“It has become axiomatic that to be a Jew is to care about the world around us. To be a Reform Jew is to hear the voice of the prophets in our head;
to be engaged in the ongoing work of Tikkun olam; to strive to improve the world in which we live.”
-Rabbi Marla Feldman
The Social Action Committee is a small group of Temple Emanuel members who are dedicated to Tikkun Olam (repairing the World). The committee is open to anyone interested in being involved in Tikkun Olam within Temple Emanuel, and reports to the board at monthly board meetings or more often as needed.
The mission of the Social Action Committee of Temple Emanuel is to take meaningful action on the most pressing social inequalities of our time in order to:
- Serve as a megaphone for the ethical voice of our community.
- Help ensure the basic needs of health, safety, and shelter for all in the RGV and particularly those who migrate to our area due to challenges in the Northern Triangle of Central America.
- Mobilize targeted local actions identified by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) and RAC-TX chapter.
The Social Action Committee is a hub for our Temple’s Tikkun Olam work. We partner with other local nonprofits to progress local changes, to raise awareness of pressing and timely issues and policies, coordinate volunteer activities to serve beyond the Jewish community, raise funds for important local causes, and motivate nonpartisan political advocacy.
We recognize our special international role, as McAllen is ground zero for many of the unaccompanied children who arrive in the United States and are delivered by Customs and Border Protection to the Catholic Charities Respite Center. We partner closely with the Respite Center, located in Downtown McAllen is directly across the street from the McAllen Bus Station. The Respite Center has the capacity to handle hundreds of children, providing a clean environment, a change of clothes, good food, personal hygiene items and travel document for their ultimate destination.
In the past, Temple Emanuel was chosen by the RAC as a primary contact to help in delivering Tikkun Olam on the border. In 2014-2016 over 200 congregations from around the country sent trucks loaded with of clothing, shoes, personal hygiene items, and over $45,000 which we delivered to Catholic Charities so they could buy what they needed for the children, and distribute these vital supplies to migrants. The Social Action continues to support this and other timely causes, which you can learn more about here:
Social Action Committee Leadership:
Mike Blum serves as Chair of the Temple Emanuel Social Action Committee, as well as a member of the Temple Emanuel Board of Directors. He is also a member of the CSA In that capacity, Mike is actively engaged with the Commission and RAC-Texas which is focused on many items affecting our community.
Lisa Franklin is the Co-chair. She is a member of the Temple Emanuel Sisterhood Board. She also serves as the VP of Social Justice for the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) Southwest District.