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Social Justice

For more information on RAMWI, click here.


Temple Beth-El prides itself on being a welcoming community for Jewish and interfaith households to experience an uplifting and joyful sense of belonging. The I.D.E.A.S Committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Support) was formed to ensure this mission is met for all congregants and visitors to Temple Beth-El. From school and Temple facility signage to progressive programs and guest speakers, the I.D.E.A.S committee will focus on actions that better support everyone in our community.

If you would like to join the committee, or have suggestions for consideration,
please contact Dan Berman or Rabbi Jenn Mangold.

Social Justice events coming up

Refugee Shabbat, which will take place on March 24, 2023, is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers. The fastest-growing European refugee crisis since World War II is still ongoing. People seeking asylum are being turned away at borders around the world. And this year, for the first time ever, the total number of displaced persons globally is over 100 million. This is a critical moment for all of us to reaffirm and redouble our support for refugees and asylum seekers.

At this year's Refugee Shabbat, we will learn about RAMWI (Refugee & Migrant Women's Initiative) and RAMWI's Sew Much Hope Project.

Guest Speakers:
Florence Ackey, Founding Executive Director of RAMWI
Courtney Erickson, Director of Social Enterprise, RAMWI, and Co-Founder, Sew Much Hope Project

RAMWI's mission is to enhance the lives of refugee and migrant women in the community by providing and opportunity to heal, engage with others while learning the skills necessary to become self-sustainable, organize, and advocate for themselves.

The Sew Much Hope Project is the collaborative social enterprise program of RAMWI in which women work together to sew and then sell high-quality women's accessories and home decor items. The Project is designed to make refugee and migrant women feel empowered in their abilities, healed through the power of connecting with other women, rooted in their new home, and proud of refugee and migrant women's contributions to our local economy and the greater community.

CLICK HERE for information on RAMWI

CLICK HERE for information on the Sew Much Hope Program


Temple Beth-El works together with over 50 houses of worship throughout the county in a justice group called FAST: Faith and Action for Strength Together. This year on Monday March 27th at 7:00 P.M. at Indian Rocks Baptist Church, we will bring together over 2,000 people at the Nehemiah Action where we will ask our community leaders to take concrete actions to solve the lack of affordable housing, poor water quality, and excessive adult arrests for minor mistakes. This will be a powerful experience for our community and an opportunity to live out our Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. As part of this event, Rabbi Mangold will be leading a prayer and would love for our TBE community to be present. Please join Rabbi Mangold, Rabbi Torop, our TBE friends, and the greater community as together we stand up for justice and share the values of our tradition.

The imperative to pursue justice, answers to the questions of why we do it and how we can do our part, permeate the Torah. Join Rabbi Jenn Mangold and Rabbi Michael Torop, Emeritus as they alternate on a fortnightly study of that week’s Torah portion through the lens of social justice. Using the Reform Movement’s most recent publication, The Social Justice Torah Commentary, as a jumping off point, our encounter of ancient texts will be exceedingly relevant to injustices of our 21st century world.

March 2 - Tetzaveh
March 23 - Vayikra
March 30 - Tzav
April 20 - Tazria-Metzora
May 4 - Emor
May 18 - Bamidbar

IMPORTANT: Purchase of the book is strongly encouraged and recommended for the courses.
Purchase The Social Justice Torah Commentary by Rabbi Barry H. Block HERE.

What does the Daystar Lunchmaking Team do?

A small group of volunteers gather at TBE to make lunch bags for Daystar Life Center to distribute as needed. Each bag contains a peanut butter & jelly or turkey & cheese sandwich, apple sauce, chips, cookies and a bottle of water. Over 100 sandwiches and lunch bags are created with love each month and dropped off at Daystar Life Center.

March 26 - 10am - Social Hall
April 16 - 10am - Social Hall
May 21 - 10am - Social Hall
July 16 - 10am - Offsite
October 22 - 10am - Social Hall
November 19 - 10am - Social Hall
December 17 - 10am - Social Hall

For more information contact Holly Levine at

coalition members of...


Jewish Press Pinellas Article Below:


tbe & fast walking the walk...

At Temple Beth-El, as part of our Interfaith Social Justice Coalition, FAST, we are walking the walk, and not just talking the talk, to fight against racial profiling within our local police departments. I encourage you to watch this brief video that explains the issue and shares our “one small step to freedom" from Rev. Robert Ward (Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church) and Rabbi Michael Torop (Temple Beth-El), 
Co-Chairs of the FAST Criminal Justice & Mental Health Committee.


Brotherhood Making an Impact...

When the Covid-19 pandemic began impacting our area, Temple Beth-El Brotherhood had already purchased food for upcoming events. Knowing there were families in south St. Petersburg that had been disadvantaged by the pandemic, TBE Board Member and Social Justice Chairperson, Joshua Bean, brought to the Brotherhood's attention a great organization called Pay It Florida - Pinellas.

After identifying the largest area of need that could be impacted, the Brotherhood made the easy decision to donate over 200 pounds of food to Atwater's, a long-time BBQ and soul food restaurant in south St. Petersburg. Marc Tucker and Steve Jenkins loaded up the donations of frozen meats, cheeses, tater tots, fries and other items and took them to Eric Atwater, fourth generation owner of Atwater's. Eric and his team spent the day preparing baked and fried chicken, mac and cheese, potatoes and collard greens. And while he could have decided to make a profit for all this hard work, Eric and his staff boxed up the meals into individual portions and handed them out to anyone in the community that needed them...for free! People came from all over St. Pete...walking, biking and driving up, knowing they could get a made-with-love hot meal from this 4th generation St. Pete restaurant. it was so incredible to see our donation go immediately to those who needed it!

Tampa Bay Times caught wind of what our Brotherhood had donated and even included a "shout out" to them in the May 7th edition. A huge THANK YOU to our Brotherhood for taking quick action to make a huge impact to so many in our community!

CLICK HERE to read the full article.


April 30, 2020

Dear HIAS Refugee Shabbat Participants,

I hope you are doing well and finding as much of a rhythm as possible in these challenging times.

We can hardly believe that HIAS Refugee Shabbat was just last month. Thank you for your commitment to participating in this significant showing of support for refugees and asylum seekers: nearly 350 communities and thousands of individuals across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe signed on! We know that you all worked hard to create meaningful events for your communities, and we want to acknowledge that much of that effort may have gone by the wayside in the face of COVID-19. So many of you showed inspirational resilience in the face of limitations on the ability to gather on person, instead coming together for livestreamed services lifting up refugees and asylum seekers or even arranging for pick-up dinners catered by refugee-owned and operated catering companies. If you are still sorting out how to reschedule your Refugee Shabbat, please do be in touch if we can help you think through virtual options.

Over the next few days, we will launch HIAS@Home, a set of offerings to help you take action for refugees and asylum seekers from home. From briefing calls with HIAS’ refugee experts and partners in the field, to the HIAS Book and Film Club, to educational and training opportunities for Welcome Campaign members, there are many ways to continue learning about, advocating for, and serving refugees and asylum seekers around the globe. We hope you will share these opportunities with your communities. More information will be forthcoming on the HIAS email listserv (sign up at if you don’t already receive our emails).

Speaking of the Welcome Campaign, we invite you to add HIAS’ **NEW** website badge to your synagogue homepage, designed specifically for members of HIAS’ Welcome Campaign, and make your support for refugees and asylum seekers known to visitors your website. Please feel free to be in touch with HIAS Grassroots Campaign Officer Janna Diamond at with any questions.

Once again, thank you for your commitment to taking action for refugees and asylum seekers. Wishing you strength and health as you navigate the weeks and months ahead.

All the best,

Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer


Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer (she/her/hers)


HIAS Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee.

Thu, June 8 2023 19 Sivan 5783