Social Action

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

Giving Committee

“Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.” ― Isaac Bashevis Singer

We would like to warmly welcome members of Temple to join in a new initiative: The Giving Committee.The purpose of the Giving Committee is to foster a culture of giving and philanthropy at Temple Israel

  • that empowers our community to care for one another and others (Gimilut Chasadim)
  • expresses our value for an inclusive and welcoming congregation (Kehilah)
  • is integral to how we work together as a sacred community
  • strengthens and sustains our community for now and future generations

We have a number of projects we would like to launch and we hope that you will help us develop and lead projects that are aimed at this idea that we give of ourselves in many ways. If you like to write and edit funding requests; are interested in designing and look for funding for projects to support Temple’s community; or would like to be an active volunteer at specific events we would love to have you. The two Co-Chairs of the Giving Committee are Deidre Butler and Kim Doran.

The Oneg Project

The Giving Committee launched a new project, the Oneg Project, at the High Holidays services. The project aims to ensure that all onegs are provided for throughout the year.

Tikkun Olam Shabbat

Friday November 29, 2019 – 6:15 pm

As we center ourselves on Shabbat, we also gear ourselves up to foster shalom in our world near and far. We do this as we open our eyes to our call to tikkun olam. This year our focus will be World AIDS Day.

This is an important day and it’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Services will include a speaker from the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.

Let’s show our support as a Temple family and mobilize for the future together as one.

Truth and Reconciliation Task Force

Over the past year the TFTR has organized a series of events to build our knowledge and understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures, identifying parallels with Jewish life, and develop a relationship with local Indigenous communities. This message highlights some of the many opportunities currently available in Ottawa to increase our knowledge and understanding of Indigenous people. Moving forward we will continue this practice on an ongoing basis.

National Arts Centre
Indigenous Arts Festival Moshkamo September 11-29

A series of theatre, dance and musical performances and workshops including:

  • September 14 – Welcoming ceremony with canoeists leaving Patterson Creek at 10 a.m. and arriving at the NAC at 11 a.m.
  • September 11-21 – The Unnatural and Accidental Women a theatre performance relating to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
    Some of us have tickets for this event, will you join us (see contact information below)
    For more information see

Canadian Museum of History

  • Unceded Voices of the Land to March 22, 2020 – A multimedia installation that brings together the past, present and future of the Indigenous experience as seen through the eyes and minds of 18 distinguished Indigenous architects and designers from across North America.
  • Footprints – A Walk Through Generations to November 3, 2019 – This exhibition allows the visitor to travel through the eyes of the Cree people experiencing their stories, arts and traditional technologies, sharing in their culture.

Titles of some books by Indigenous authors that some of us are currently reading follow. We welcome your comments and suggestions of other relevant titles. We would like to establish an informal group to discuss books on Indigenous topics. Please contact us if you are interested.

  • A Mind Spread out in the Ground by Alicia Elliott, a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario.
    A collection of essays providing a wide-ranging look at the personal and political connections between the legacy of colonialism with intergenerational trauma, racism, mental health and poverty.
  • Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
    Tells the stones of seven Indigenous high school students who lost their lives in Thrunder Bay, Ontario.

Check our calendar for upcoming events.

For more information on the Task Force or to express interest in participating as part of a group attending an event of Indigenous interest or discussion of a book please contact Anne Alper, Fran Klodawsky or Joyce Pagurek.

Our Refugee Families

February 1, 2019 – Sarah, our newcomer, and her little boy are adjusting well, although the cold 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

June 2019 Update – Baby quilts continue to be made at Temple Israel, then 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.