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There are many ways to get involved & volunteer in social justice efforts at Temple Sholom! 

Tikkun Olam, meaning “repairing the world,” is a cornerstone of Reform Judaism. An integral part of the on-going activities at Temple Sholom, our Sholom Justice projects are constantly expanding, and working on these mitzvot is a wonderful way to meet other Temple members. New participants are always welcome!


Get Involved

Questions about Sholom Justice, contributing to the Monday Meal, sponsorship, or getting involved? Sign up for our newsletter, or contact Miriam Berne, our Sholom Justice Project Coordinator, via email.

Take Action

Sign up for our Newsletter

Donate to the Sholom Justice Fund

When donating, please select “Fund for Social Justice 2023-24” from the “Type” drop-down menu


Our Issue Areas

Hunger & Direct Service - Join us for one of our many projects focused on hunger & direct service aimed at meeting critical needs in our community. Temple Sholom serves more than 5,600 meals annually and supports our community through food drives, blood drives, prison pen pal program, and other direct service.

Migrants & Refugees - Temple Sholom works with a variety of partners to meet the growing needs of refugees & asylum seekers in Chicago. To date, Temple Sholom has sponsored multiple refugee and asylum-seeking families in Chicago, supported city-wide supply drives for asylum seekers, and has partnered with HIAS & JCFW to provide refugees with mentors and tutors.

Restorative Justice - Aligned with its long-time focus on violence prevention, Temple Sholom works with partners across Chicago to build momentum for Restorative Justice, a transformative approach to violence prevention that centers community & relationships as a means to help youth, families, and communities heal. 

Reproductive Justice - Following 2022’s Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health ruling that struck down the precedent set by Roe vs. Wade, Temple Sholom established a task for to take meaningful action to fight for continued access to abortion and reproductive health care across Illinois & the Midwest.

Climate - Dedicated to greening Temple Sholom’s sacred space through expanded recycling and composting, Temple Sholom's volunteers also engages in social justice environmental initiatives aimed at addressing the systemic causes and community impacts of a changing climate.

Advocacy - To address the structural issues at the root of our issue areas, Sholom Justice's Advocacy Committee is working hard on multiple campaigns. Building off the success of our campaign to End Money Bond in Illinois, in 5784 we're focusing on gun violence prevention and addressing homelessness.

Upcoming Events

MondayMon, 24 JunJune, 2024

Monday Meal Mitzvah

Monday, Jun 24th 3:30p to 6:45pThe Monday Meal Mitzvah is back in person! Volunteer to prepare and/or serve a warm meal to those in need. This is a great opportunity for anyone 12 years of age and older, who are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience. This is a long standing Temple Sholom/Sholom Justice program, and we are excited to be back. If you are in need of a meal, the Lake Shore Drive doors open at 5:15pm and we suggest you arrive by 4:45pm.


SundaySun, 30 JunJune, 2024

Feed the Hungry

Sunday, Jun 30th 9:00a to 10:00aThrough Feed the Hungry (FTH), Temple Sholom volunteers pack and deliver over 200 meals on the 2nd and 5th Sundays of each month and deliver them to a partner organization for distribution. Monthly FTH sponsors shop for supplies, assemble sandwiches, and deliver them to Another Chance Assembly in Austin. Volunteers can also join FTH at 9:00 AM to assemble meals when hosted at Temple. This mitzvah is great for volunteers of all ages.


MondayMon, 1 JulJuly, 2024

Monday Meal Mitzvah

Monday, Jul 1st 3:30p to 6:45pThe Monday Meal Mitzvah is back in person! Volunteer to prepare and/or serve a warm meal to those in need. This is a great opportunity for anyone 12 years of age and older, who are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience. This is a long standing Temple Sholom/Sholom Justice program, and we are excited to be back. If you are in need of a meal, the Lake Shore Drive doors open at 5:15pm and we suggest you arrive by 4:45pm.


TuesdayTue, 2 JulJuly, 2024

Advocacy Group Meeting

Tuesday, Jul 2nd 6:00p to 7:00pSholom Justice Advocacy Group


MondayMon, 8 JulJuly, 2024

Monday Meal Mitzvah

Monday, Jul 8th 3:30p to 6:45pThe Monday Meal Mitzvah is back in person! Volunteer to prepare and/or serve a warm meal to those in need. This is a great opportunity for anyone 12 years of age and older, who are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience. This is a long standing Temple Sholom/Sholom Justice program, and we are excited to be back. If you are in need of a meal, the Lake Shore Drive doors open at 5:15pm and we suggest you arrive by 4:45pm.



Recent Wins

April 29th's Monday Meal had the highest attendance since before the Covid-19 pandemic! Temple Sholom's amazing volunteers served a whopping 56 guests. Yasher koach to our fabulous Monday Meal coordinators and volunteers for helping us reach this milestone. Interested in getting involved? Sign up now to be a volunteer or sponsor.

The Temple Sholom Advocacy Committee recently kicked off efforts with RAC-IL to advocate for two important bills related to gun violence prevention and homelessness in the current state legislative session.  

Karina’s Bill (IL HB4469 & SB2633) would require that firearms be removed from a home when a domestic violence survivor is granted an order of protection. It is named after Karina Gonzalez who, alongside her daughter, was murdered by her husband after securing an order of protection. 

Build Illinois Homes (IL HB4909 & SB3233) would create an additional funding source to build more affordable housing in Illinois through an income tax credit and is projected to increase construction of by 1,100 new affordable homes per year. 

Temple Sholom's blood drive on 2/11 collected 21 pints of blood, which is enough to support 63 people who need life-saving care! In 5784, Temple Sholom’s three blood drives have collected approximately 66 pints of blood and helped support 196 lives

It's been nearly 6 months since the Pretrial Fairness Act went into effect in Illinois, thanks in part to the amazing efforts of our Advocacy committee and their work with the Coalition to End Money Bond. In this short time, county jails have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of people incarcerated pretrial - a reduction of 15% in Cook and 22% in Lake Counties!

Over 70 coats donated for migrants! Through our recent coat drive, Temple Sholom collected 72 new and gently used and new coats to support newly arrived migrants at shelters and police stations in the neighborhood. Thanks to everyone across our community who donated!

On 12/3, our amazing team of volunteers came together to pack and personally deliver our Chanukah boxes to those who could use some extra support during this special holiday season. A huge thank you to each and every one of you for your dedication and the profound impact you've made.

Thanksgiving Monday Meal fed 108 people! Though our maximum capacity was 100 people, our amazing Monday Meal volunteers were able to extend a full meal to all who showed up. In addition to a wonderful full Thanksgiving meal, guests were entertained by Temple Sholom's Volunteer Klezmer Band and received winter gloves and hats. 

We did it! With your help, our RAC-OH team and our network of Reform Rabbis across Ohio built a robust and resilient nationwide effort that culminated in last Tuesday’s resounding passage of Issue One! This initiative will amend the Ohio constitution to establish an individual right to one's own reproductive medical treatment. 

Did you hear? We are thrilled to announce that Temple Sholom via Sholom Justice is sponsoring an asylum seeking family! Through our partners at the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church (LPPC) and the Faith Community Initiative, Temple Sholom will be providing a Venezuelan family of 5 (mother & 4 children) with housing & living expenses for a year. 

Fighting for Reproductive Justice! Temple Sholom volunteers wrote more than 300 postcards to Ohio voters in support of the important ballot initiative in this November’s election to protect the right to make personal health care decisions without government interference. Yasher koach to Sholom Justice’s Reproductive Justice Task Force for their hard work and partnership with RAC-OH!

5,700 Meals Served Annually! Through Sholom Justice’s Monday Meal and Feed the Hungry programs, Temple Sholom volunteers serve approx. 5,700 meals each year! A huge thanks to our many dedicated volunteers who make these programs happen each week and a special thank you to all those who have sponsored a Monday Meal or Feed the Hungry so far this year!

Over Two Tons of Food! Temple Sholom’s annual High Holy Day food drive brought in over two tons of food donations.  Thank you to the whole Temple Sholom community for your involvement and supporting our partner, Nourishing Hope!

On Yom Kippur Sholom Justice hosted a special panel on the migrant situation in Chicago. Our panel was made up of Alderperson Matt Martin (47th) and Emily Wheeler of the Faith Community Initiative. If you missed the presentation, you can watch it here!

Catch the Nawabi family & Sholom Justice’s volunteers in JCFS’s recent video? Sholom Justice volunteers have done amazing work supporting an Afghani refugee family who moved to Chicago over a year ago. Yasher koach to our incredible Nawabi family volunteers!


Take Action

Apply for JCUA's Or Tzedek Teen Internship!
Applications are open for the 2024-25 cohort of Or Tzedek, JCUA's award-winning teen organizing program that brings high school students from across the city and suburbs together for a transformative leadership experience. If you or a teen in your life are interested, visit JCUA's website to learn more, apply, or nominate someone between now and the program's June 2nd application deadline.  

Donate Clothing and Hygiene Items to New Arrivals
Our new neighbors (nuevos vecinos) need your help! Donate clothing and other items to help them either through Nuevos Vecinos or the District 19 Mutual Aid group.

Legal Aid Clinic for Asylum Seekers and Migrants
Sholom Justice has teamed up with Anshe Emet to support asylum seekers and migrants with applications for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and work permits. If you are a lawyer, immigration case worker, someone familiar with the immigration system, or are unafraid of paperwork, we want your help! Spanish is helpful but not required, and training will be provided. To get involved, please send us an email.

Pen Pals Needed! Requests for Sholom Justice pen pals continue to come our way, and we are in need of correspondents for these individuals. Sholom Justice's Pen Pal program connects congregants with a pen pal who is serving time in the IL Prison system.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Beth Sanchez.

Monday Meal Mitzvah!
MONDAYS | 3:30pm | Temple Sholom

(Food prep & setup shifts start at 3:30pm & serving/clean-up shifts start at 4:45pm)
Join us on Mondays for our Monday Meal Mitzvah Program (MMM). Temple Sholom volunteers prepare, set-up and serve guests a 4-course meal. Volunteers are needed, so sign-up to volunteer at an upcoming meal! This program is for anyone ages 12+ and is great for B’nai Mitzvah service projects, service hours, and anyone looking for a meaningful volunteer experience. Register for Monday Meal!

If you have questions about the meal and for sponsorship information & opportunities, contact Miriam Berne. Volunteers must be 12 years of age or older to prep food and/or serve guests. If you have a child under 12, please contact Miriam Berne for Monday Meal opportunities.

Feed the Hungry

Feed the Hungry (FTH) allows you the opportunity to sponsor a monthly FTH Sunday. As a sponsor, you shop for the items needed, assemble the sandwiches at home, and deliver them to a church on the West Side (at a socially safe distance with masks). This project is great for B'nai Mitzvah students, individuals seeking service hours, families, and groups of friends looking for a fun and meaningful way to volunteer. SPONSORS ARE NEEDED for Dec. 31. Register for Feed the Hungry!

If you would like to sign-up to sponsor one of our "at-home" FTH Sundays, please click below. For questions, contact Rabbi Gellman.

Tutors Needed for Refugee Children!

Forging Opportunities in America (FORA) is looking for volunteer tutors to join its program. FORA provides tutoring for refugee children in our community, serving roughly 100 students grades K-12 with individualized tutoring in foundational reading and math. Tutors typically serve for 2 in-person weekly sessions or 5 virtual weekly sessions which run M-F 4:30-6:30PM and 7-9PM. Potential volunteers can email FORA to get started! 

Join Sholom Justice's Advocacy Committee

Our Advocacy committee is working hard on multiple campaigns to address the root, structural issues & systems behind many of our issue areas! Building off the success of our campaign to End Money Bond in Illinois, in 5784 we're focusing on gun violence prevention and addressing homelessness. Contact Merle Tresser to join today!

Help Provide Meals & Items to Asylum Seekers

As the national and local media are turning their attention to the burgeoning number of asylum seekers coming to Chicago —and the city's struggles to accommodate them — CHI and others have welcomed many of them to meals. In recent weeks, CHI has been doubling the amount of food normally served at Wednesday meals. And it’s not just CHI doing this – so are several other meal providers. So, everyone is teaming up to cook together! If you are interested in volunteering at any of the meals or have items to donate, see a comprehensive list.

JUF Uptown Cafe
SUNDAYS | 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
The Dina & Eli Field EZRA Multi-Service Center 909 W. Wilson

The JUF Uptown Cafe is a restaurant-style meals program dedicated to fighting hunger, reducing isolation, and creating community. This is a great volunteer opportunity for individuals, families, and groups. Learn more about the JUF Uptown Cafe.

Our Partners

Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
As a Synagogue Partner with JCUA, Temple Sholom works with communities facing discrimination through issue-based campaigns, community investment and bridge-building. 

ONE Northside
As a member of ONE Northside, Temple Sholom participates in advocacy efforts regarding state and local legislation addressing topics of concern including mental health, gun violence reduction and education. 

OneAim Illinois
Formerly IL Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, OneAim works to change the culture around firearms by advocating for common sense, evidence-based, gun violence prevention measures that will save lives in Illinois.  

Illinois Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-IL) 
With RAC-IL, Temple Sholom partners with diverse communities and meaningfully impacts local and state legislation with a focus on racial justice and immigrant and refugee rights. 

Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) 
CHI promotes an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment. 

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of Chicago 
Fueled by the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam (repair the world) and Hachmasat Orchim (welcoming the stranger), Temple Sholom is involved in advocacy initiatives with other leading Jewish organizations including JUF/Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. 

Jewish United Fund (JUF) 
The Tikkun Olam Volunteer (TOV) Network is JUF's connection point for people who want to donate their time to help others in need. In accordance with tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world, TOV connects members of the Jewish community with rewarding volunteer opportunities that best meet their interests and needs.

Sholom Justice Bi-Weekly Newsletter

If you would like to be added to the Sholom Justice email list, please complete the form below.

Sat, June 22 2024 16 Sivan 5784