Social Action

The mission of the Social Justice Action Committee at Temple Emek Shalom is to serve those in the Rogue Valley who are in need of help meeting their most basic human needs: food, clothing, shelter, safety, and health care.

In the last year, this has taken the form of partnering with the UU Fellowship in town, and the city of Ashland to open a one night a week homeless shelter in Ashland, and to feed those who are hungry through a variety of programs.

Our goal is to have this service be an expression of our most abiding Jewish values: chesed (loving-kindness), tzedek (justice), and tikkun olam (helping mend the planet). As a secondary component of our mission, we want to support those in the TES community who want to apply these values in other directions within our community and in the broader world.

This past year, we have partnered with the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the City of Ashland to open a one night a week homeless shelter in town, staffed with volunteers from both communities. Members of our Social Justice Action Committee also provided Friday morning breakfasts to those in the shelter.

We’ve run drives here in the synagogue this year to provide winter clothing and baby/toddler goods to those in need. We continue to support the Ashland Emergency Food Bank in an ongoing manner, and try to bring in folks doing positive work locally and abroad to speak to our congregation whenever possible. An example of this is Fred Stockwell from Eyes to Burma, Bill Jenett from Jackson County Fuel Committee, and Jennifer Kraft from The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Back to School Drive

Join us in a Back To School’ drive sponsored by the Northwest Seasonal workers Association and the TES Social Justice Action Committee.
You can donate to the cause by writing a check to them, or by simply bringing items into the TES lobby.
backpacks, pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks, glue, paste, or any other school supplies will be gratefully received.
We will be the conduit to the NWSWA, so that your items go directly to them.

Winter Shelter

Dear Friends,

Your participation is urgently requested as hosts for the WInter Homeless Shelter this year. The shelter is all that stands between many homeless people and disaster in the cold Winter months. The shelter is essential, and is one of a network of three Ashland shelters which now run during the cold season. It is co-sponsored by the City of Ashland and two Church organizations: the Unitarian Fellowship, and Temple Emek Shalom. Our part of the bargain is to provide ‘overnight hosts’  on Thursday nights, beginning in mid-November. Hosts stay overnight and perform normal duties associated with operating a shelter which is open from early evening to early morning hours. Hosts perform in teams. Facility is located on Winburn Way in Pioneer Hall, behind Lithia Park and the Shakespeare Festival. Please consider volunteering for this very important work for our community.
Thank you for your time.

Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Pat O’Scannell, Evi Strauss and members of the Social Justice Action Committee

Ashland Emergency Food Bank

Thanks to Temple Emek Shalom congregation for raising over 1,400 lbs of foodstuffs so far for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank ! The food filled our shelves and fed people for the better part of one week. Before the food arrived, our shelves were bare.The number of families served by the Food Bank have gone very high in the past year, with over twice as many families being served as were this time last year. The stress on our shelves has been extreme, and the Food Bank has been purchasing food every day to keep our shelves full. This is not sustainable.

Please join the Ashland Food Project if you are not already a member. They will collect food from you (in green bags) every two months. For more information on this contact: info@ashlandfoodproject.com / (541) 488-6976
Or bring your food directly to the Food Bank located at 560 Clover Lane in Ashland across from the Holiday Inn Express. We are open from 9:30-12:30 Monday through Friday.

Here are some ideas for economical food donations:
1. Go through your own shelves and pick out cans of food to bring us. Please check the expiration dates, we cannot serve food older than one year beyond expiration date.
2. Buy bulk and wait for SALES on canned goods.
3. Have a family competition on who can use coupons cut out of local papers to obtain the most food for the least money.

Anything and everything will help.

Special Events