Our Committees and Groups
The Inclusion Committee at Temple Sholom has been in place since early 2017. Temple Sholom is committed to the following Mission and Vision:
Mission: We strive towards all members of Temple Sholom being able to participate fully in all spiritual, educational, celebratory and life events at the synagogue.
Vision: We are a community where all members share a sense of dignity, empathy and togetherness; where inclusion is the framework around which congregational activities are centered.
The Inclusion Committee is here to help keep this at the forefront of all of Temple Sholom’s activities and member relationships within our community - whether that be formally as part of another committee or group or simply in our daily interactions with fellow congregants as well as with the outside community at large.
The Inclusion Committee works to touch on all aspects of Jewish life here at Temple Sholom:
Making the physical space welcoming and inclusive for all
Opening up involvement and participation for all
Worship and Ritual
We are all created in the image of God
Volunteer & Employment
Expanding opportunities for all to get involved
Every Jewish student deserves a meaningful Jewish education
Social, Recreation & Leisure
Participation by the entire community
Our committee has taken a few steps since our inception in 2017 to help keep such thoughts and behaviors at the fore front of our community. Below is a list of some of the things we have done and/or have in place to help foster these ideals. Our committee is always looking for ways to continuously encourage dialogue and inspire cultural change here at Temple Sholom.
• Temple Sholom forms Inclusion Committee.
• Quiet Room--a small space, with quiet activities for people to use during High Holidays, Purim, and large congregational events
• Survey--completed a congregational survey of what barriers prevent people from participating in community events. Results were presented and are available upon request.
• Guest speaker spoke to the Temple Sholom community to define and explain inclusion in Judaism.
• Created signs and explanation about our hearing amplification units in the sanctuary
• For the first time a congregant of another faith is elected to the Temple’s Board of Trustees.
Jewish Disability Awareness Month--Temple Sholom participated in its first Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month in February.
• Fidget toys and bean bags in Chapel
• Community Havdalah with Peer buddies for those who requested
• Learner’s service, connecting people to Shabbat prayers
• Fully accessible service in sanctuary led at podium in front of bimah
• Noise cancelling headphones and earplugs for Purim
• New sound system in sanctuary
• Railing installed down the center lobby stairs to provide an easier and safer journey.
• Mental Health Awareness Month in May with guest speaker to encourage ongoing dialogue and support for this “hidden” illness.
We invite everyone to help us spread awareness and champion for those members of our community that struggle to participate in any aspect of Jewish life here at our Temple. Our members are encouraged to reach out to the Inclusion Committee or our Executive Board either formally or confidentially to express any thoughts, ideas or concerns that anyone may have in this regard. Our committee remains one of many ways that Temple Sholom continues to create a more inclusive and fulfilling experience here at Temple Sholom.
Temple Sholom is committed to fulfilling mitzvot in the community by embracing the values of Tikkun Olam (“Repairing the World”).
Congregants of all ages successfully carry out a variety of programs. Some of the groups that drive the activities include the Mitzvah Committee, Sisterhood, Men’s Club, United Synagogue Youth, Ritual Committee, Hebrew High School, Religious School and Preschool Place.
Activities proudly include:
Food drives with 2500 - 3000 lbs of food collected annually for the Somerset food bank
Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP) where we (1) supply and serve cooked meals for the anti-hunger program monthly (2) operate the mobile soup kitchen over 35 days each year and (3) collect turkeys and canned goods for their Thanksgiving dinner
Passover and Rosh Hashanah meal baskets supplied to over 40 families each holiday in partnership with Jewish Family Services
“Giving Menorah Campaign” collection of gifts for elderly, children, and those in need for the Channukah and Christmas holidays in conjunction with United Way
Bikur Cholim visits intended to provide comfort to nursing home residents
Leading Shiva minyans for those in mourning
Knitting and providing blankets, doll clothes and other items to the elderly or those in need
“Adopt a road” semiannual street clean up
“Stuff the Bus” annual school supply collection provided to United Way
The above are just a sample of the many activities that are happening on a regular basis at Temple Sholom. We are always looking for new opportunities to help the community around us and to include those who want to perform mitzvot.
The membership committee helps to welcome and integrate new members in to the congregation. They will help you to build meaningful relationships with your new Temple family, guide you to congregation services, and even help you get plugged into the groups and committees that suit your interests and talents. For more information contact email@example.com.
Jewish Life Committee
The Jewish Life Committee shall consult with the Board of Trustees, the Rabbi, and the Cantor, with respect to the form and conduct of the religious services and rituals of the Congregation; procure, provide and maintain the books and religious articles required for the proper conduct of such services; distribute the honors or aliyahs at services after consultation with the Rabbi, or in his/her absence, the President or one of the Vice Presidents; and perform other duties as may be delegated to them by the Board of Trustees. For information on the Jewish Life Committee please contact Wally Yosafat or Andrea Horowitz .
We are a vital part of synagogue life at Temple Sholom. As a member of the Men’s Club you will have the privilege of being a part of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Club, which is our national organization. We take part in many aspects of Temple life and ritual. There are always members leading in the morning and evening Minyan Service. We have speakers and breakfasts throughout the year and welcome both new and old members participation.
To join the Men’s Club, please contact the temple office.
Join Sisterhood and get to know the women 0f Temple Sholom Sisterhood provides religious, educational, cultural and social activities for women, couple and families. Open to women of all ages, Sisterhood provides opportunities for you to support our community and synagogue. Our most significant contribution to the Temple is our support of the Religious School. We underwrite all of the school's special holiday activities. We would love for all Religious School moms to become involved in Sisterhood and help continue the tradition of supporting our children.
Sisterhood is a great way to meet new friends and to quickly feel a part of our Temple Sholom community. There are many types of activities that Sisterhood sponsors; there is something for everyone. Join us at a meeting, plan to attend an activity geared towards our Temple women, stimulate your brain or bring the family to an event. Whatever you choose to do, we know you will enjoy it!
We are also very proud of our Sisterhood Gift Shop, located in the Temple Sholom lobby. The Gift Shop is an excellent source for unique and well-priced Judaica items. Our Gift Shop features an array of specialty merchandise that will meet your holiday, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, gift and/or everyday needs. Support Sisterhood by stopping by our shop.
Sisterhood also sells gift cards for Shop Rite. They are available at our Gift Shop. Shop Rite donates 5% of all sales back to Sisterhood. If you can't get to the Gift Shop, please call and we will be happy to arrange delivery to your home. contact temple office.
USY is the oldest of our groups and is for students in grades ninth through twelfth. USY has a board of very dedicated and involved young adults who enjoy the many aspects from planning and organizing the many chapter events such as a mystery bus ride, mall scavenger hunt or NYC trip, as well as co-hosting our annual Purim carnival. Members also participate regularly in the numerous regional dances and/or weekend long conventions. Bridgewater USY (BrUSY) strongly emphasizes all areas of Jewish identity, incorporating Israel awareness, Social Action/Tikun Olam (saving the world), and even religious/educational aspects into our planning of fun and social events. There is something in BrUSY for everyone! For more information on joining, please check out our web site or contact our USY advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kadima is the place for kids in grades sixth through eighth. Kadima members benefit from involvement in regional events such as Kadima Fun Day and Roller Skating, Overnight Conventions and Dances as well as local chapter events including movie nights, bowling and pizza parties. The chapter also participates in creating our annual Purim Carnival. For information on becoming a member, please send an email to email@example.com
Sholom Chaverim, the group for children in grades third through fifth, meets monthly enjoying many activities from pumpkin picking and bowling to miniature golf. If interested in joining the fun, let us know.