Tikkun Olam

 How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start to improve the world.

 ~ Anne Frank 


Tikkun Olam, the repair or improvement of the world, is a fundamental part of the Jewish way of life. It is a chief means of expressing thanks to God for our own blessings, of seeking forgiveness for our shortcomings, and of seeking to extend blessing to our family, friends, neighbors, and all our fellow creatures. Our congregation seeks to perform Tikkun Olam in many ways, one of which is through the work of our Social Action Committee. Please contact the Temple if you would like to get involved.

2018 High Holiday Food Drive 

Temple Shir Shalom's 2018 High Holiday Food Drive recently delivered 1,726 pounds of food to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, which will provide 1,438 meals for those in need. Once again, Stuart Bilsky provided his trailer to collect and transport your donations to the Bread of the Mighty warehouse, along with the help of Sharon and Andy Hirshik.


This year, Sharon and Andy met with Marcia Conwell, President/CEO of Bread of the Mighty, to get a better understanding of the scope of its operations. This year, Bread of the Mighty estimates that they have distributed about 8 million pounds of food in Alachua, Dixie, Levy, Gilchrist and Lafayette counties. That's an increase in half a million pounds from last year.


How is the food actually distributed? Bread of the Mighty delivers to mobile pantries in all five counties. Volunteers, many from faith-based organizations, staff those mobile pantries and distribute bags of food to waiting lines of people. Bread of the Mighty has also established nine food pantries in schools, six of them in Alachua County. The school pantries alone cost Bread of the Mighty $250,000 a year and there are more schools on their waiting list. The homeless receive food from Bread of the Mighty through Grace Market Place. Seniors in need are given free food through agency partners of Bread of the Mighty.


Marcia described to Sharon and Andy some of the secret heroes in our community, like the wife of a former Eastside High School football coach who was spending almost his whole paycheck to feed his players, some of whom were so hungry they would pass out on the field. This couple arranged to pick up food every day from Bread of the Mighty to feed the hungriest players to keep them healthy.


While food distribution is of upmost importance to Bread of the Mighty, the organization is in a position to indentify other needs as well. When Marcia noticed that the coach selected detergent from the Bread of the Mighty shelves, she investigated further. It turned out that homeless students were washing clothes in the sinks at the school. Going beyond food distribution, Marcia found a way to donate a washer and dryer.


Whatever food you may have donated, you have helped Marcia Conwell and Bread of the Mighty in their mission of "changing lives, one meal at a time."

November 8, 2016

Lee Schwartz, Vera Rabino, and Bill Little were among the many helpers at the September 25 Temple Cleanup Day, organized by Grounds Committee chair Linda Bensen. Other helpers were Erica Bilsky, Kevin Siegel, Jach Hurov, David Pawliger, and Andy Seltzer (hope we haven’t missed anyone!).

November 8, 2016

Mark your calendars for JCNCF’s annual Mitzvah Day: Sunday, November 20.  Temple Shir Shalom will host the breakfast and opening program beginning at 9:00 am.  Projects will follow at Shir Shalom, B’nai Israel, Chabad, and various other sites throughout Gainesville.  Whether your style is baking a casserole, swinging a hammer, sorting clothing, or anything in between, don’t miss this chance to join the community in tikkun olam...

October 10, 2016

Marcia, Conwell, CEO of Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, speaks to students and parents at the Temple Shir Shalom Religious School on October 2. Bread of the Mighty will distribute food collected by the Shir Shalom High Holy Day Food Drive.

May 26, 2016

 Temple Shir Shalom volunteers working regularly at the Pineridge Afterschool Center helped these children create autobiographies that they proudly brought home to their families.

April 20, 2016

The Social Action Committee will be collecting new and gently used school supplies and clothes through June

10.  The donations will go to the Pineridge Center as well as to local elementary/middle schools serving disadvantaged students. Please take this opportunity to do some spring cleaning or early shopping and bring your donations to the foyer at TSS. Suggested items:

CLOTHES:  (any children's sizes, new or gently used)


April 13, 2016

What is Pineridge? Pineridge is a neighborhood in NW Gainesville struggling with issues of intergenerational poverty, unemployment, and crime.  For several years, Temple’s Social Action Committee has partnered with the Pineridge Afterschool Center, which serves a number of elementary age students on Monday-Thursday afternoons. Most Mondays you can find a Shir Shalom volunteer at Pineridge helping with homework and activities....

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Temple Shir Shalom  /  3855 NW 8th Avenue  / Gainesville, Florida 32605 /  352.371.6399


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