The congregation of Temple Emanu-El takes seriously its role in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. To that end, members volunteer their time and resources to work with several local human service organizations.
The Temple is a founding member of Caring Congregations, a group that established Caring Days, an adult daycare program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. A Temple representative serves on the agency’s Board, and the Temple participates in several fundraising activities for the organization.
Members of the congregation have taken responsibility for servicing a weekly route delivering food for the Meals on Wheels program, a component of the Community Service Program of West Alabama. This program provides a hot lunch to persons who are home-bound, or are unable to prepare meals for themselves.
One morning a month, a group of Temple members spends several hours working at the Food Bank of West Alabama. This group is involved in packing meals that are sent home with area school children, to ensure they have enough to eat over the weekend, when they do not receive subsidized school lunches. At Yom Kippur, we make a special effort to collect food and funds for the food bank.
Throughout the year, collection baskets at the Temple are available for in-kind donations to Caring Days, the West Alabama Food Bank, and Turning Point (a safe haven for victims of domestic violence). In addition, the Temple, the Sisterhood, and the Men’s Club, often organize special donations to these and other community organizations.
The Temple is also a member of the Tuscaloosa Coalition Against Predatory Practices (T-CAPP). This organization of faith-based groups was formed to address the problems caused by the spread of payday lenders in the area, which create serious financial issues for low-income individuals in the community.