Social Action

Social Action

Chesed, or acts of loving kindness, were demonstrated over and over again by Beth El members throughout the pandemic.  Pictured above are items collected for the Rachel Kantrowitz Memorial Baby Toy and Equipment Drive. Here is a brief recap of the events organized and carried out by our dedicated Social Action Committee since last November:

November of 2020 Thanksgiving Mitzvah Day 

• 131 baskets and $1,150 worth of Jewel Gift Cards delivered to Glenwood School in Waukegan. 
• $2,000 donated to the ARK
• $2,000 donated to the Moraine Township Food Pantry 

Season of Mitzvot Kick-off 2021

• 36 bikes donated to Working Bikes
• a full van of electronics collected for Blue Star Recycling
• Numerous bags of personal hygiene items donated to the ARK
• 20 families donated groceries for “Porch Project” for COOL Pantry in Waukegan

Gratitude Generation Collections 2021

• 39 Bye Bye Boredom Bags (summer toys and games)
• 18 Gratitude Gift Bags (birthday supply kits)

Summer 2021 Drives

• Collected $4,298.00 for Jewish Federation of Greater Miami
• Collected 180 multi-packs of toothbrushes for Gratitude Generation for distribution at the Northern Illinois Foodbank
• Collecting for the Rachel Kantrowitz Memorial Toy and Baby Equipment Drive 
• Volunteers needed for Maot Chitim holiday deliveries on August 29.

As you arrive for the High Holidays this year, glance at the new banners on the poles in our parking lot. Each represents a tenet of our congregation: prayer, learning, community, and acts of loving kindness (or chesed). 

With these collections and donations, we have made an important impact on our local community as well as those beyond it. Helping others who are struggling and in need, is an ongoing commitment of our Social Action Committee. We endeavor to engage the participation of everyone in our congregation. Thank you to all those who have stepped up.  We hope we can continue to count on your “acts of loving kindness” in the year to come. 

If you would like to become part of the Social Action Committee at Beth El, Terri Gordon at


Current Social Action Projects to Get Involved in:

Rachel Kantrowitz Memorial Toy and Baby Drive

If you have toys and baby equipment gathering dust in your home,bring them to Beth El and help support the Rachel Kantrowitz Memorial Toy and Baby Equipment Drive which will include:
Any gently used toys and baby equipment for children for ages newborn to 5 for our neighbors in the Chicago Jewish community.
Bring items with you on August 15, to Pancakepalooza, or drop them off in marked bins located in the front or school vestibules. Contact Terri Gordon or Lori Stark with questions.

Donate Food Items to the ARK’s Pantry – Bags will with shopping lists will be available at Beth El for High Holiday Drive

The ARK was founded in 1971 through the efforts of an Uptown doctor and a local rabbi, who were approached by community members advocating for the doctor’s clinic to provide more services to the poor. In March, 1971, The ARK opened as a free medical clinic in Albany Park. Soon, The ARK’s cause began attracting volunteers who were interested in contributing their time and professional skills to help their less fortunate neighbors. Throughout the years, services and programs were added one-by-one; a kosher food pantry was opened; rent and utility bills were paid; a free pharmacy opened. Donate kosher non-perishable food items for the holidays. 

Volunteers Needed to Deliver Food for Maot Chitim Sunday, August 29

Maot Chitim is happy to announce that, after two years, Rosh Hashanah food delivery is back! This means that not only do their recipients get the food they need, but also get a friendly in-person greeting from our valued volunteers. In the past you may have sent volunteers to pack. Unfortunately with the Delta variant, we are not opening our warehouse for packing.  
However, we still need your help:  Click here to volunteer to deliver food on Sunday, August 29.  Our warehouse is back in the Lincolnwood location, 7080 McCormick Blvd, Lincolnwood. (Behind the Lincolnwood Town Center Mall)  

Volunteer or Donate to Highwood Public Library

The mission of the Highwood Public Library is to be an innovative and collaborative anchor of the community, providing educational support, engaging services, and inspirational collections. The Library has dedicated its purpose to assessing and responding to the intersectional structural barriers impacting individuals and families through programming, service, and community building. Learn more and volunteer through our website.

Make a Donation to Social Action at Beth El and Help Support All of These Organizations. DONATE HERE