Volunteer Opportunities

From in-house opportunities to community-based service, Congregation Kol Ami thrives on volunteerism. We invite you to explore the many wonderful avenues with which to share your time and skills.

 

 

Caring Community

The purpose of the Caring Community Committee is to support congregants in need and to nurture connections within the synagogue. We provide the following programs and services:

 

 

  • Caring Caps: hand-knit caps for chemo patients – to date over 2500 have been donated
  • Accessibility for special needs: hearing assistive aids, large print prayerbooks and special seating arrangements
  • Blankets of Hope: Fleece blankets made in group activity and given to congregants who are ill. Congregants make the blankets together, which by itself is a terrific way of building community, and the congregants who receive the blankets are always touched by the efforts and the acknowledgement of their situation.
  • New baby welcome packages: We give insulated bags that can be used for bottle transport or snacks or lunch to go to preschool. There is also a hand-knit newborn hat included. We want to acknowledge happy life moments and not just illness and difficulty.
  • Volunteers to help congregants: meals, transportation, visiting. This is one need that is the most volunteer/last-minute activity and requires people who are not only willing to step up and provide help but also people who can make the calls and arrangements. The visiting as of now is by phone (because of COVID) and the need is clergy requested.
  • Cards for condolence or illness
  • Shiva set-up support: This happens rarely, but we are always ready to stay at the house, set things up with catering tray delivery, etc. It is support – not providing the food.
  • Driving: This is a limited service, depending on when and if rides can be arranged. COVID has also limited this service for the time being.

 

We meet about three times a year in person, followed by a newsletter/recap. Pre-COVID we had a potluck dinner and service in the spring, which provided a wonderful way to thank the volunteers who, for the most part, work on their own.

 

 

Tikkun Olam/Social Action

Judaism teaches us that we should do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Congregation Kol Ami is driven and guided by these principles of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and we have a proud tradition of helping those in our community who need it most. Through Social Action projects such as partnering with Jewish Family and Children Services to help with a multitude of needs-based product drives throughout the year, and cooking and serving meals at Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, we are ensuring that there are ways for everyone to help out. We are a proud supporter of Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey (OYR), and our congregants donate snacks and supplies, bake cookies, braid parachute cord bracelets and make thank you cards that bring joy to our troops and let them know that they are not forgotten.

 

 

We rally for Social Justice, and our Initiative goals are to educate ourselves and the community on issues such as health care, immigration, and civil rights, to advocate for change, and to address problems in our community caused by injustice and intolerance. We are champions for LGBTQIA+ rights and marriage equality, and promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Standing on Jewish values, we follow the policy positions set forth by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, an arm of the Union for Reform Judaism.

 

 

Tikkun Olam Leadership:

Tikkun Olam Social Action Committee: Steve Janove

Collection Activities: Phil Wasdick 
Religious Action Center Advocacy: Michele Zeldner and Pam Barroway
Refugee Assistance: Jaimee Friedman and Jaye Halpern
Urban Garden: Kim Coffina
Gun Violence Awareness: Sarah Zalcmann and Lauren Rardin
Environmental Awareness and Ethical Kashrut: Sharon Parnes (and a Hebrew High Student Volunteer) 
Speakers (coordinating with Adult Education): Steve Janove and Gail Donner
 

Tikkun Olam Caring Committee: Jane Bloom 

Caring Caps: Jane Bloom and Sarah Zalcman
Accessibility for special needs: Karen Slutsky
Blankets of Hope: Barbara Rothberg and Rolane Sunshine
New Baby Welcome Packages: Deborah Kahn
Volunteers to help congregants with meals, transportation, etc: Karen Wallenobrien
Cards for condolence or illness: Judy Cohen
Transportation Needs: Howie Greenberg
Friendly Visitors (clergy referred): TBD