Our Social Action Programme was established in 2003 and is our way of practising the ethics and teachings of Judaism within the wider community.
Our Social Action Programme was established in 2003 and is our way of practising the ethics and teachings of Judaism within the wider community, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
We have a number of ongoing projects and the descriptions below will give you an idea of what Social Action means to The Wimbledon Synagogue. If you would like to know more then please contact our Social Action Coordinator by clicking here.
The Manna Project
It is the tradition within the Synagogue for members to host a Kiddush to mark special events- Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, birthdays, anniversaries etc. We ask the hosts to donate 10% (or more) of the cost of the kiddush to our Manna Fund, which we donate to World Jewish Aid. They pass our donations to hunger relief projects in less fortunate parts of the world. Thus, we not only eat, drink and enjoy ourselves, but also use the occasion to help others have enough food for themselves. We are very pleased that World Jewish Aid is actively encouraging other Jewish communities to follow our lead.
Faith in Action- Merton Homelessness Project
groups and we are fully involved and serve on the management committee. The project employs a Project Manager and a team of staff ably supported by a highly committed group of volunteers, many from the WDS community. The project runs a Drop-in centre that meets twice weekly all year round with a hot meal, clothing, friendship and the offer of move-on assistance for all the service users. We have raised significant sums of money for the centre and our support continues to be much needed and greatly appreciated. You can read more about our work with Faith in Action by clicking here.
Gifts In Kind
Our most recent project- “Gifts in Kind” has been organised through World Jewish Relief (WJR).
They are very active in Belarus where there has been little political change since the break-up of the former Soviet Union. The Jewish community is particularly poor and is struggling in the difficult economic climate.
We were asked to help provide supplies for the children returning to school in the autumn, by collecting new schoolbags each filled with pens, paper, geometry sets etc, as well as a winter hat, gloves and scarf. We appealed to our cheder children who responded with great enthusiasm, as they were able to put themselves in the place of the Belarus children and realise what it would be like to be without so much as a hat in a freezing winter.
We had a tremendous response and were able to contribute over 50 well-equipped bags, as well as a number of warm winter coats. We know from WJR volunteers who visit Belarus that these gifts are vital for the Jewish community there and are met with joy and appreciation, as they have no means of providing their children with any of these items.
We will be keeping in touch with WJR and their work in Belarus and hope to make further collections for them in the future. Meanwhile, thanks to everyone for their help so far.
Gifts In Kind For Other Projects
We make regular clothing collections for the Faith In Action Homeless Centre and the Merton Asylum Welcome. During the winter, donations of warm clothing, including coats and jumpers, are particularly welcome as the clients are either outside a lot (not through choice) or, in the case of asylum seekers, may have arrived from a part of the world which does not experience cold winters and have little suitable clothing of their own.
Please leave any donations in the synagogue foyer.
Learning about the needs of others is the best way of developing our understanding and finding ways of helping. We hold regular meetings with speakers to learn about social issues.
In response to a request from the Chief Executive we have a small rota of people who go along to Nightingale House on Friday afternoons to light the candles and make kiddush with the residents in the nursing units who are too frail to make kiddush themselves. It is a mitzvah to do this but also a great pleasure as the staff and residents are so welcoming and pleased to see us. If anyone feels able to join our team and help, however regularly or irregularly, please get in touch with Stephanie Brada by clicking here [insert link]. We can then arrange for you to come along and see what we do, so that you can decide whether it is something you feel able to help with.
What Next For Social Action?
This is a developing programme. If you have an ideas which you would like us to explore please let us know, nothing is set in tablets of stone.
If you would like to learn more or help in any way, for example, by becoming a volunteer at one of the projects, delivering sacks of goods and clothing to one of the centres, or in any other way please contact us:
You can contact Nikki, our volunteer coordinator, by clicking here.