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CONGREGATION B'NAI TORAH
Social Action

Tracy Seitz
Social Action Chair

B’nai Torah is proud to help its members make a difference in the larger world. We partner with a diverse set of community partners to help those in need.

BACKPACK BUDDIES 
Congregation B'nai Torah Backpack Buddies provides nutritious meals for 80 children at 2 elementary schools who might otherwise go hungry every weekend. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who make this possible each week! Please consider donating to this wonderful cause so we can feed even more children each weekend. Click here to make a donation. One in six American children go hungry at some point during the year. Many children only receive good meals at school, so Backpack Buddies provides food for these children on the weekends. They purchase nutritious foods and snacks, organize them into backpacks for the children and deliver them to Dunwoody Springs Elementary School each Thursday. The school distributes the full backpacks on Fridays and collects the empty backpacks on Monday to receive food for the following week.  Thank you to all of our generous donors for sponsoring this important organization! Volunteer Information: Volunteers meet on Thursday mornings from 10:00-11:00 AM to pack the backpacks. If you are interested in volunteering, please email btbackpackbuddies@gmail.com

The schools are so grateful for what we bring, but the need is so great that we would like to do more. There are several ways that you can participate. All donations go towards purchasing food to increase the number of children that we provide backpacks for each week. You can donate online and select "Backpack Buddies" in the "type" section or send a check to B’nai Torah with Backpack Buddies in the notes line. Another way to support is to bring a case or two of 6 (or 12) 8 oz. milk cartons to B'nai Torah for us to pack in the packs. We will have a bin for storage. If you can volunteer your time, we are looking for volunteers to drive the backpacks to the schools on one Thursday a month or help us with some heavy lifting (literally) as we bring food from the Food Bank to store at the synagogue. We have been so fortunate to be able to provide food for so many children. We could not do this without the generosity of the B’nai Torah community. Thank you all for what you have done and what you will continue to do for this important endeavor. 


FAMILY PROMISE
Because of the efforts of Congregation B'nai Torah, Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb
(FPNFD) has been able to help homeless children and their families right here in Fulton and DeKalb County. FPNFD is one of 202 programs nationally affiliated with Family Promise. Since its formation in 1988, collectively Family Promise Affiliates have served more than 700,000 men, women and children, involving 6,000 congregations and more than 180,000 volunteers. Family Promise works with homeless families to tailor individualized plans to help them take the necessary steps toward lasting independence. Families rotate on a weekly basis between congregations, with congregations hosting for one week a quarter, up to four times per year. Congregation B'nai Torah partners with Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church to support Family Promise. Each quarter, you can volunteer to serve dinner, or donate to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund (note Family Promise). Congregation B'nai Torah's next week to volunteer is July 7-21, 2019. Please click here to volunteer. Please contact our coordinators, Amy Graiser, Mary Simon or Michael Simon, at familypromiseatlanta@gmail.com with any questions. To learn more, please visit Family Promise online.


LAKE FOREST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Lake Forest Elementary School is a Title 1 School in our community, that relies on community organizations to provide supplies and clothing to the students that live below the poverty line. Congregation B'nai Torah donates school supplies, backpacks and clothing to the students twice a year: the Hanukkah Festival and Mitzvah Festival. Please contact  
Deborah Lewis to participate. To learn more, please visit Lake Forest Elementary School online.


METRO ATLANTA HEART WALK
Each year, Congregation B'nai Torah joins hundreds of Atlantans who walk to raise funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 5 killers - heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family. The 2017 Heart Walk will be scheduled soon. Stay tuned for the date! Please contact Tracy Seitz to participate. To learn more, please visit Atlanta Heart Walk.


NEW AMERICAN PATHWAYS
New American Pathways provides approximately 4,000 refugees per year with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term success. Our specially designed programs provide proven pathways for refugees and other immigrants to realize their full potential and dreams while becoming productive, contributing members of Georgia’s communities. Congregation B'nai Torah assists New American Pathways during the High Holidays by collecting lightly used apartment furnishings. These furnishings allow refugees to arrive in Atlanta with the basic needs in their home. If you would like to donate to New American Pathways, please contact
Barry Koffler. To learn more, visit New American Pathways.

 

OPERATION ISAIAH
Inspired by scripture from the prophet Isaiah, “to share your food with the hungry," Atlanta’s Jewish Community holds their metro-wide food drive each year during the High Holy Days. The Atlanta Jewish Community Operation Isaiah contribution provides enough food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for two full months!  Congregation B'nai Torah provides a list of food in need to our congregants and requests that the non-perishable items are brought to the synagogue by the end of the High Holidays. To learn more, visit the
Atlanta Food Bank.

 

SOJOURN
Sojourn is the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Each year, Congregation B'nai Torah marches in support of our family, friends, coworkers, and community members. The Jewish Community Contingent is diverse and inclusive, including those who identify as part of the gender and sexual diversity community and those who identify as allies. Everyone is welcome to join us! The Atlanta Gay Pride Festival and Parade is October 11-13, 2019 in Piedmont Park! 


ZABAN PARADIES CENTER​ 
The Zaban Paradies Center was founded in 1984 as the first and only shelter for homeless couples
in Atlanta. The mission of the Center was to keep couples together as they moved from being homeless to find permanent places to live. Volunteer support is still a critical success factor for the Center. Initially, the Center was 100% volunteer run, and volunteers continue to be a critical part of the Centers success. Volunteers from numerous educational, religious, and service oriented organizations provide hot meals every evening during the residential dinner, bagged lunches for residents to take with them during the day, expertise to help residents with life skills development and clothing for residents who are in need. On the 21st of every month, from October 2019 - April 2020, Congregation B'nai Torah provides volunteers to cook, serve the meal (allowed 4 servers, and must be 12 years old or older), and/or donate money to purchase food. You, your family, and friends can volunteer by contacting Tracy Seitz or click here to sign up for opportunities in the 2019-2020 year. To learn more about the center, please visit Zaban Paradies Center.

Thu, November 21 2019 23 Cheshvan 5780