Questions? please contact Community Engagement Director Sandy Rechtschaffen at (415) 751-2541 x 177

Social Justice Issue

55% of 4th graders read below grade level. 43% of SF public high school students do NOT graduate. The nation-wide average for high school graduation is 70.6%. 75% of those on welfare and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. 54% of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only 1/5 feel adequately prepared to teach them.


Jewish Response to Literacy

"Do not let him slip until he falls completely, for then it will be difficult to raise him; rather, strengthen him as he begins to fall." (Rashi, Leviticus 25:35 Cf. Torat Kohanim, Sifre Behar, Chapter 5)

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy." (Proverbs 2:10)


back on trackTutor with Back on Track

Monday – Thursday 3:30 – 5:30 pm OR Tuesday – Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister Street


The year 2015 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Back on Track, a partnership that originated when Rabbi Robert Kirschner of Congregation Emanu-El and Rev. Amos C. Brown of Third Baptist Church, met during a 1987 civil rights march in Alabama against racial violence and the Klu Klux Klan.  Inspired by the march, they agreed to form a unique partnership and build bridges of opportunity and academic enrichment for students in San Francisco. Brown and Kirschner recognized that a disproportionate number of African American students were performing below grade level in San Francisco's public schools.  The partnership they created was the genesis of the first pulpit exchange and of Back On Track, a tutoring program that promotes both academic achievement on a one‐on‐one basis for students who are otherwise not well served and a mentoring relationship.

The unique partnership has crossed religious and cultural differences to build bridges of opportunity for K-12 students. As a non-denominational community based program, Back on Track has served over 3,000 young people from diverse multicultural populations throughout San Francisco.

Email Tiffini Jones, Executive Director, at or call (415) 346-9316.

Learn More

Institute on Aging Seeks New Volunteers

The Institute on Aging (IOA) is one of Northern California’s largest community-based nonprofit organization providing comprehensive health, social, and psychological services for seniors and adults with disabilities. IOA depends on volunteers to enhance its various programs. There are many diverse and flexible volunteer opportunities with IOA and we are currently seeking new volunteers across our program areas.

Volunteering with IOA’s Adult Day Programs is perfect for those individuals who enjoy socializing in a creative atmosphere.  With operation Monday through Friday, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm, volunteers can come in for a full day or three hour shifts.  Our program utilizes direct service with an older adult population afflicted by dementia to enhance the quality of life through engagement.  Volunteers converse with participants and actively participate in the day’s activities.  We are actively seeking friendly visitors that are looking to connect with others.  IOA is also very interested in volunteers with creative talents you wish to share with the center (music, art, etc.).

If you would like to explore the possibility of volunteering with the Institute on Aging, please contact Susanne Revutsky, IOA Volunteer Coordinator at 415-750-4102 or email:

The Friendship Line at Institute on Aging is the nation’s only accredited 24-hour toll-free hotline for older adults and adults with disabilities. Trained volunteers at The Friendship Line make and receive calls to and from individuals who are either in crisis or just in need of a compassionate voice. For many individuals, the Friendship Line is the only connection they have. Help us be that lifeline of hope for those who are often forgotten.Upcoming training dates for Friendship Line volunteers are:

September 11th 6-9pm (full training)
September 12th 10-5pm (full training)
September 13th 10-5pm (full training)

NOTE: before attending a training, a one on one interview is required with Volunteer Coordinator, Tim Riel,




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