Shir Tikvah, Portland Oregon
Torah - Learning Gemilut Hasadim - Social Action Avodah - Prayer Singing Meditation

Gemilut Hasadim

“You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy, 10.19)

The Rodfey Tzedek (Pursuers of Justice) project is Shir Tikvah’s fulfillment of the mitzvah to reach out to the other. It is through our relationship to other people that we connect with God and pursue our vision of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world).

Shir Tikvah supports the Oregon Food Bank and its ongoing food drive and provides volunteers on-site at the Oregon Food Bank facility. Statistics offer compelling reasons for our focus: Oregon ranks worst in the nation for outright hunger. Children under the age of 17 comprise 40 percent of those hungry. Most adults who receive emergency food are working, retired or disabled. Two-parent families make up the largest group of recipients of emergency food. To learn more about this issue, go to

“Seek justice, undo oppression, defend the orphan, plead for the vulnerable” (Isaiah 1.17)

 Do Something Jewish for Christmas–contact: Dale Schwartz

The Shir Tikvah holiday season ‘Do Something Jewish for Christmas’ tzedekah project will again be to provide Christmas dinner for youth at New Avenues for Youth, a non-profit organization helping homeless youth from Oregon and Southwest Washington. This is the sixth year that Shir TIkvah has helped out this wonderful organization. To learn more about them, click here. NAFY will be serving dinner for 150 kids. Our congregation is committed to providing food for 20 for the dinner on December 24th, Christmas Eve.

The following is a list of needed foods for a holiday meal:
turkey (cooked)
stuffing – regular and vegan
mashed and sweet potatoes
vegetable dishes

We will not be serving the dinner (confidentiality/ insurance issues prevent this) but we are committed to providing the food!! Contact Dale Schwartz for more information or to sign up to help!

Rosenbaum Kids Hat Project–contact: Joyce Shields

Camp Rosenbaum is an unique summer camp experience that was brought into being 42 years ago by holocaust survivor, and former Brigadier General Fred Rosenbaum.  This camp for underprivileged and at-risk children hosts approximately 170 children ages 9 to 11.  The campers experience a one of a kind camp that aims to teach good citizenship skills, motivate kids to stay in school, remain drug-free and out of gangs and encourages them to set positive goals for the future.  Staffed by volunteers from the Oregon air National Guard, Portland Police Bureau, and Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) this camping experience literally saves lives.

One of the many services the camp provides is outfitting the kids with clothes for the up-coming school year.  As part of that effort I have taken on the task of knitting warm winter caps for the kids.  This past year myself and a few helpers from the congregation produced 220 wonderful, warm caps – no two exactly alike!!  The children loved the hats and there were many hugs from the happy recipients.

This is a huge undertaking and I would like to invite the knitters (and those who would like to learn) in our congregation to join me in this year’s effort.  The caps are simple to make and can be done on a knitting loom very quickly.

If you are interested in helping please contact the office.  I will happily help you get started if you have never used a knitting loom before.   Donations of yarn for the project will also be gratefully accepted.

Sites with volunteer opportunities:

    • Hands on Greater Portland:
      Offers a variety of volunteer opportunites, including a searchable database. Click on ‘Ways to Volunteer’ on the left side of the screen.
    • JOIN/The New City Initiative:
      JOIN supports people’s efforts to transition into stable and permanent housing. The New City Initiative is a project engaging faith communities in ending homelessness. They have many ways to volunteer, either working with those in transition or in gathering materials or funds.
    • Transition Projects Inc.: ; click on ‘Volunteer’ to see volunteer listings.
      This is Portland’s largest provider of shelter and transitional housing for single adults.
    • New Avenues for Youth:
      NAFY’s mission is to work in partnership with the community to prevent youth homelessness and provide homeless and at-risk young people the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.
    • Jewish Family and Children’s Service ‘Mensches in the Trenches’ Program:
      JFCS is looking for people to share their life skills on a limited, pro bono basis with those in need. Every skill from plumbing to IT support, planning low cost meals to check book balancing is needed.
    • Portland Homeless Family Solutions:
      Offering day and night shelter to 8 families with children, this organization relies heavily on volunteers to staff its two locations.
    • Human Solutions:

Human Solutions needs volunteers to assist homeless or low-income families struggling to keep a roof over their heads and find a living wage job. Their organization offers many different programs working with different population, including the Homeless Family Warming Center in NE Portland.

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