Torah does not just command us to give to the poor but to advocate on their behalf. We are told in Proverbs 31:9 to “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” We learn that tzedakah, helping fellow human beings in need, is not simply a matter of charity but of responsibility, righteousness, and justice. As Jews, we see a moral obligation to advocate for children, the elderly, the poor, the disenfranchised, the sick, the disabled, and the “stranger among us.”
Our Congregation provides its members with many opportunities for tikkun olam (repairing the world) or chesed (acts of loving kindness). Our programs benefit the homeless, the hungry, and the impoverished. By reaching out to people in need, we not only help to repair the world, but we also strengthen our Jewish identity and provide an important example of our values for our children.
Thing of the Month
Har HaShem partners with a different organization each month. We collect whatever item(s) the organization needs and deliver the items at the end of each month.
You are the One Who Can Save a Life
Click to read the article Reform Judaism and Organ Donation.
Food collection bins are always available in the Congregation Har HaShem lobby to collect food for the less fortunate. Each year, more than 3,000 meals are donated to community organizations.
There is also an annual High Holy Days Food Drive and a frozen turkey collection before Thanksgiving.
Judaism has a rich body of teachings that guide us to protecting the environment. Har HaShem supports these teachings with practical solutions within our facilities.
We divert as much trash as possible from going to a landfill and instead direct it to recycling and composting programs. By utilizing compostable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils, and by diverting all food waste from a garbage bin into a compost bin, we are now successfully keeping tons of organic material out of the landfill. We are sensitive to the packaging materials that surround purchases we make and buy in bulk when practical to reduce the volume.
We have reduced water consumption inside our buildings by installing low flow devices. We have reduced our landscape watering by choosing xeriscape plantings, installing root watering systems, and extending our use of well water.
Electricity and Gas Consumption
We have reduced our lighting energy consumption by installing LED lighting, energy-efficient ballasts, occupancy sensors, and lighting timers. In 2017, we installed solar photovoltaic systems to generate roughly 75% of our electricity needs. As a result, our buildings qualify for the EPA's ENERGY STAR building certification.
Congregation Har HaShem hosts an Annual Symposium on Spirituality and the Environment.
The Symposium focuses on bringing people together to explore perspectives on environmentalism from different faith traditions.
Our annual Mitzvah Day centers our social action work around a theme. The day begins in the morning with a learning session and continues after lunch with projects at a variety of organization's sites. Our partners include EFAA, Meals on Wheels, Bridge House, Sister Carmen, Community Food Share, and Boulder Homeless Shelter.