Social Justice

"Wake me up, God; ignite my passion, fill me with outrage. Remind me that I am responsible for Your world. Don't allow me to stand idly by. Inspire me to act. Teach me to believe that I can repair some corner of this world."

- Rabbi Naomi Levy

We invite you to explore ways you can enrich your life and deepen your connection to Judaism and the Emanu-El community through the mitzvah of helping others.

Volunteer Opportunities

Knitter Needed - March through June

Fill a Seder Sack for People in Need - Passover is April 14 to 22

Yom HaShoah - April 27

Winterfaith Shelter Walk in support of Interfaith Homeless Shelter Dinners - May 4

Shape Policy at JPAC Advocacy Day - May 12 to 13

Join Emanu-El's Hazon Team for the Golden Gate Ride - May 23 to 26

Bike to Worship - May 23 to 25

Pride Parade - June 29

Experience Corps: Your Experience Matters - ongoing

Get Involved with Star Community Home - ongoing

Ladies' Night: Help Cook and/or Serve a Meal - ongoing

Volunteer Needed to Evaluate Donated Computers - ongoing

Tutorpedia - ongoing

Volunteer to Cook Sunday Dinners at G-House - ongoing

Textile Recycling for Zero Waste - ongoing

knittingAre You A Skilled Knitter?

Star Community Home for homeless women and children, located on Geary Boulevard at 8th Avenues is looking for a knitting instructor to teach the residents during a Monday evening family workshop. Emanu-El will provide the yarn.

If interested, please contact Community Engagement Director, Sandy Rechtschaffen at

The Star Community Home is an 18-month project to address the critical community need of providing housing and services to homeless single mothers with children at the former convent at Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco. The project was made possible by a generous grant to Catholic Charities CYO by Lynne and Marc Benioff and the Foundation.

Lead or Support a Family Workshop
Mondays each month: March 24, April 21, May 19 and June 16
6:30-8:00 pm

Support the Activity Coordinator in providing skill-learning workshops to mothers living at Star Community Home, such as wellness and art activities, cooking classes, knitting, jewelry making, resume building, etc. Questions? Contact Activities and Volunteer Coordinator, Diana Contreras at (415) 379-8690 or

Turn Matzah into Mitzvah: Fill a Seder Sack for People in Need!

In the Haggadah it is written, “All who are hungry, let them come and eat!”

Join Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) and Congregation Emanu-El in our community-wide mitzvah project to provide Passover foods to more than hundreds of our neighbors in need. A gift of $18 fills a Seder Sack with matzo, gefilte fish, macaroons, soup and other foods that JFCS volunteers will deliver to homebound seniors, people with disabilities, and families in crisis in our community. For many recipients, this is their only opportunity to celebrate Passover and feel remembered at this time.

Fill one bag or make it a Chai Five: a $90 gift fills five Seder Sacks! Donate today at or by calling 415-449-1256. Or mail your gift to JFCS at 2150 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, Attention: Seder Sacks.

Send a holiday or tribute card to loved ones by making your gift in honor or in memory of someone. JFCS will send a personalized card acknowledging that a food bag has been purchased in tribute.

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Day of Remembrance

April 27, 1:30 – 6:00 pm
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street

Please join the community for the 2014 San Francisco Observance of Holocaust Day of Rembrance. This community-wide event is free and open to the public and you may attend any portion of the program.

Learn More and Register

Winterfaith Shelter WalkInterfaith Homeless Shelter Dinners - 2014 WinterFaith Shelter Walk (4.5 miles)

Sunday, May 4, 1:30 pm
Lake Merced

Under the coordination of our congregant, Shabana Siegel, every constituent group from Emanu-El participated in 2013 (over 150 volunteers last year)! Each Temple group brought a unique flavor to their evening and took home unforgettable memories.

So that area churches and synagogues can house and feed the homeless each winter, the San Francisco Interfaith Council hosts an annual walk to raise funds.

Walk Schedule
12:30 pm: Early Registration Begins
1:30 pm: Registration
2:00 pm: Walk Welcome Begins!
2:15 pm: WALK BEGINS!
3:45pm: End of Walk Celebration Begins!

This year's goal is $20,000.  By participating and encouraging your friends to walk and contribute, we know that we can meet this challenge.

We encourage you to visit the WinterFaith website to register and/or donate!

Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact SFIC Program/Administrative Associate Cynthia Zamboukos at 415-474-1321.

JPAC Advocacy DayShape Policy at JPAC Advocacy Day

May 12 – 13 2014
Sacramento (carpools will be arranged)

JPAC (Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California) Advocacy Day is your opportunity to participate in shaping public policy that impacts the lives of millions of Californians by building critical relationships with elected officials. 
This is a unique opportunity to create statewide change in Sacramento; it's our job to make sure Bay Area constituent concerns are represented and addressed by lawmakers on this important day! 
JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) will arrange for participants to meet with their legislators according to Assembly and/or State Senate districts, and will also organize convenient carpools to and from Sacramento.

Register at

Emanu-El BicyclistsJoin Emanu-El's Hazon Team!

May 23 - May 26, 2014      

Hazon is a national organization which strives to create healthier and more sustainable communities. Join Emanu-El's team on Hazon's Annual Golden Gate Bike Ride and Retreat May 23-26, 2014.

A weekend of riding and relaxing. Ride for two days along the Pacific coast, through Marin County and into San Francisco. Non-riders can join for Shabbat or as crew.

Register today and pedal for a healthy planet!

Contact Ilana Shapiro with questions.

Bike to Worship WeekSF Bike To Worship

Friday, May 23 – Sunday, May 25

As part of Bike Month in May, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members are working in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council to create a Bike to Worship Week from Sunday, May 25 to Sunday, June 1, 2014. Please consider riding your bikes if you and your family are coming to the Temple!


SF Pride Parade

Sunday, June 29

Theme: Color Our World with Pride
The Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 29 at Market & Beale and ends at Market & 8th Street in downtown San Francisco. Each year, JCRC marches at the San Francisco Pride Parade to show our overwhelming support for LGBT rights and liberation. Past Pride events have included rainbow kippot making, breakfast, planning meetings, and marching in the parade. Our diverse contingent has been made up of Jewish families, Jewish community members and public officials, Jewish student groups, synagogues, and Jewish organizations.
For more information or to be involved in Pride celebration please contact Margee Churchon at or (415) 977-7419.


June 8

INCLUDE (a partnership of Jewish LearningWorks and the SF-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund) is joining with Be'chol Lashon, InterfaithFamily, and Keshet on a groundbreaking series of interactive workshops on inclusion for synagogue communities. The series is called Navigating Difference, Embracing Inclusion: Opening Your Synagogue Door Even Wider, and registration is now open!

Over the course of four Sunday afternoon workshops offered at various locations throughout the Bay Area (December 8th, February 23rd, March 30th, and June 8th), participants will delve into the sometimes complicated issues that arise around inclusion, assess their own institutions' inclusivity and discover new ways of building inclusion for all into their worship, education, and community programming.

The series is designed for all synagogue leaders, including congregational rabbis, educators, teachers, board members, staff, and lay people.

For details on dates, locations, and fees, and to register online, please visit

Get Involved with Star Community Home in the Richmond District!

The Star Community Home is an 18-month project to address the critical community need of providing housing and services to homeless single mothers with children at the former convent at Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco. The project was made possible by a generous grant to Catholic Charities CYO by Lynne and Marc Benioff and the Foundation.

Lead or Support a Family Workshop
Mondays each month: February 24, March 24, April 21, May 19 and June 16
6:30-8:00 pm

Support Activity Coordinator in providing skill-learning workshops to mothers living at SCH. Such include: Wellness and art activities, cooking classes, knitting, jewelry making, resume building, etc. Questions? Contact Diana Contreras at (415) 379-8690

Provide Respite Care
Mondays and Tuesdays
6:30-8:00 pm

Spend quality time with the Children of Star Community Home while allowing mothers some time for themselves. If you are experienced and willing to work with infants, toddlers and young children, then this is the volunteer opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Learn More

Experience Corps Bay Area

Experience Corps, one of the nation’s most highly regarded service programs, engages older adult volunteers to help improve K-3 literacy in underserved schools. Experience Corps taps into the experience and dedication of older Americans who want to give back to their communities by volunteering to tutor or mentor youth.

Your Experience Matters
As a mature adult age 55 or over, you have much to offer your community—an open heart, a life full of rich experiences, and the willingness to make a difference in a child’s life. Experience Corps offers you the opportunity to connect, inspire, and encourage the well-being of young people through an intergenerational network designed to help students struggling with literacy. No previous experience necessary!

Questions? Contact Angela Kite, Recruitment/Intake Coordinator and Literacy Specialist at (415) 937-2485 or

Ladies' Night — Help Cook and/or Serve a Meal

Every Thursday Evening (4 or 5 volunteers needed for each Thursday shift)
Mission Neighborhood Resource Center
Shifts: 2:30 – 5:30pm (food prep) or 5:30 – 8:30pm (finish the meal, serve, and clean up)

Ladies' Night is a collaborative project between the Women's Community Clinic Outreach Program, the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, the Homeless Youth Alliance, and the Care Through Touch Institute. The goal of Ladies' Night is to provide a safe, consistent space for women to gather and access harm reduction services.

The Women's Community Clinic and Ladies' Night provide services to women, by women. Volunteers are asked to meet the clients where they are in their lives, without judgment. Experience working with homeless individuals is preferred, but not required.

To sign up or ask questions, contact Kirsten Hiyama at

Volunteer Needed to Evaluate Donated Computers

Athletic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) is seeking a volunteer with computer expertise to inspect and test approximately 14 refurbished used computers to see if they are effective and working, so they may be given to college students in need.

Time Commitment: 8 to 10 hours

Location: Mission High School, 3750 18th Street

When: 9:30 to 5:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and until 7:30 pm on Tuesdays

ASAP provides students with full scholarships to attend summer programs (primarily academic, leadership-building or sports-related residential programs on college campuses) so that they experience a college setting and meet new people; provides students with academic assistance to improve grades and develop academic potential and assists students with the college selection, application and financial aid processes.

Please contact Emanu-El congregant Judy Grossman at or (415) 298-052


Tutorpedia Foundation is looking for volunteer tutors at Mission High School in San Francisco this year. Tutors are needed to work one-to-one with 10th grade students on academic subjects and school success. 

  • Programming occurs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:45 pm – 2:30 pm. Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to work with students 1 or 2 days per week.
  • Tutors must have solid understanding of Algebra as it represents the greatest academic need for our students; however, tutors will also be able to assist students in other areas including reading comprehension, writing, critical thinking, organization, time management, and study skills.
  • Tutorpedia Foundation will provide training and support for volunteers. The Site Coordinator is a 15+ year credentialed veteran teacher.

Interested in becoming a volunteer tutor? Please email Director of Programs David Taus at

Tutorpedia Foundation (TF) was founded by two former high school teachers in 2009 in order to make education more personal for under-resourced students in the Bay Area. TF believes that an individualized approach to education and learning is desperately needed to graduate more students from high school and prepare them for college and beyond.

Volunteer to Cook Sunday Dinners at G-House 

Sundays, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

This Larkin Street Youth Services site in the Richmond District, helps former foster youth and homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to make successful transitions into adulthood and into living independently. Each Sunday, congregants from Emanu-El plan, cook, serve, and eat dinner for and with the G-House residents. 

Contact Sandy Rechtschaffen to sign up.

Clothes piling up?

Drop off unwanted clothes, shoes and linens at a location near you, including the St. Anthony's barrel outside the Temple front office!
Local reuse and recycling sites now accept your unwanted or worn-out clothing and textiles:

Clothes & accessories (sweaters, jeans, single socks, boxers, belts, purses, etc.)
Shoes (sneakers, boots, heels, slippers)
Linens (towels, sheets, tablecloths)

Why textiles?
San Franciscans send 4,500 pounds of textiles to landfill every hour.
Most of the 39 million pounds of textiles we send to the waste stream each year can be reused or recycled into insulation material, flooring, packaging, or cushioning in stuffed toys, insoles, and bags.

Are we at Zero yet?
San Francisco has a goal of reaching Zero Waste by 2020.
Reusing or recycling clothing, shoes, and other textiles conserves natural resources and protects our climate. San Francisco has already set a North American record for recycling & composting, but we'll need your help to reach zero waste.

Find a location near you on

Search Site:


© 2012 Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511