Social Action

Please refer to the calendar for Social Action activities and details.

Truth and Reconciliation Task Force

Inspired by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this Chanukah, Temple Israel will launch a series of programs of relationship building and mutual learning together with Ottawa-area indigenous peoples.

As Rabbi Morais highlighted in his Yom Kippur sermon, this is a perfect time for our congregation to embrace the Commission’s messages, in particular Recommendation #49 which calls upon “all religious denominations and faith groups who have not already done so to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indig- enous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius”.

We are honoured to be working with Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller, Assistant Professor in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Indigenous. Research, Language and Education at Carleton University. She has been providing excellent advice and input to a Task Force established by Temple Israel tore ect upon and respond to the Truth and ReconciliationCommission recommendations.

The Task Force has agreed that in addition to learning more about First Nations histories and cultures, there is a need to build, in an ongoing and open ended manner, sacred community with Ottawa-area indigenous peoples. To this end, the Task Force will lead the planning and implementation of an on-going series of programs and encounters.  The drawing of connections with Jewish life will be an important component of each such event and it is also hoped that the Temple Israel Religious School will become involved in appropriate activities.

Check our calendar for upcoming events.



Refugee Families

February 1, 2019 – Sarah, our newcomer, and her little boy are adjusting well, although the coooold weather is a challenge for them!

May 2017 – WorldLink: Canadian Jews embrace Muslim refugees from Syria
The Al Zahars settled in Ottawa after the local Jewish community offered to cover all their costs.
Listen to the audio.


Gesherim V’Kesherim – Bridges and Connections

If a tornado destroyed our Temple what would become of our congregation? We would seek new ways to congregate, to connect Jewishly, to help each other. We would build bridges over the rubble so we could connect with each other to meet our individual and communal needs – spiritual, physical, social, emotional…

The truth is we don’t need a catastrophe to create need in our Temple Israel community. And all of us at some point need a helping hand.

A new Temple Israel initiative, Gesherim V’Kesherim, will, with help from all of you, address those needs. With all that Temple has to offer, we know that many congregants are left behind or find themselves alone after being hospitalised or returning home from hospital, a respite stay or rehab or just simply because that are alone. We are looking for Temple members to commit whatever time is feasible to help build connections when announced. Volunteering to bridge with others will strengthen your connection to our community.

Please respond to Susan Fried, Merle Haltrecht-Matte or the office with expressions of interest or to learn more about this initiative.


The Baby-Quilt-to-Israel Project

Spring 2018 Update – almost 1400 baby quilts have been made and taken to Israel, and delivered to daycare centres, neo natal units in hospitals, family agencies. schools, nurseries.
Read the latest thank you letter from Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Jerusalem.

The Bayit is open on Friday mornings to work (in the sweat shop!), but if you are unable at that time to help and are interested in providing some time to the project, you can also work at home. You can cut out pieces of fabric, you can design a quilt top, you can sew together pieces to make a top, you can wash and iron fabrics, you can hand sew bindings on. ANY one can help. Cotton fabrics can be donated. We are always on the lookout for battings for the inside of the quilts; it seems to be the one thing that no one thinks of donating!
Just email


Temple Israel launches Palliative Care Outreach Program

OTTAWA, April 2, 2017 —  Temple Israel, Ottawa’s Reform congregation, on Sunday held a public forum on advanced care planning and announced the launch of its own volunteer-based Palliative Care Outreach Program. More information in this article.

Palliative Care public forum, Temple Israel, April 2, 2017
L-R Temple Israel’s Pamela Cogan, RRT, CRE, Dr. Paul L Hacker, M.D., former Senator Sharon Carstairs, Temple Israel Rabbi Rob Morais, Ottawa South MPP John Fraser Photo credit: Mark Holzman, Temple Israel.
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