Social Action: The ZEDEK Newsletter | Caring Committee | Community Service Committee | Interfaith Committee

Upcoming Events

Volunteer Opportunities At Neighbors Link

 Volunteer Opportunities for Adults

Like Working with Children? The Adelante Juntos Parent-Child Program is a great opportunity for adult volunteers who are available during the day and love working with young children. Volunteers assist the instructor with guided activities for children ages 0-4.

Interested in Tutoring Adults in English? In NL’s ESL Tutoring Program, volunteers tutor adult learners in the English language, one-on-one or in small groups.  Curriculum and training is provided by the staff. The ESL Tutoring program takes place in the evenings and will be restarting both in-person and virtually.

 Volunteer Opportunities for High-School Students

Want to Help Out After School? NL’s high school Learning Links volunteers work with elementary school-aged kids, helping them with homework, reading and enrichment activities after school at Mount Kisco Elementary School from 3:15-5:00. The program runs every weekday and they ask volunteers to pick one day of the week that they can commit to coming each week.

Want to Try Teaching English? In NL’s Tuesday Evening ESL Tutoring Program, high school volunteers work with adult learners one-on-one or in small groups, helping them with their English skills. This program is running both in our Mount Kisco center and virtually via Zoom on Tuesday evenings.

Please contact Neighbors Link directly if you are interested in any of the above programs.


By popular demand, we will feature moderated breakout group discussions.

The breakfast is free and open to the public. Register here for Zoom link.

The first in this year’s Social Justice’ Series JUSTICE FOR ALL…..a joint program with Rabbi Sacks’ Film Series.


TOPIC:   RACIAL INEQUALIIES – How one man made a difference

FILM:  October 17, 18, 19 (virtual) Registration below Link to Movie registration

DISCUSSION: OCTOBER 20,  at 7:00 PMRabbi Lisa Sacks, moderator

Watch film at your convenience October 17 -19th (virtual), then join us for discussion October 20th  with Rabbi Lisa Sacks moderating.

You do not need to see film to join the discussion.

*ROSENWALD (view trailer) tells the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, one of the  founders of AJC, and the son of an immigrant peddler who rose to head Sears, Roebuck and Co. Inspired by the ideals of tzedakah and tikkun olam and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Rosenwald used his wealth to become one  of America’s most effective philanthropists. He partnered with Booker T. Washington to build 5,400 schools in African American communities in the segregated South of the early 1900s— benefiting more than 600,000 students—and built housing for African  Americans to address the pressing needs brought on by the Great Migration.

Questions: contact Liz Schonfeld:  or

Elaine Gloth Merker:


Welcoming The Stranger From The Southern Border:

Community-Wide Elul Social Action Committee Project

Like Jews have done many times throughout our history, children who have trekked 1000s of miles across Central America and Mexico searching for peace and freedom are now on their way to a better life with sponsors across the U.S.

We’re in a unique position to help these children reach and settle into their new homes, given our Biblical mandate

“You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34).


Response to Humanitarian Crises

Response to Humanitarian Crises in Afghanistan

“You shall love the stranger for you were strangers…” (Deuteronomy 10:19).

Bet Torah stands with the Jewish community in supporting the rights of those who face peril around the globe. In the last several weeks, we have watched  those who stood by us to fight evil in Afghanistan and are now in mortal fear for themselves and their families. As part of our mission to Repair the World, we stand with organizations such as HIAS, Hearts and Homes for Refugees, and Women for Afghan Women in advocating for helping these families come to safety and resettle.

Bet Torah signed on to appeal at the national level to our government for just intervention to bring those in Afghanistan to safety and to stop the deportation of Afghan citizens on US soil. The letter is steeped in our Jewish values and our empathy for what it means to be persecuted. In the coming weeks we plan to continue to advocate, and partner with other organization to reaffirm the sanctity of life and liberty, and to reach out in any way we can to these Afghan refugees.

August 2021
The overriding Jewish ethos of Social Action is Tikkun Olam -Repairing the World.  In the last several weeks, in addition to the ongoing catastrophes wrought by Covid with loss of life, and the massive effects of Global Warming- fires and floods,  we have witnessed humanitarian crises unfold in many places but  most notably Afghanistan and Haiti.

For months, in anticipation of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, many organizations who advocate for immigrants have been aware that those Afghanistan nationals who aided the US as translators and guides, who served in the army and especially in intelligence operations would be vulnerable to harm. That fear has unfolded as tens of thousands of operatives, and their families including children fear for death at the hands of the  Taliban forces.  They have been hiding and attempting to leave the country and seek asylum.

Bet Torah has been in communication with Westchester Coalition for Immigration, Hearts and Homes for Refugees, and HIAS to gain information as to how we can assist in this humanitarian crises. Possibilities include sponsoring a family that is relocating from Afghanistan, advocating with our representatives in congress or donating to a fund supporting the relocation of those seeking asylum.

In addition we want to make you aware of other organizations that are doing important work and have excellent track records in this field http://Child Foundation Families Belong Together GlobalGiving Hearts & Homes for Refugees Human Rights First HIAS International Media Support International Medical Corps The International Rescue Committee Jewish Family and Community Services Miles4Migrants No One Left Behind Women for Women International Women for Afghan Women (WAW)

We will continue to try to move forward with a well thought initiative but we are currently looking to assess those in our congregation who would like to help us mobilize. If you would like to help Social Justice at Bet Torah strategize and plan please reach out to Elaine Merker at or Jill Ratner at


As this is unfolding in Afghanistan, we have witnessed another humanitarian crises and now natural disaster in Haiti.  Haiti has been experiencing instability of its government with mounting economic hardship and food insecurity which culminated in violence and the assassination of the President on July 7th followed by a 7.3  magnitude earthquake hit the southern portion of Haiti on August 14th  leaving 2200 people dead and several hundred still unaccounted for. The people of Haiti, who have throughout their history endured great hardship are very much at their breaking point both mortally and spiritually. Two local non for profit organizations well known to Bet Torah, Hands Up for Haiti and Afya are working to provide relief, and medical supplies and care to those in the immediate area, and those that have fled to the north as their homes have been destroyed. Of note, UJA is a supporter of Afya’s current efforts. Bet Torah congregants can help by donating to both organizations through their websites.

Additionally, IsraAid is on the ground in Haiti, as it is for global disasters everywhere. Please consider supporting their efforts as we support the organization that shows up on the front lines and uses Israeli know how to bring relief.

In the weeks to come, we hope to organize a packing event at AFYA for our teens and families where we as a community engage in the powerful experience of shipping to another community around the world the goods they need to promote health and well-being. Please check out the Weeklys, and our Facebook group for more information.

About the Social Justice Committee

The mission of social justice is to mobilize our community, using Jewish principles of moral righteousness. We operate with respect for the diversity of opinions among our members, as well as respect for the inherent human dignity and worth of every human being.

Under the leadership of Elaine Gloth-Merker, Social Justice has expanded its role to highlight and shine a light on three issues this year  Immigrants Rights Initiative,  Racial Justice Initiative, and Antisemitism Initiative are recognized as being forefront for the committee and our community this year.

If you would like to receive the Tzedek Newsletter, and any email updates about our programming,  please contact Elaine Gloth Merker at or Liz Schonfeld at