Economic Justice

Social Justice Issue | Jewish Response | Volunteer Opportunities | Donation Opportunities

Want to get involved? Click here to tell us what you’re interested in.

Have an idea? Click here to send it to the Tzedek Council.

Co-Chaired by Tzedek Council Member Melissa Koenigsberg and Congregant Anne Quaintance            

The Economic Justice Working Group coordinates opportunities for congregants to work together to fight homelessness, hunger, and poverty in our community.
To get involved, please fill out the Tzedek Council Volunteer Form.
Questions? Please contact Rebecca Reiner at [email protected] (415) 751-2541 x 124.

Social Justice Issue

One in four San Francisco residents lacks access to healthy food, 62 percent of schoolchildren qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and more than 50,000 adults and children are using food stamps.
—SF Food Security Task Force Report 2013

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 Hunger

A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great. (Proverbs 18:16)
You open wide your hand and satisfy the hunger of every living thing. (Psalm 145:16)
When you are asked in the world to come, “What was your work?” and you answer, “I fed the hungry,” You will be told, “This is the gate to the Lord, enter into it, you who have fed the hungry.”  (Midrash Psalms 118:17)

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)

Volunteer Opportunities


Emanu-El’s Healthy Children’s Pantry Program

Mondays, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Roosevelt Middle School, San Francisco

We are seeking volunteers to help facilitate Emanu-El’s weekly Healthy Children’s Pantry Program, in partnership with The San Francisco Food Bank at Roosevelt Middle School (please note that during the Summer the pantry is held at here at Congregation Emanu-El).

Volunteers set-up and facilitate this farmer’s market-style food pantry. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to your community and help others obtain basic needs.

Please email Rebecca Reiner if you are interested in becoming a weekly volunteer!

*We are currently looking for a summertime volunteer who is fluent in both English and Chinese, to join our team on Monday afternoons.  If you or someone you know may be interested, please email us!

Hamilton Families
Click here to learn about our partnership with Hamilton Families and the City of San Francisco to help end family homelessness.



Donation Opportunities

Donate nonperishable food at the Temple food-bank-bins

Congregation Emanu-El participates in collecting food for the San Francisco Food Bank on a year-round basis. Barrels are located in the Temple entrance at Arguello Blvd.

10 Things Food Banks Need but Won’t Ask For: Food Banks across the country are in need of certain items that you may not realize because they aren’t essential items. Some of the items that food banks need are: spices, feminine products, chocolate, toiletries, canned meats, crackers and tortilla, soup packets, socks, and canned fruits. Please support your local food bank this winter season and bring your items to the food bins at Congregation Emanu-El.

Donate your food leftovers Lunch table / salad

G-House : 6324 Geary Boulevard between 27 and 28 Avenue (415) 673-0911 x 601. Ring their doorbell and someone is always there to accept.

Food Runners:

To donate food in San Francisco, package it and leave a message on (415) 929-1866 with the type and amount of food and the name and address of your business. If you call in the morning, a volunteer or our truck driver will come that same day. If you call in the afternoon, Food Runners will come the next morning. Any amount of food is welcome. If you have food to donate that you personally prepared in your home, you can contact Food Runners and they will tell you where you can take the food in your neighborhood.

Email Food Runners