Social Action

Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

Browse this page to see some of our current social action projects, or click on one of the following links to jump directly to a particular project on this page.

Shalom Bayit
Fighting Modern Day Slavery/Human Trafficking
Rotating Shelter Program
Blood Drive
Feeding the Hungry
Holiday Projects
Jewish Coalition for Literacy
Matanot L’Evyonim
Mitzvah Day
Sandwich Making for UMPA
Soup for the Soul
Yom Kippur Food Drive
Photo Gallery

Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) Holiday Food Distribution. Share in a mitzvah with other organizations to help the Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) distribute food to needy individuals and families in East Palo Alto.  The lines are long; the need is great. This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals and families with children in junior high school and above to help those who are less fortunate to enjoy this holiday.

Shalom Bayit, Adopt-a Family program. Every year, Shalom Bayit (Peace in the House) assists Jewish clients who are in transition. They’ve fled abusive relationships, walked away from violence and have to re-build their lives. Tikkun Olam is again partnering with Shalom Bayit and their “Adopt-a Family” program. We have an opportunity to create a modern day Chanukah miracle, by bringing light and joy into someone’s upended life.

Helping these families is very easy. Buy a gift certificate in a grocery or general merchandise store and drop them in the Kol Emeth office by Monday, November 30, 2015.  Or make a donation at  For more information on this year’s Shalom Bayit Adopt-a-Family Program at Kol Emeth, please click here.

Fighting Modern Day Slavery/Human Trafficking. Click here to donate needed items for survivors of slavery: is both a core part of both Jews’ personal narrative and our American narrative. Most of us learn in school however, that slavery ended, at least in the U.S.. Quietly, often hiding in plain sight, however, more slaves live in the world today than at any other time in history, including an estimated 100,000 in the U.S., with 17,500 more being brought to this country each year. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Rotating Shelter Program. Kol Emeth is hosting the Faith In Action Rotating Shelter program in March, 2015. We will be hosting 15 guests that are well-screened, and are highly motivated, employed or employable men. The men stay three months in the Program, and the Program moves to a different congregation each month. The guests receive a high level of case management and support. We will be preparing meals for them and hosting them at Kol Emeth. Sign up to help.

Annual Blood Drive. Once or twice a year we sponsor a blood drive through Stanford University at Kol Emeth to help the thousands of people who are in need of blood. If you would like to help with this project or get more information, contact the office.

Serving food at All Saints' Church

Feeding the Hungry. For over 20 years Kol Emeth has served nourishing meals to those in need, monthly on Tuesdays (early dinner) and Thursdays (luncheon), at two different churches in Palo Alto. The food, prepared and donated by local charities, is served cafeteria style to as many as 100 people. Our dedicated volunteers enjoy a convivial and most rewarding experience. The schedule is flexible and people only participate when available.
New volunteers are always welcome. For further information regarding Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, please click here.

Holiday Projects. During the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons, we distribute food at the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo and deliver gifts (e.g., food baskets and kitchen supplies) to the Haven Family House, a transitional home for families in Menlo Park.

Jewish Coalition for Literacy. If you want to be a reading tutor in a local public school for children in grades K-3, contact JCL. After going through one three-hour training session, volunteers are asked to spend an hour per week at a site convenient to them. Morning, afternoon, and evening hours are available. Several volunteers from Kol Emeth have been doing this for years. Last year Reba Cohen was recognized for her lengthy service as a tutor.

Matanot L’Evyonim. On Purim we raise money, generally for global organizations in need. Last year we collected almost $1000 for the American Jewish World Service earmarked for the disaster in Haiti. We also collaborate with our religious school to coordinate a Tikkun Olam activity during the carnival. Last year we compiled school supplies bags – each with decorated notes – that were delivered to Sunday Friends, an organization that supports low income families in San Jose.

Annual Mitzvah Day. For the past few years the Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto has coordinated a mitzvah day with local Jewish organizations. Kol Emeth collaborates in planning this event and sponsors its own activity. If you have questions or suggestions, contact the office.

We’re in need of drivers throughout the Peninsula and hope you will take a moment to complete a questionnaire to let us know your typical availability. To learn more about this program or to sign up, please go to the members site or contact the office.

Sandwich Making for the Urban Ministry of Palo Alto (UMPA). On the third Sunday of each month we compile approximately 200 lunch bags in Kol Emeth’s social hall; each bag includes a sandwich, a granola bar and a juice box. UMPA picks them up and distributes them at its food bank. KE created this project about 15 years ago and is the only organization that does this. It’s a wonderful activity for families and people of all ages, with something to do for everyone. Come and join us; no need to call first. Check the calendar for the next date and time.

Soup for the Soul. Participants in this project cook and deliver soup every Wednesday to patients in the V.A. Hospital Hospice and long-term care programs. Cooks commit to preparing 16 liters (about 4 gallons) of a soup of your choice, once every three months. The soup can be prepared in your kitchen or at Kol Emeth with prior arrangements with the office. Containers are provided and used for delivery at the V.A. in Palo Alto on Wednesday mornings at 9:15 a.m. We are eagerly enlisting cooks and servers for this year. Volunteers are especially needed to serve the soup to the hospice patients from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. It’s a small commitment but so much appreciated by the men and women who served our country.

For more information or to sign up, contact the office.

Annual Yom Kippur Food Drive. We collect canned food and contributions for Second Harvest and the Jewish Family and Children Services. Last year we received a gold certificate from Second Harvest for our donations.

Photo Gallery

Everyone is welcome in our egalitarian Jewish community