Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities

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Green Team Meeting Feb 4

by guest blogger Barak Gale

Dear Beth Am Green Teamers,

Many a Tu B’Shevat has passed since our Green Team (or Adama Team, or whatever we will call it) has convened.  Yet the scourge of catastrophic climate change impacts our country, our world, more and more.  May our blessings tonight over the fruit of the trees help in some small way to move the Divine Shefa, not only to provide renewal of the fruit trees, but to provide renewal of our community’s collective effort at Tikkun Olam-Adamah, Let’s bring to bear the skills, heart, joy, compassion, of Beth Am and become part of the Reform Jewish movement and part of the worldwide movement for change.

Leah and I hope you can join us to renew the process of engagement.

Date:  Monday Feb 4
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  Home of Leah Vetter,  10715  39th Ave NE, Seattle

Special Request:  to not apply any perfumes or fragrances, including in lotions like Vasoline, shampoos like Head & Shoulders, etc.  Thank  you!

Please let us know if you can come.

Barak Gale

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A Cause for Optimism

By Barak Gale, Temple Beth Am Green TeamImage

Dear Chevra,

Occasionally I have bursts of real optimism regarding the ability of humanity to make it’s voice heard to save our planet from folly. One such burst of optimism was earlier this evening at the Coal Export Hearing at the Convention Center.
A little background….
Big coal companies want to ship dirty Montana and Wyoming coal through our state to be burned in Asia. The Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Council and Washington Dep. of Ecology hosted this hearing, one of six around the state, to define issues, public concerns, and alternatives to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement regarding the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, near Bellingham, WA.
The cause for optimism….
It wasn’t just that hundreds of people dressed in red rallied in Freeway Park , or that I’d guess over a thousand people packed two enormous halls at the hearing, or that those dressed in red with the slogan “Beyond Coal Exports”  greatly outnumbered those dressed in green t-shirts supporting the coal terminal.  It was the breadth and depth of the statements from teenage boys and girls talking about their future, fishermen talking about the danger to our waters and fisheries, a Muslim woman sharing a legend and speaking of the sacredness of the earth from a Muslim perspective, Prof. Jaffe of the U.W.  talking very specifically about the known dangers of coal and coal dust, etc., etc.   Every person was so articulate.
I was fortunate to be able to speak as well.  I identified myself as a member of Beth Am.   Last moment I decided to chant instead of speak.  Here was my testimony….
Ladies and Gentlemen (I like the formality of this.)
I believe wholeheartedly that we are destroying our Garden of Eden.  I would like to share a dirge from my Jewish tradition.  (This is a part of the keenah or dirge composed by Chazan Richard Kaplan, and based on the Lamentations text and melody.)
Vi konen Yirmiyahu o’oh.  Ka’asher shama otah shara.  Hakinah l’churban gan eden..
Jeremiah wept, o’oh.  Hearing her song.  Lamenting her Temple so wounded.
Alas my forests are dying.  I hear my waters crying.  When will they learn?
O’oh that I, o’oh that they were pure again.
I urge you to evaluate the impacts of this project on creation.
Thank you.
People still have until Jan. 21 to comment at www.eisgate waypacificwa.gov.
For more information about the Temple Beth Am Green Team please contact Barak Gale barakgale@gmail.com

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Green Interfaith event on December 8 in Redmond

What on Earth are we to do?
Green Interfaith: An Islamic Perspective on Caring for Creation

There will be opportunity to learn about and discuss:

  • Causes and effects of global warning
  • The Qur’an, the Earth, and us
  • Meeting this challenge together

The event details are as follow–

When:  Saturday, December 8th, 2012
1:30PM – 4:00PM
Where: At MAPS 17550 NE 67th CT, Redmond WA 98052

MAPS community  invites all to  join them and continue exploring together what we can do to meet this world challenge.

Entry is free, everyone is welcome.

To register  go to http://tinyurl.com/MAPS-Earth-Meeting; for more information email outreach@MAPSREDMOND.com.

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Upcoming Events/ Volunteer Opportunities

Save the Date!

  • Share the Feast – Scargo Community Thanksgiving – Help provide Thanksgiving Dinner to the residents of Plymouth Housing Scargo/Lewiston Apartments. Volunteers and food needed! Contact tamara@weinbail.com.
  • Family Shelter Returns to Temple Beth Am Dec. 26-Jan.8 Volunteers needed! Sign-up NOW  here  or contact tamara@weinbailcom.
  • Tikkun Olam Forum on November 18 – Listen, share, and learn how to engage in Tikkun Olam as we all work to help the world.
  • Where Do We Go From Here? will bring an interfaith group together to create a plan to take action on protecting the environment.  It is scheduled for Sunday, November 18th from 1-4pm.  Both events will take place at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle 98102. To register email ATD@saintmarks.org or call Ruth at 206-706-9620.

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Green Team Revival

As part of the process of building a Green Team at Temple Beth Am the Tikkun Olam Committee encourages you to attend an interfaith event about protecting the world’s environment .  Awakening the Dreamer is a symposium that brings teachings from the native people of Ecuador to the entire world.  It helps give us a spiritually focused approach to one of the most important issues of our time. This symposium will take place on Sunday, November 4th from 1-5pm.  A second session Where Do We Go From Here? will bring an interfaith group together to create a plan to take action on this issue.  It is scheduled fro Sunday, November 18th from 1-4pm.  Both events will take place at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle 98102.  To register email ATD@saintmarks.org or call Ruth at 206-706-9620.

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Tikkun Olam in Action – Temple Beth Am Mitzvah Day 2012

On Sunday, May 6th, 400+ Temple Beth Am Religious School students, 50+ parents and 30+ teachers could be found hard at work on multiple mitzvah projects to serve our community. The positive energy in the classrooms was palpable and smiles were everywhere. This year, nine different grade levels from PreKindergarten (our 4 year olds) all the way up to our 7th graders learned about the many critical needs throughout our community.  Each grade level found a special way to impact those in need.

Some of the highlights of the day were: 

–         PreK children helped to make catnip toys for newly adopted kitty cats at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
–         Kindergarteners created colorful collages of happy faces which were then turned into laminated placemats for residents of Providence Elderplace.
–         Our joyful, energetic 1st grade students visited Ida Culver House and entertained the residents with songs, storybook reading, and colorful drawings.
–         The staff at Treehouse, http://www.treehouseforkids.org/ an organization that serves the needs of foster children, requested kid-created stationary.  Our 2nd graders did a fabulous job producing the requested stationary.
–         Our industrious 3rd grade students prepared a meal for homeless teens.  An excellent speaker from Teenfeed  www.teenfeed.org  helped the students understand the causes of teen homelessness.
–         Mary’s Place, http://marysplaceseattle.org/ a community center serving homeless women and their children, was the recipient of more than 100 personal hygiene kits. These kits were lovingly assembled by our 4th graders and an encouraging note was added to each kit.
–         The 5th grade students tackled the problem of hungry families. Our students converted bulk dry goods (rice, beans, sugar and rolled oats) into family-sized portions.  They also provided useful recipes for the food.
–         The Downtown Emergency Services Center http://www.desc.org/needed artwork to make apartments seem more welcoming and home-like for residents moving away from homelessness.  Our 6th graders eagerly shared their creative skills making the needed wall hangings.
–         The 7th grade students and parents tackled environmental restoration work at the Beaver Pond Natural Area under the supervision of EarthCorps http://earthcorps.org/. It was a great day to be outside repairing the world.

We would like to express a huge thank you to all who participated, all of the TBA rabbis and administrators who supported our efforts, the custodial staff who took care of many needed room modifications, and congregants who gave time and donations.  

Sandy Cobel and Peter Gruenbaum, 2012 Mitzvah Day Co-Chairs

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Call for Volunteers: Temple Beth Am Mitzvah Day—Sunday, May 6th


 Temple Beth Am Mitzvah Day
Sunday, May 6th

 Sign up to Volunteer Today!

The Mitzvah Day Team is lining up another dynamic round of wonderful service projects for TBA Religious School kids (preK-7th).

Join your children and grandchildren in a fun and meaningful way by assisting religious school teachers and Mitzvah Day Grade Coordinators on May 6th. 

Perform a Mitzvah—and be a Mensch—by helping out on Mitzvah Day!

Please contact Mitzvah Day Coordinator, Sandy Cobel at srcobel@comcast.net to be put in touch with your Mitzvah Day grade coordinator.