Category Archives: Tikkun Olam

Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee Updates  March-2019

By Sam Hausfather

Purim: Raise Your Voice Against Persecution

Adapted from

Purim reminds us that the evils of persecution and genocide are ever-present threats to humanity.  Haman accuses the Jews of being a people scattered and dispersed who scorn the king’s law and obey their own laws (Esther 3:8-11).  As a people who celebrate unique customs and have historically been shunned from the rest of society, the Jews have known a unique vulnerability to persecution.

However, as the end of the book of Esther in which the Jews kill 75,000 Persians while defending themselves shows us, we not only have a responsibility in preventing others from oppressing us, but we must also prevent anyone from experiencing oppression.  As Abraham Joshua Heschel says: “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Today, thousands of people around the world are persecuted because of differences in race, religion, gender, or political affiliation.  We are currently facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II with over 19 million refugees and 60 million people displaced worldwide.

UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children are currently being exploited in over thirty armed conflicts worldwide.

In the United States, we are in the midst of a “border crisis,” which many would say is self-inflicted by the current administration.  The refusal of the administration to admit refugees on our southern border is illegal and the creation of child migrant prisons is immoral.

Our Jewish values of upholding the dignity of humanity compel us to feel personally responsible for those experiencing oppression worldwide.  In honor of Purim, let us take the opportunity to learn about refugee rights and contact our legislators to express our views about the persecution of vulnerable populations.

CBHT and St. James AME Church Joint MLK Shabbat and Unity Service

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee initiated what turned into a fantastic exchange and collaboration for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday recognition.

On Friday, January 11th, the choirs of both houses of worship collaborated to provide music and the Rev. Brent Edwards provided the sermon for our CBHT Shabbat service.
Rev. Edwards’ sermon emphasized that we all walk with God through our daily ups and downs. The combined choirs and the St. James dancers made for a deep and meaningful experience.

On Sunday, January 13th, many members of CBHT attended a Unity Service at St. James AME Church. The two choirs again joined their voices and Rabbi Meiri provided the sermon. She spoke of Dr. King’s words that “Unity is the great need of the hour.” She went on to describe the weekend events as “an affirmation that we are better together – as a congregation and as a community.” It was an exciting and profound service! Special thanks go to Vivian Ellner for working tirelessly to initiate this collaboration, and to Rabbi Meiri and the CBHT choir for making our shared services a reality. The Tikkun Olam Committee hopes to continue to work on collaborating with St. James AME Church.

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee


  • 1st Friday each month from 1-3 PM @ MANNA– CBHT volunteer team. Contact Sandra Layton to help.
  • 3rd Friday each month @ noon – CBHT Vets shelter meal serving. Contact Hilary Paradise to help.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat–
    • at CBHT, Friday, January 11th
    • at St. James AME, Sunday, January 13th
  • Monday, February 4th @ 4:30 PM—next L.M. Tikkun Olam meeting.
  • Sunday, February 17th – Souper Bowl – Chefs Needed–RSVP:

Hanukkah and the Refugee Crisis Republished from

As Jews across the world celebrate Hanukkah, we commemorate the Maccabees’ victory over the tyrannical King Antiochus.

Prior to his defeat, Antiochus had desecrated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and forbade Jewish religious observance. Thus, the miracle of a meager amount of oil lighting the menorah in the Temple for a full eight days signifies to us the righteousness and wonder of overcoming a regime of persecution and violence.

Today, refugees have fled their homes seeking an opportunity for the hope that lies at the core of our celebration of Hanukkah – to live freely according to one’s own beliefs and conscience. In Central America, gang warfare and weak government institutions have led to a situation in which kidnapping, torture and murder are all too common. Many have embarked on a treacherous northward journey in order to reach a place where they will be free of constant fear.

In the midst of the Hanukkah celebration, we should remember the hardships facing today’s refugees, who unlike the Maccabees do not have the military might to resist the systemic violence inflicted against them both at home and during their travels to safety. As we reflect on the global refugee crisis this week, we can also take action by telling our elected officials that we support a robust refugee resettlement program that places humanitarian assistance and mercy over xenophobia and fear.


The weekend of January 11th-13th will kick off a week of community celebrations in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and will be twice as joyous this year. On Friday, January 11th, CBHT will be joined by the St. James African Methodist Church community, with the Reverend Brent L. Edwards as guest preacher, and the St. James Perfecting Praise Choir and the Prophetic Dance Ministry; on Sunday, January 13th, the CBHT community will join the Sunday morning worship at St. James AME Church, with Rabbi Meiri as the guest preacher, and the Kol Simcha Choir.

This will be a Sabbath of unity and friendship between the communities — which we hope will be the beginning of a lasting relationship with our fellow house of prayer.

Please welcome the St. James AME Church Community when they come to celebrate with us and enrich our worship on Friday, January 11th, at 7:30 PM and continue the celebration by supporting their community, the Rabbi and the Kol Simcha Choir by participating at St. James AME Church, Sunday, January 13th, at 11 AM.

Tikkun Olam Book Share

On June 4, 2018, Marty Mann presented books to the Pisgah View Head Start from the Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee (LMTO).

Each child was presented a book to take home that was donated last fall by our congregation. LMTO Committee members regularly read to the young children at Pisgah View Head Start throughout the school year.

The LMTO Committee hopes to build a stronger relationship with this program and provide more weekly volunteers so that the teachers have additional help.  Contact Marty Mann for details if you are interested for the next school year.

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee

Upcoming Scheduled  Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Events:

  • 1st Friday each month from 1-3 pm @ MANNA – CBHT volunteer team.  Contact Sandra Layton to help.
  • 3rd Friday each month @ noon – CBHT Vets shelter meal serving.  Contact Hilary Paradise to help.
  • May 23 – June 2– current Room in the Inn host week at St. Mary’s Episcopalian Church.
  • August 26 – Sept. 2., Next RITI host week @ CBHT (contact Sherrill Zoller for more information.
  • Monday, August 20th, @ 4:30 -next L.M. Tikkun Olam meeting.

Sanctuary Housing

Our pledge to support the Unitarian Church in their endeavor to provide sanctuary continues.  To date, approximately 30 congregants have completed one or more shifts.  Several other churches and synagogues are participating as well as a group of retired Peace Corps folks.  There are 4-hour shifts during the day, and an 8 PM to 8 AM shift as well.  This has been a gratifying and enjoyable contribution for the volunteers.

If you are able to provide some hours, please call the volunteer coordinators, Jackie Itzkovitz  or Ellen Fisher.  A background check is necessary and Craig has the forms.  The cost is $18.  If you are unable to give of your time, you might consider donating an Ingles food card, or making a donation by check to the Unitarian Universalist Church, making notation that it is for Sanctuary.

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land you shall not do him wrong.  You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Leviticus 19:33-34

Jackie Itzkovitz

Helpmate – CBHT Sisterhood’s Social Action Project

In a recent letter, Helpmate let us know what our support means as Helpmate transforms and saves lives.  “Helpmate staff and volunteers answered the phone more than 3,000 times last year responding to people in crisis.  They provided direct services to more than 2,500 victims of domestic violence.  141 adults and 86 children were protected from imminent danger by staying in our shelter.”

You can make a difference in the lives of those staying at the Helpmate shelter.  We have been asked to provide the following items:   • Toothpaste  • Coffee –   To Brew in a Coffee Maker (not Keurig Cups) • Hair Brushes • Alarm Clocks • Shampoo and Conditioner

By supplying just one or two of these items we can assist Helpmate in working with our community to eliminate abuse and fear by providing safety, shelter, and support for people who have been victimized by domestic violence.

You can drop off your items anytime at the Temple.  Just leave them in the Helpmate Basket in the Dave Hall Gallery behind the coat rack.   Please continue to help Sisterhood show our caring support to those who are experiencing domestic violence by providing these items.

Should you have any questions please e-mail or call Gail Sobel or Alyse Wolfson.