Social Action and Social Justice

Social action at Shir Hadash is designed to encourage families and our congregation as a whole to participate together in social action. ​We have engaged in a number of activities over the years:

  • Creating care packages for women and children at domestic violence shelters using donated toiletries

  • Putting together care packages for our troops

  • Baking dog treats for a local animal shelter

  • Volunteering at an animal shelter

  • Collecting and packaging books for underprivileged children

  • Conducting coat drives

  • Decorating picture frames for an area VA hospital

  • Sending cards to our troops

  • Creating care packages for hospitalized children

  • Planting trees and perennials to help the environment

  • Working at a soup kitchen, providing helping hands and/or a meal.

  • Joining with Maot Chitim of Greater Chicagoland to help them pack and deliver High Holiday food baskets for needy Jewish families all over the Chicago area. There are two volunteer opportunities, either packing food boxes or delivering them. Packing usually takes place on a Sunday at the end of August. Delivery of food packages takes place on a Sunday at the beginning of September. We deliver to several large complexes and use a rental truck to transport the boxes.

Social action has shifted during the pandemic. We recently did a food drive in August for Wheeling Township Food Pantry, with another one coming up for The ARK. We are assisting elderly individuals in Wheeling who are in need of food assistance by bringing them meal boxes on a weekly basis. Our mask makers have made hundreds of masks for cancer centers and for sexual assault advocates meeting in person with victims. The Shir Hadash Mask Makers currently are making masks for Title 1 schools in Wheeling and for local domestic violence shelters. In addition to these social action efforts, we are letting members know about ways they can perform tikkun olam at home.

We are currently developing our social justice focus. For starters, we are currently holding a long-term program series about race and racism. In July, Rabbi Abram Abraham shared a Black Rabbi's perspective about racism and heightened our understanding of institutional racism with a two-session class. We are holding weekly discussions throughout September to better understand white privilege and other aspects of racism. The book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism will be the basis for these four discussions. Additional programs are being planned to deepen our members' understanding of racism and to help us learn how to be allies helping dismantle racism and supporting Black individuals. 

For more information on Tikkun Olam, contact Lisa Radzely at socialactionsh@gmail.com

©2019 Shir Hadash

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200 W. Dundee Road

Wheeling, IL 60090

Phone: (847) 498-8218

Email: office@shir-hadash.org