We have a very active Social Action program at Society Hill Synagogue. There are plenty of opportunities to become involved in a variety of excellent initiatives!
Vare-Washington Elementary School
As you may know, we have continued our partnership with a local elementary school, which has recently merged with another school, to become the Vare-Washington Elementary School, located in South Philadelphia. SHS members volunteer there to provide:
- One-on-one tutoring
- Teacher assistance
- Reading and math coaching
- Leadership of after-school activities
- Special projects
If you are interested in volunteering at the school, click the survey link below and tell us what you’d like to do. For further information, contact Phyllis Denbo at 215.755.2734 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, we conduct an annual holiday gift drive in early December to provide presents for Vare-Washington’s neediest students and their families.
With our support and assistance, Vare-Washington has received a 2014 Picasso Grant from Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) that will fund a new version of the photography and writing program that we initiated in 2009. Judy Gelles, an SHS member and award-winning photographer, in cooperation with the Vare-Washington art teacher, will instruct and teach selected middle-school students skills in portrait photography and interviewing. These students will then compile visual and written portraits of a minimum of fifty other students. The project’s goal is to build a strong sense of community at the recently combined school by encouraging a wide diversity of students to understand and appreciate one another At the project’s conclusion, an exhibit of the students’ work will be shown at the school and at Society Hill Synagogue, and a book of the students’ work will be published.
Members of SHS’s Social Action Committee also help to organize and pack food at Philabundance one evening a month. For more information, please contact Margie Ferst at email@example.com. Check the Kesher or watch for meeting announcements in the weekly updates to join the Social Action Committee to help us brainstorm for additional hunger-relief initiatives.
In 2013, Society Hill Synagogue became a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild), an interfaith collaboration of close to fifty churches, synagogues, and mosques from our area, working together to build a city of opportunity that works for all. By strengthening and mobilizing networks of relationships, the organization seeks to exercise power in the public arena so that the needs and priorities of all Philadelphians are reflected in the systems and policies that shape our city. POWER’s current priority areas are education, jobs, and immigration. For further information, please contact Harry Oxman at firstname.lastname@example.org.