The New Reform Temple (NRT) Social Justice Committee has activities every month. Members from every age group and interest will find way to become more involved in the Jewish community and the Kansas City community as a whole. Among some of the recent activities of the committee are:
Family Mitzvah Day
Twice a year, the NRT Social Justice Committee works with the Marion And Henry Bloch Religious School to organize a day of volunteering throughout the Kansas City community for our bi-annual Family Mitzvah Day.
Each year, beginning with the High Holy Days, the NRT Social Justice Committee organizes a food drives that collect non-perishable food and household items for the Jewish Family Services (JFS) Food Pantry.
Manheim Community Garden and Mitzvah Garden of Kansas City
Manheim Community Gardens is a non-profit organization in Kansas City, which focuses on reintroducing home-grown food into the lives of our neighbors. Mitzvah Garden KC, on the grounds of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, is a community project, started more than 11 years ago to provide much needed vegetables and fruits to area KC food pantries. Entirely 100% of all produce is donated. Volunteers by harvesting and performing general garden labor. Dates for 2020 include: October 4, 11, & 18. Please contact the Temple office for more details.
Operation Breakthrough – Digi-Tutor
This innovative program provides academic tutoring support for students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. Tutors work with children online. Tutors can select an age/grade level of a child with whom they would like to work in one of the following areas: homework, reading or math. Our Social Justice Committee and Program Committee have created a unique connection between The New Reform Temple and Operation Breakthrough. This organization’s mission is to provide a safe, loving, and educational environment for children in poverty and to empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education. Operation Breakthrough cares each weekday for more than 650 children, ages 6 weeks to 14 years. Using technology has been incredibly beneficial in providing one on one tutoring to students. Instead of a student and tutor trying to share a computer or book or needing to sit together during the pandemic, both the tutor and student have a computer and headset to increase independence and efficiency. Tutors use Zoom to host a video call with the student over the computer. The sessions will run from 20 to 30 minutes. A training session is provided so the tutor understands the parameters and techniques of these tutorials. Technology support is also provided. This is an incredible opportunity to impact the lives of young children in our community and we can do from our own homes. Digi-tutor can change the lives of young people who are need of special support! For more information, contact the temple.
Jewish Family Services Calling Connection
Loneliness is a major source of suffering in our society. JFS is offering an opportunity for NRT volunteers to be matched with JFS clients who would be called on weekly basis. Volunteers will be paired with 1-10 older adults to make calls to each week. Volunteers choose how many indidivudals they want to call. Calls are estimated to take anywhere from 10-30 minutes per call. To sign up for Calling Connections, click here: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=859183264.
Hanukkah Gift Program
Partnering with Jewish Family Services, we have been given the opportunity to participate in a Hanukkah gift card drive. Gift cards allow families to choose correct sizes and styles, shop for groceries, or surprise a family member. Gift cards from the following have been requested: Target, Walmart, Dollar General, gas card, Amazon and grocery stores such as Price Chopper, Hen House, Hy-vee and Aldi. Increments of $25 suggested. There are several ways we can receive your Hanukkah gift cards: Mail to NRT at 7100 Main Street, KCMO 64114, bring them to the NRT front door during the hours of 9:00am-noon & 1:00pm-5:00pm. Ring the bell, Chris will meet you at the door. (please wear a mask, thank you!), drop them off in the NRT mail slot, by the back door, on Gregory Boulevard. Jewish Family Services will be receiving them by December 1.
Sock and Mitten Drive in November for The Children’s Place
The Children’s Place is Kansas City’s leading trauma- informed early childhood education program and counseling center. Here, families overcome trauma. They find and celebrate healing for young children in our community who have faced trauma, enabling children to lead happy, healthy, hopeful lives. We are collecting new socks and mittens and/or gloves for children ages toddlers to 6 years old. Donations may be placed in bin outside our Temple door. Drive runs through November 17.
Operation Breakthrough School Supply Drive in December
The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to provide a safe, loving, and educational environment for children in poverty and to empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education. By the middle of the year, their school supplies start running low. NRT will be participating in “adopt-a-classroom”. We are collecting the following new items: play-doh, watercolor paints, crayons, and glue sticks.
Tools for Jewish Unemployed
Temple members volunteer for JFS and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), who have teamed up to assist those in the Jewish community who are unemployed. The program is an expansion of JVS’ job readiness services of career counseling, resume assistance and interviewing skills.
Extreme Yard Rakeover
In collaboration with Jewish Family Services, NRT members form teams to participate, to match volunteer groups with older adult homeowners in financial need to have their yards raked during the first three weeks of November.
Social Justice Allies
The New Reform Temple supports LGBTQ and ally teen communities nationwide. Find out more about their work and upcoming events here: https://www.keshetonline.org/teenshabbaton/
We support the Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement as well. Read more here: https://www.rac.org
Learn more about our commitment to social justice: