Social Justice Issue

37 million Americans live in poverty. 1/3 of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. 1 in 3 American households spend more than 30% of income on housing and 1 in 7 spends more than 50%. SF's poverty rate is 11.8%, of which 8% are families with children.


Jewish Response to Poverty

Let him who is impoverished live by your side. (Leviticus 25:35)

Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy. (Proverbs 31:9) 

Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, clothe them. (Isaiah 58:7) 

There is nothing in the world more grievous than poverty the most terrible of sufferings. Our teachers said: All the troubles of the world are assembled on one side and poverty is on the other. (Midrash Rabbah Exodus 31:12)


Questions? please contact Community Engagement Director, Sandy Rechtschaffen

Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteer with Human Services Agency for El Nino Shelter Support

Mayor Ed Lee has asked the Human Services Agency (HSA) to coordinate a special shelter system for up to a 1,000 homeless San Franciscans. HSA has been bringing in shelter supplies and arranging with meal providers to bring in food. They also need people like you to volunteer to help staff the shelters. For details on what volunteers do, click here.

Interested in volunteering? Contact ElNinoVolunteerStaffing@sfgov.org.

Volunteer at Project Homeless Connect

Help someone who is homeless in your community get the services they need! Volunteer at the next Project Homeless Connect (PHC) at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St. 3-hour and 4-hour shifts are available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

 "I am sure many congregants feel uncomfortable walking by a person on the street who is asking for money and not helping. Project Homeless Connect allows me to help the homeless population in a positive way to get the services they need to improve their lives. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to interact with people on a one to one basis and reinforces that each one is a unique person who needs help. Project Homeless Connect helps eliminate the stereotype of the word homeless." —Emanu-El Congregant Mark A. Sugarman

Learn More

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.

Provide Respite Care at the Star Community Home in the Richmond District!

Tuesdays 7:00-8:00 pm

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. 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! Contact Diana Contreras at (415) 379-8690.

Learn More


© 2015 Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511