Temple Adat Elohim
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Temple Gets Award for Emphasizing Social Action for Kids

Acorn Newspaper - April 9, 2009

Temple Adat Elohim will receive the Irving J. Fain Social Action Award from the Union for Reform Judaism Commission on Social Action for outstanding action in bringing the importance of community responsibility to children in kindergarten through third grade.

The award will be accepted by the temple's Social Action Committee chairs, Deborah Lopez of Agoura Hills and Robin Segal of Thousand Oaks, at the union's biannual conference, "Consultation on Conscience" April 19 to 21 in Washington, D.C.

"We were inspired by your congregation's sense of community responsibility, and that work merits respect and appreciation. Your congregation will serve as an inspiration, encouraging others to undertake similar social action programs," said Liz Cohen, award committee chair, in the letter received by the temple announcing the receipt of the award.

The winning program, CHESED, will be used by other Reform congregations around the country to create similar programs.

"CHESED, which means 'loving kindness,' is simple in nature yet profound in impact. By exposing young children and their families to ageappropriate social action opportunities, 'repairing the world' (tikkun olam) becomes an important part of living a Jewish life," said Lopez.

"This award highlights the tremendous contributions our TAE social action families have made to our community. On a monthly basis, our families help those in need, not through guilt or fear but through positive action," said Segal.

The mission of the Social Action Committee is to encourage the education of and participation in understanding the local, national and global human need. Whether the need is immediate or ongoing, the committee seeks to develop and perform meaningful programs and acts of tikkun olam, which respond to those needs. Temple volunteers, perform mitzvoth (good deeds), reflecting the ideals of Reform Judaism.

Some of the family oriented social action projects include sorting food at a food pantry, donating backpacks to underprivileged children and restoring native vegetation at the national parks. These families also provide sustained support to the temple's winter homeless shelter.

Each Sunday night the temple opens its doors to feed and provide shelter to our area homeless.

The Union for Reform Judaism is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues.

Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.

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