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Social Action Committee

Social Action – a cornerstone of Judaism – is passionately embraced at Beth Tikvah Congregation. The congregation actively and consistently fulfills the commandment of Tikun Olam – repairing the world – and practices G’milut Chasadim – doing deeds of loving kindness. Social Action is woven into the fabric of Beth Tikvah, with a variety of activities in which to participate. Whether a member of the Committee, a participant in Social Action activities, or both, those involved find the fulfillment of giving back and forming strong bonds, while “repairing the world” together.

Dinner In a Bag

Food insecurity is at an all time high. This year, for the Social Action Annual Purim project, we are creating what we are calling “Dinner in a Bag” to meet the needs of families of the Living Faith Church in Palatine. We have been supporting this church for a number of years through our monthly “Brown Baggers” program by providing sack lunches to assist those in this congregation. While the bagged lunches are helpful, many of these families continue to struggle to feed their families nutritious meals.

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Sub-Committees, Events, and Projects

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Gan Tikvah

The Merice Washer Memorial Gan Tikvah is Our Garden of Hope. Each spring we plant a community garden, water, and harvest it to provide fresh food for women and children in crisis in our community, as well as for our own congregants, when in need!

We welcome anyone interested in helping the Beth Tikvah garden grow to come plant in the spring; water, weed, harvest all summer; plant worms mid-July; and put the garden to bed in September.

Watering can be done at your convenience, ideally early morning or late afternoon/evening. Instructions are posted at the fence and the hose will be ready by the garden. Harvesting is done each Sunday starting at 10:00 am for about an hour.

This is a great family and community activity, so please bring your friends and children to share in the mitzvah.

Brown Baggers

During the school year, we assemble Brown Bag Lunches to
donate to a local community food pantry, enabling the homeless to work more. 

Tikvah Chefs

Each month, we use fresh garden vegetables and donated ingredients to cook an entire meal for a PADS homeless shelter, transport the food to the shelter, and help serve the guests. Additionally, we cook to provide our Caring Committee with food for our own families in need.

Chili Cook-Off

This event is a “cook-off” that encourages group effort, so if you don’t cook, we don’t eat! We need entrants for Chili, Un-chili (anything in a pot), and Dessert. But don’t be worried if you aren’t a gourmet cook. It’s all in good fun, and is more of a pot luck than “Iron Chef.” Our judges, the Hoffman Estates Fire Department, send their best taste testers.

Of course, if you choose not to join in the cooking fun, you can still come and eat! Reserve your dinner spot early, as this event usually sells out.

The proceeds support charitable projects with local women’s & children’s shelters, food banks, homeless shelters in the city and suburbs, as well as our international relief projects. We regularly aid WINGS, The ARK, the Schaumburg Food Pantry, PADS, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Nechama, Israeli Defense Forces (and others), and most currently JUF/TOV Disaster Relief, the JUF Coat Drive, and Rahab’s Daughters.

Blood Drive

As the leaves fall, we team with LifeSource for our Annual Blood Drive in our own parking lot. You can schedule an appointment, or simply walk-in.

Food Drives

Each year during the High Holy Days the entire Congregation takes grocery bags home on Rosh Hashanah, and returns them before Yom Kippur, full of Kosher and Non-Kosher food for the less fortunate. Food drives are also held throughout the year to aid local food pantries.

Clothing Drives

Every year, we sponsor a coat drive to donate to The ARK, an organization dedicated to helping Chicagoland Jews in times of need.

Mitzvah Day

Our 2018 Congregational Mitzvah Day - in honor of our 60th Anniversary - included morning projects at Beth Tikvah for Religious School students and their families, as well as off-site Mitzvah Excursions for those in Grades 6-12 with their families. There is a long history of an annual or bi-annual Mitzvah Day at Beth Tikvah.

Inside projects included: making fleece blankets for hospitals and shelters, making hygiene kits and sleeping mats for the homeless, making bi-lingual flashcards, writing letters to veterans, creating kindness rocks, coloring lunch bags for the Brown Baggers, and assembling baskets for families of relatives in Hospice.

Off-Site Excursions included: painting walls and washing tables at Clearbrook in Palatine; helping stock the pantry at The Ark in Rogers Park, Chicago; painting the Pavilion at Charlemagne Park in Hoffman Estates; and preparing garden beds for planting and moving compost in wheelbarrows at The Talking Farm - Skokie.


In 2017, Rabbi Tachman, Ilene Kettering, Jamie Bartosch, Holly and Russ Yanaga, and Juliet Shavitz were part of Beth Tikvah’s Congregation Hurricane Harvey Relief Mission to Houston, thanks to TOV and Nechama. Though the news media has moved on, the devastation in Houston remained. Over the course of three days, together with volunteers from around the country, they worked on three houses whose owners had no insurance. They took out ruined belongings, stripped drywall down to the studs, and brought it all to the curb, one ceremonious handful at a time. The Jewish Community was hard hit and worried not only about their congregants and fellow friends, but also of the financial situations within their synagogues. Our hearts are with them and those still who were living in hotel rooms with the monumental task of rebuilding their homes in front of them. We would love to do more of these projects in the future, especially local ones to allow others to get involved and be a part of such meaningful work. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in more projects like this, near or far.

In 2021 our annual picnic backpack project allowed us to donate school supplies to area students. The Daily Herald published our project in their paper this fall. 

Click this link to read the article in PDF form Daily Herald- Hoffman Estates temple donates school supplies

Tue, April 23 2024 15 Nisan 5784