Category Archives: Tikkun Olam

Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Updates – June July 2019



UPCOMING SCHEDULED LOTTE MEYERSON TIKKUN OLAM PROJECTS:

    • 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.
    • July 14th –21st — RITI—Contact Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT, zbirdlady@relloz.com, for information.
    • Monday, August 26th @ 4:30pm- next L.M.Tikkun Olam meeting
TIKKUN OLAM SHABBAT 

HONORING OUR TEENS AND LIFE-LONG SERVICE AWARD

By Vivian Ellner

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee seeks to recognize and celebrate individuals and groups who participate in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.  This includes B’nai Mitzvot and their mitzvah projects, the religious school students and their support of various agencies and an individual who has had a lifelong commitment to this Jewish value.  These projects have ranged from helping to provide meals and school assistance to children in Africa; Nachama-the Jewish response to disasters; the Asheville Humane Society; Doctors Without Borders; local trail clean up and maintenance; Bounty & Soul, providing fresh fruit and vegetables to people in need; Verner Center for Early Learning, creating book packs for children with little or no access to books or libraries; Love Thy Neighbor, collecting school supplies; Brother Wolf, raising money and volunteering at the local no-kill animal shelter.

The LMTO Lifetime Award has gone this year to Sherrill Zoller, who has participated in many Tikkun Olam activities, from Homeward Bound / Room in the Inn to fighting for voter rights and voter registration, Moral Monday and Habitat for Humanity, as well as serving as co-chair of the LMTO Committee for many years.

Congratulations to all for your commitment to the world and its people.

BOOK COLLECTION 

By Martin Mann

The smile on his face said it all.  The four-year-old African-American child had just picked out a book to take home and keep.  He even had his name written on the book plate inside of the front cover.  “I can really take this book home?”  “Yes” came the reply.  A huge hug followed.

This is what it is like to be the giver of books, representing Congregation Beth HaTephila at the Pisgah View Head Start preschool.  The books are given to these children half-way and at the end of each school year at what are called Book Shares.  This is also what it is like to volunteer in a classroom at this Head Start.  If you are interested in helping for the 2019-20 school year, please let Marty Mann know.

But even if you are unable to volunteer, you can still do your part in the Tikkun Olam Committee’s support of the three classrooms at Pisgah View Apartments.  This Rosh Hashanah is the committee’s every other year children’s book collection.  Since 2011 congregants have donated over 5000 new or lightly used children’s picture books appropriate for 3-5-year olds.  Cash donations to the Tikkun Olam Committee have also been contributed to purchase new or used books to give away.

So be looking for the reminder in the August Menorah of when and where you can drop off your children’s book donation.  Start boxing up any books that are no longer needed by your own children.  Visit your favorite bookstore this summer.  Reminder: Please make sure if the book(s) are lightly used that it hasn’t been written in, have torn pages, etc.  Let’s continue to put smiles on the faces of these children and promote the love of reading.

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee – May 2019



UPCOMING SCHEDULED LOTTE MEYERSON TIKKUN OLAM PROJECTS:

  • 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.
  • Monday, April 29th @ 4:30 PM—next L.M. Tikkun Olam meeting.
  • Friday, May 24th, @ 7:30 PM—Tikkun Olam Shabbat
  • Our next RITI host week will take place at CBHT July 14th – July 21st.  To volunteer or for more information, Contact Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT.

Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee Updates

Tikkun Olam Shabbat Friday, May 24th Honoring our Teens and Life-Long Service Award.

Please come celebrate with us at our special service during which we will recognize our B’nai Mitzvah students for their mitzvah projects. The B’nai Mitzvah students honored for 2018-19 will be

Homeward Bound: the key to ending homelessness in Buncombe County.

Homeward Bound is a non-profit organization which has worked for 30 years to end homelessness in our area. Since its inception, more than 2,000 individuals have been housed and 89% have not returned to homelessness. We participate in

Holocaust Education Bill

(Please note: The status of this bill may have changed since this article was written on April 10, 2019. ) The North Carolina House of Representatives is currently considering House Bill 437 introduced by Linda Johnson of Cabarrus County, along with bi-partisan co-sponsors including Susan Fisher of Asheville, which will require all middle and high school public school students be taught about the Holocaust and genocide along with other related concepts. The bill has passed the Education Committee unanimously without any changes to how it was originally introduced.

As of April 10th, the status of the bill was as follows

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee – April 2019



UPCOMING SCHEDULED LOTTE MEYERSON TIKKUN OLAM PROJECTS:

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.

Monday, April 29th, @ 4:30 PM—next L.M. Tikkun Olam meeting.

Friday, May 24th, @ 7:30 PM—Tikkun Olam Shabbat

July 14th –21st — RITI—Contact Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT, zbirdlady@relloz.com, for information.

THE LOTTE MEYERSON TIKKUN OLAM COMMIITTEE UPDATES APRIL 2019 

UNC Asheville Lecture

by Brian Stevenson Thursday, April 25th

Bryan Stevenson, the attorney, activist and best-selling author, who led the team that created the first national memorial to victims of lynching, will speak at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena at 7 PM on Thursday, April 25th. Doors will open at 6 PM.  The talk is free and open to the public.

Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).  Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.  Stevenson recently won a historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger.  He also is the author of award-winning book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

In April 2018, EJI opened a new museum, The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, built on the site of a former slave warehouse in downtown Montgomery.  This is a companion to a national memorial to victims of lynching.  The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened at the same time, has been visited by a number of LMTO Committee members.  The LMTO Committee is working with the Interfaith Initiative to facilitate bringing to Asheville a memorial to those lynched in Buncombe County.

Sam Hausfather

Room in the Inn (RITI)

Room in the Inn Appreciation.  Once again, many thanks to all of the CBHT members who volunteered to participate in some needed way for our RITI host week in February.  Whether you provided food, rides, overnight supervision or just plain companionship, our partnership in this very important community project simply could not be realized without all of you.  Much appreciation from the 12 homeless RITI women, the Homeward Bound staff and the L.M. Tikkun Olam Committee.

Looking ahead, our second RITI host week will take place at CBHT July 14th – July 21st.  Please mark your calendars. 

Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT

Sherrill Zoller

 

 

Tikkun Olam Is A Verb



Artist Elana Kann of Asheville has created the sculptureTikkun Olam Is A Verb.  She and her sister Sheella Mierson lovingly gifted it to the Temple in honor of their parents Lotte & Seymour Meyerson and in honor of the Temple’s mission statement

Here is Elana’s explanation of how she imagined the sculpture’s elements, as she designed and built it. Other interpretations are valid as well!

Her hope is that people can see in it what they want and need, as their own lives intertwine with the parts of the world that touch them, and that everyone will find something in it with which to identify. And, her hope is that this will inspire the congregation with an important part of CBHT’s own Mission Statement–the determination to repair what is broken and heal what is suffering.

She envisioned three vertical layers to the sculpture. From the top the images portray brokenness–shattered shards of light or glass (Kristallnacht?); loneliness, pain and fear (child on left); anger & violence (fist); fire.

From the bottom comes healing, starting with the big hands that represent what people of various faiths or beliefs call God, Buddha, spirit, the sacred–whatever name people give to a force that unites us in compassion, love, and support. Those hands heal and support the community–the people in a circle with their arms around each other. This group could be interpreted as Beth HaTephila’s congregation.

And the middle shows various narratives that pass the healing on. The community of people who experience that love and compassion themselves reach out to heal the brokenness above. Again moving left to right, a hand reaches out to the lonely hurting child; below that a hand tries to put a broken piece back in place; two hands offer compassion to the violent fist, to help soften it; the handshake represents racial healing (and the top hand, made of oak, will deepen in color over the years so that it will be more obvious); a firefighter puts out the fire, while below that someone lights the Shabbat candles (a very different kind of flame); a gardener plants grape vines and receives an offer of another plant.

Elana can be reached via http://www.branchingoutwoodworks.com/

The piece is located directly across from the Rabbi’s office.

Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee Updates  March-2019



By Sam Hausfather

Purim: Raise Your Voice Against Persecution

Adapted from RAC.org

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.