • Bins for recycling at events
    • E-cycling of computers etc. as a potential fundraiser

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 starting with the Associated in Baltimore so hoping for this to be 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

  • Information will be added to a Connecting Community Partners section in our outreach and webpage under TOPAZ to provide HSOSC members with external opportunities for community engagement.
  • Projects to be linked to this page will be considered from the entire HSOSC community.
  • Along with specific projects, a link to the Jewish Volunteer Connection website will be included.

Get Involved!

Contact Sheryl Jacobs (sherylrjacobs@gmail.com) or Mina Wender (Mwender@mcdonogh.org)

 

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782