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Social Action

OT's Social Action program is committed to tikun olam (repairing the world) and projects are done throughout the year to benefit our community.

Ongoing Social Action Outreach

Reading Mentors The Annandale Terrace Elementary School is in need of reading mentors. OT has participated in this outreach for the past 15 years. The commitment is for one hour a week  during the school day. The hour is decided by you in conjunction with the teacher's schedule. It is a wonderful program and the children benefit greatly from this individual attention. Please contact Clare Bachner if you are interested or have any questions about becoming a reading mentor.

The Virginian For many years, Olam Tikvah congregants have volunteered at The Virginian, a residential facility for Seniors in need of assistance. We provide twice a month Shabbat services to the residents there. In addition, special foods and services are celebrated for Rosh Hashanah, Hanukah, and Passover. Please contact Elana Plotnick if you are interested in participating.

Brown/Berish Jewish Group Home Jewish Holidays are celebrated throughout the year at the Brown/Berish Group Home. The residents enjoy celebrating the holidays with services, activities, and food.

Monthly Interfaith Dinner Olam Tikvah members enjoy dining at various local restaurants with congregants of other religions. It is an opportunity to meet, interact informally with people of other faiths, and build new friendships, while experiencing excellent food. Please contact Judith Shamir if you are interested in participating.

Other interfaith events are planned throughout the year. Please contact Eric Rothberg if you are interested.

Tuna Casseroles for So Others May Eat Every month, synagogue members prepare and deliver tuna casseroles to So Others Might Eat (SOME). SOME is an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. Simply prepare the casserole according to this recipe, freeze it and drop it off at OT on the third Wednesday of the month, no later than 8:00pm.

We also need drivers to help deliver the casseroles to SOME on Thursday morning. If you are interested in this one-time commitment please call Leona Shoon at (703) 425-1880.

Special Projects

Blood Drives Each Fall and Spring, we sponsor an INOVA blood drive to help the community. Please take part in this wonderful mitzvah at our own synagogue and help support the constant need for blood donations. Requirements: Weigh 110 lbs, be in good health, be 17 years of age (16 with parental consent form completed), be at least 56 days since your last whole blood donation. To learn more, contact Lori Zobler.

Food For Others/Power Pack Program Food For Others is a local non-profit food bank and food rescue operation serving Fairfax and Arlington Counties. The Power Pack Program provides elementary school-aged students in our area with a pack of food that they can bring home and eat over the weekend. To support this effort throughout the year, please drop off any of the following items to the Religious School lobby:

  • Mac & Cheese cups,
  • Tuna/Chicken Salad kits with crackers,
  • Pasta cups,
  • Chef Boyardee microwave cups, etc.,
  • 100% Fruit juice boxes or Capri Sun juice pouches,
  • Shelf stable milk
  • Please: no glass containers

To donate to the Power Pack Program, send a check to Olam Tikvah with Power Pack in the memo line. For more information, contact Shari Boyett. The next Power Pack will be November 3, 2019.

Chanukah Outreach We have special Chanukah Celebrations at The Virginian and at the Brown/Berish Group Home.

Christmas Outreach We participate in a wide range of projects, providing support within the community. We coordinate dinner and entertainment, and spend the night at the local church housing the homeless on Christmas Eve; drive meals to elderly and handicapped individuals who are alone on Christmas; provide and serve Christmas breakfasts to those families residing in the Katherine Hanley and Patrick Henry Family Shelters; and fill shoeboxes with new clothing for a Washington, DC homeless shelter.

Hypothermia Project For the past several years, local churches in Fairfax County under the direction of F.A.C.E.T.S. (Fairfax Assistance Community Emergency Transit Services) take turns housing people who are homeless in their church for a week. They provide overnight shelter and meals throughout the winter season from November to mid-March. Congregation Olam Tikvah partners with Lord of Life and helps them for the first Sunday night to Monday morning coverage during the week they are assigned.

Martin Luther King Day OT has partnered with congregants from other churches and mosques to buy, prepare, and serve food to people residing in the Bailey’s Crossroads Homeless Shelter. Please contact Eric Rothberg if you are interested.

Valentine's Day Party OT congregants provide an activity-filled party for the children residing at the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter. If you are interested in participating in this please contact Mimi Krauss.

Help Our People Everywhere (OT’s Passover Meals on Wheels) Under the direction of the B’nai B’rith International Project H.O.P.E., OT congregants volunteer to drive Passover meals to Jews in our community who are experiencing financial difficulties. This community action project’s major goal is the collection and distribution of food packages to poor and elderly Jews during Pesach. Many Jews who cannot afford special holiday foods depend on B'nai B'rith members to provide matzah and the other Passover staples. To these people the remembrance is often as special as the needed food. Please contact Judy Gabel if you are interested in participating in this project.

Chametz Food Drive Each year before Passover, OT congregants donate their unopened chametz to Food For Others, our local food bank that is always in need of donated food boxes and cans.

Passover Outreach We hold special Passover services at The Virginian and at the Brown/Berish Jewish Group Home.

Good Deeds Day at Congregation Olam Tikvah Each year, OT congregants and volunteers from Social Action, Men’s Club, Sisterhood, Religious School, Preschool, and youth groups participate in the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's Sara & Samuel J. Lessans Good Deeds Day. We work on projects that help those in need in our community. In the past our projects included Sisterhood knitting for the Linus Project, making tuna casseroles for S.O.M.E., Men’s Club distribution of Yom HaShoah candles, Social Action making sandwiches for Bailey’s Crossroads Homeless Shelter, providing brunch for the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter, the preschool providing diapers for babies at Katherine Hanley Family Shelter, and the Religious School making get well cards for children at Fairfax Hospital.

Gleaning at Farmers' Markets On Sundays from May-October, OT volunteers glean food from the various Farmers’ Markets and then transport fresh vegetables and fruits to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter, Bailey’s Crossroads, Food For Others, and other places where people are given fresh fruits and vegetables that they would not otherwise be able to have. Click here to read about OT's gleaning program in the Washington Jewish Week. For more information or to volunteer, contact Marc Berman.


For questions about any of our Social Action projects, contact Social Action Chair, Clare Bachner.

Sat, October 19 2019 20 Tishrei 5780