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Double Chai (36)– The Double Gift of Life

In Hebrew, Chai (חי) means “life.” The Hebrew letters חי correspond to the number 18. For this reason, 18 is a spiritual number in Judaism, and many Jews give gifts of money in multiples of 18 as a result.

Beth El has partnered with Bethesda Help to donate food to those in need in our community. Bethesda Help is an all-volunteer organization that for the past 50 years has delivered shelf-stable food to families and individuals in the Bethesda/Silver Spring area. Food deliveries now also include a Giant Food Store gift card valued at $30 that can be used to buy fresh foods and refrigerated items.

Your double Chai donation of $36 to Beth El will buy one Giant gift card and also provide $6 towards the purchase of the food that Bethesda Help delivers. Please make your donation today so Beth El can support those who are dealing with food insecurity every day in our community.

Click Here to make your donation

Many Beth El members already volunteer for Bethesda Help. If you would like to volunteer with Bethesda Help as a Driver or an Officer of the Day (managing the food deliveries), please contact them at 301-365-2022 or via email at info@bethesdahelp.org.  To learn more about Bethesda Help, visit their website at www.bethesdahelp.org.


Ongoing Project to Provide Essential Household Items to Those in Need

During these turbulent times, Beth El is delighted to announce that we our partnering with the Kemp Mill Synagogue to provide essential household items to members of the Silver Spring Christian Reformed Church. The church’s population has many young children whose parents lost their jobs due to Covid. They are in urgent need of diapers, cleaning supplies, liquid hand wash, and other essential household items. Once a week, up to 800 people wait for hours outside the church to receive a food (provided by Kemp Mill) and household items (Beth El’s assignment). The Beth El community can make an indelible impact on ensuring the children and families have the essential items they need.

This program is totally contactless. Simply visit this Amazon Wish List and order items. When prompted to choose a shipping address while checking out, please select ‘Food Pantry’s Gift Registry Address’, which will ship your donations directly to the church. Some items may not allow you to ship to a gift registry address, so you can also manually enter the shipping address: Silver Spring Christian Reformed Church, 1501 Arcola Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902, Attn: Jennifer Renkema. Phone number: 301-284-8401.

Click here to see the Amazon Wish List

The Beth El community can make an indelible impact on ensuring the children and families have the essential items they need during the pandemic. Please donate every week or month, or whenever you are able.  Montgomery County residents need our help.


Tikkun Olam Opportunities While Practicing Social Distancing

While COVID-19 prevents us to volunteer together, social distancing will not prevent us engaging in social action! Select a Tikkun Olam project that you can do on your own or with your family by following the directions below.

These projects can be done at any time.

Bound to Help:  Once schools shut down, Beth El teens Sam and Evan launched a program to help those in need by collecting gently used and new clothing to donate to Interfaith Works. Six teens have been helping them pick up and deliver clothing, but they critically need more volunteers. Email Sam and Evan at boundtohelp2020@gmail.com for details.

Save Moses Cemetery by helping prevent the of demolition of sacred remains of Black ancestors. As Jews, we know all too well how Jewish cemeteries were desecrated during the Holocaust and in recent times. Attend press conferences, sign petitions, make calls to the government and more!  Contact jenodintz@gmail.com to learn more. Please help!

Bethesda Help provides emergency food, rent ,and more for 3 days to those in need. Sandra Cohen is involved in this nonprofit, and Shelley Ducker at shelleyducker@gmail.com  is collecting food donations (contactless) and seeks drivers. Bethesda Help also seeks volunteers to retrieve client messages from their homes by entering the organization’s voicemail and also needs drivers. Contact info@bethedahelp.org or 301-365-2022.

Save a Life! Contactless Swabbing for Bone Marrow Registry. Sadly, many leukemia patients have not found an exact match to receive life-saving, bone marrow transplants. Ezer Mizion is the largest Jewish bone marrow registry and affiliates with the National Marrow Donor Program. 18 to 45 year-olds who haven’t already joined the registry may email Ryan Hyman ryan@ezermizionusa.org for a simple swabbing kit that will be mailed to your home. Contact Fran Rubin at farphd@farbob.com for more info.


Other Tikkun Olam Opportunities

This spreadsheet includes Tikkun Olam opportunities at Beth El. The activities are listed by category so that you can easily find projects that interest you. There is information for each project, including a Beth El contact. Websites are included for you to learn more about different organizations that Beth El partners with. If you are interested in any of these projects, please get in touch with the Beth El contact listed.

Click here to open the spreadsheet in a new window, where you can also download it if you would like.