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Social Action

.Our Social Action Committee helps Temple Beth David to fulfill one of the tenets of our mission statement, working toward Tikkun Olam, "healing of the world". We do this by working on ongoing projects such as food drives, volunteering in the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, informing and educating our congregants about important issues which affect us as Jews and as citizens of the world. We help our youth to see the effect that their involvement with Social Action can achieve through B’nai Mitzvah individual and class projects, and programs involving the entire religious school community.

Social Action

Get Involved With This Year's Election

Temple Beth David’s Social Justice Working Group is inviting you to join grassroots efforts to “Get Out the Vote!” By participating in nonpartisan events leading up to Election Day on November 3rd you can help amplify the voice of “We the People.”

Through the Religious Action Center

The Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign encourages all U.S. citizens to exercise their right to vote and to break down obstacles that shut some out of the voting booth. Every Voice, Every Vote is the Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 civic engagement campaign, a nonpartisan effort to strengthen our democracy by encouraging everyone to participate in the U.S. election and ensuring that Reform Jewish values are represented in the public square.

Learn More Every Voice, Every Vote

Vote Forward

There are opportunities to volunteer to write heartfelt handwritten letters to fellow citizens who might otherwise be hesitant to vote or who are from under-represented demographics. By signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward ( you can request a Voter List, then print out the letter template, add a short encouraging message, and mail the letters on October 17th. Letter writing not your thing? Sign up to be a Vote Forward Stamp Sponsor to cover postage costs for volunteers who use their own supplies.

Learn More about Vote Forward

Drive Your Ballot

Have the day off on November 3rd and aren’t going in-person to the polls in CT because you’re safely utilizing one of our state’s secure drop boxes? Maybe you’d like to volunteer to drive other voters. Pennsylvania is our nearest swing state and Drive Your Ballot (, based in Philadelphia, is a nonpartisan backup system providing rides to voters to drop off their absentee or mail-in ballots at election offices or secure drop boxes. There are Covid Health & Safety guidelines listed on the DYB site. They also accept donations to help with insurance and volunteer coordination costs.

Learn More about Drive Your Ballot

If you're interested in Social Action and Social Justice and would to get involved contact us at

Social Action

Voting in Connecticut on Election Day 2020, Tuesday Nov 3rd 

Your vote is your voice. Be vote ready! Visit the Elections & Voting site of Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill’s webpage for information about registering to vote and where/how to vote this election season.

Registered to vote? Confirm your status here!

Not registered to vote? Click here to register online!

Voting in person? Confirm your polling location here!

Voting by mail? Connecticut will provide absentee ballot applications to all registered voters for the November election. If you did not receive an absentee ballot application, or if you need a new copy, visit this site.

Need additional information about the absentee ballot? Click here!

Due to COVID-19, all registered voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in the general election held on November 3, 2020. *Just check the COVID-19 box on the application*

Additional Notes:

  • “An absentee ballot may be returned by a voter’s “designee,” which includes a person who is caring for the applicant because of the applicant's illness or physical disability, including but not limited to, a licensed physician or a registered or practical nurse; a member of the applicant's family; or if no such person consents or is available, then a police officer, registrar of voters, deputy registrar of voters or assistant registrar of voters in the municipality in which the applicant resides.” (C.G.S.A. § 9-140b)
  • To return your absentee ballot: deposit it in the secure drop box established in your municipality. (Call your town’s Registrar of Voters to locate yours.) All ballots must be received by the close of polls, 8:00pm on Election Day.  (Due to concerns about delays with the U.S. Postal Service, voters are encouraged to deliver their ballots to secure drop boxes that were installed in front of town halls across the state.)
  • Connecticut does not have “early voting.”

Social Action


A Conversation about Race between Rabbi Micah Ellenson and Dr. Willie Jennings of Yale Divinity School

Friday, June 5, we were honored to have Dr. Willie Jennings join us for a powerful and timely program about race and racism.  Willie James Jennings is an American theologian known for his contributions on liberation theologies, cultural identities, and theological anthropology.   He is currently an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University. 

Please click on the link below to view a recording of the conversation between Rabbi Ellenson and Dr. Jennings.

Click here to view recording


Tikkun Olam during the Coronavirus Crisis

The Coronavirus has affected all of our lives...some of us more than others. Despite any uncertain and scary feelings we may have right now, many of us have still been moved to ask, “How can I help?” Here are some suggestions of things we can do to help our community.

Donate to local organizations

Cheshire Food Pantry

Donate food or funds to support the Cheshire Community Food Pantry. For more information go to

Cheshire Food Drive

In these uncertain times we want to make you all aware of the Cheshire Food Voucher Program. This program provides food vouchers worth $40 ($60 for families of 4 or more) to any Cheshire resident, and is run through the town’s Social Services Dept. These vouchers are accepted at both Stop & Shop and Big Y for any food items. 

The Food Voucher Program was designed to be used as a stop-gap measure, and there is no economic criteria to be met. Please contact Social Services (203-271-6690) if you are interested in a voucher.

Please share this information about the Food Voucher Program to your friends and family in town. 

For more information, or to help financially support the Food Voucher Program, please go to

Columbus House

Columbus House in New Haven serves people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence. How can you help?

  • Go to Donate to Columbus House to make a monetary donation to help cover unbudgeted costs including additional staff, food and supplies
  • Volunteer to make pick-ups and deliveries to those who need food and supplies. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Sheree DiMario at or 203-401-4400 x138

Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven is a non-profit social service agency serving individuals and families in the community. JFS is accepting Stop and Shop gift cards for those in immediate need of food - please mail those to JFS at 1440 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06515.  Alternatively please make a donation online. Please go to Donate to JFS to make a donation.

Give blood

There is a desperate shortage of blood and blood drive volunteers. The Red Cross has instituted special precautions to ensure that you and the health providers are as safe as can be. PLEASE visit to learn more, and help out in any way you can. If you are eligible and healthy, please make a blood donation appointment as soon as you can by visiting the website.

Mitzvah Moments

Each month, we'll be implementing one or two "Mitzvah Moments" projects meant to improve the lives of others in our community.  Please contact the individual listed within each project with any specific questions.

Food Donations

Donations for the Cheshire Community Food Pantry and Jewish Family Services are always accepted in the lobby, especially the first Friday of the month. Ideas and suggestions for the Social Action Committee are always welcome!

Mitzvah Garden 2019

Those who were able to help on Planting Day, May 19th, 2019 did an absolutely fantastic job. Veggies (including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs, front step planters and the marigold border) were all planted. We accomplished a tremendous amount of work in only 3 hours.

Mitzvah Garden 2020

Believe it or not, this will be the Mitzvah Garden’s 10th year and hopefully a very special one. The Mitzvah Garden’s total production since 2011 is 16,121 lbs. This is an amazing statistic, which should make our TBD family very proud. We are hoping to open the Mitzvah Garden and plant our summer crops on Sunday, May 17th, This of course will be subject to change based on current events.  Stay tuned!.


Religious Action

For 50 years, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism ("the RAC") has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C. As the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism, the RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, the RAC's advocacy work is completely non-partisan and pursues public policies that reflect the Jewish values of social justice that form the core of our mandate.

Visit the Religious Action Center »

Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782