Helping the Hungry and Homeless

As the number of homeless people in this country grows, many temples and synagogues are sponsoring shelters, soup kitchens and pantries in their communities. The following is a partial listing of such efforts:


Temple Beth Israel, Phoenix, (602)264-4428. Provides the home of a community member for a homeless family.

Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe youth groups, (602)264-4428. Send volunteers to serve a Christmas Day dinner at a local community kitchen.


University Synagogue, Los Angeles, (213)472-1255. Project Shelter raises funds to help homeless families pay their rent. Project Chanukah gathers necessities for the homeless. Volunteers from neighboring synagogues in West Los Angeles, manage a year-round kosher food pantry.

Temple Shir Ha-Ma’alot, Newport Beach, (714)644-7203. B’nai and B’not Mitzvah donate time, gifts and money to help the needy.

Temple Sinai, Palm Desert, (619)568-9699. Collects canned food and solicits donations from local hotels.


Adas Israel, (202)244-6349. Runs the Anne Frank House, home to five homeless women.

Temple Micah, (202)554-3099. Volunteers drive a van serving food to homeless on the streets.


Temple Beth Am, Miami, (305)667-6667. Serves sandwiches for the poor in downtown Miami.

Temple Beth El, North Bay Village, (305)861-4005. Runs the Shabbos Chessed program which feeds kosher meals to 200 people a week.

Temple Judea, Coral Gables, (305)667-5657. Prepares food and transports it to a nearby church.


Temple-Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, Atlanta, (404)226-1346. Night Shelter for the Homeless provides separate sleeping quarters for twelve couples.

Congregation Shearith Israel, Atlanta, (404)892-8520. Runs a shelter for twelve women, November through March.


Northshore Congregation Israel, Glencoe, (312)835-0724. Delivers food baskets to the hungry in the Chicago area every Monday.

Chicago Federation of Temple Youth (CFTY), (312)498-0613. Collects food and clothing which are distributed throughout the city.


Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, (301)764-1587. Has assisted Central American and Vietnamese refugees in securing housing, jobs, medical care and help for relatives back home. Has raised more than $20,000 for the Maryland Food Committee.

Temple Emanuel, Kensington, (301)942-2000. Youth group held a blanket drive and works at a nearby soup kitchen.


Beth Israel Sisterhood, Jackson, adopted a needy person as an honorary member of congregation.


Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, (314)977-7566. Youth group won a competition by collecting over 400 cans of food.


Congregation Ner Tamid, Las Vegas, (702)733-6292. Youth group held a “Las Vegas Night” fundraiser for the poor in the area.


Congregational Hospitality Network, Summit. An interfaith project Involving eleven congregations in eight towns provides food and nightly shelter for fourteen people.

Temple B’nai Or, Morristown, (201)539-4539. Co-sponsors a shelter program with churches from the area.

Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls, (201)747-9365. Organized a community-wide concert to raise funds for the hungry in Monmouth County. Also established a Fund for the Homeless. Temple Emeth, Ahavath Torah, Beth Sholom, The New Milford Jewish Center and Temple Emanuel of Englewood, Teaneck and Englewood, donate foodstuffs to needy non-Jewish local families before Pesach.


National Association for the Jewish Poor, Bronx, (212)378-5865. Serve kosher breakfast and lunch to the Jewish elderly poor in the Bronx, Jamaica and Brooklyn, and meals for the homebound.

Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, Brooklyn, (718)552-2070. Runs a shelter at the temple for eight men during the winter months.

Kane Street Synagogue, Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Ernes, Brooklyn. (718)768-5272. Coordinates the homeless shelter at St. Agnes Parish.

Temple Ahavath Sholom, Brooklyn, (718)769-5350. Runs a food pantry on the temple grounds.

Forest Hills Jewish Center, Forest Hills, (718)263-7000. Collects used clothes and transfers leftover food from catering facility to the Bethel Mission Soup Kitchen.

Rabbinical Seminary of America, Forest Hills, (718)894-3441. Serves meals to seniors.

Temple Beth-El, Great Neck, (516)756-1850. Volunteers assist at three nearby shelters and collect food from designated stores, restaurants and commissaries for soup kitchens in the area.

Ansche Chesed, New York, (212)663-9054. Runs a homeless shelter for single men in its building.

Central Synagogue, New York, (212)838-5122. Serves hot breakfast to 250 to 300 hungry people every Thursday and Friday The youth group regularly provides bag lunches to the homeless at Grand Central Station.

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, New York, (212)316-9268. Houses ten men three nights a week.

Congregation Emanu-El, New York, (212)744-1400. Sponsors a shelter at St. Francis DeSales Church.

National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section, Katherine Engel Center, (212)799-7205. Serves a weekly supper and sponsors food pantry. Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, (212)369-2600. Runs a food pantry program.

Rodeph Sholom, New York, (212)362-8800. Runs a shelter program taking guests on a rotating schedule.

Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, New York, (212) 512-2112. Runs a shelter for the homeless in its main synagogue building that operates four nights per week, housing ten to twelve men each night.

Temple Shaaray Tefila, New York, (212)535-8008. Runs a soup kitchen weekly, feeding 100 people at a sit-down dinner.

Temple Brith Kodesh, Rochester, (716)244-7060. Regularly supports the food locker of the Lewis Street Settlement and helps staff a shelter housed in a Catholic church. Sisterhood collects clothing for the local shelter for battered women.


Temple Ner Tamid, Euclid, (513)261-2280. Hunger Project provides hot meals for the homeless. Temple members prepare and serve meals for the homeless at St. Aloysius Church in Glenville.


Temple Shalom, Levittown, (215)945-4154. Temporary shelter for the homeless in synagogue. Knesseth Israel, Philadelphia, (215)887-8700. Runs Challenge Grants for the Homeless, which offers $500 matching grants to any church or synagogue that donates $500 to a program or shelter directly aiding the hungry and/or homeless.


Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, (214)368-3613. Sends youth volunteers to work at a local shelter for battered women and children.

Temple Shalom, Dallas, (214)661-1810. Youth group grows food in its own garden to be donated to a local shelter.

Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless. A group of 26 synagogues and Jewish organizations runs a daycare center for children of homeless families from a nearby shelter.

Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, (512)733-9135. Conducts a Purim Hunger Fund and Food Drive to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank. Participates in the San Antonio Metropolitan Ministry which operates a night shelter for the homeless.


Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Alexandria, (703)370-9400. Youth collect blankets for the homeless. Rodeph Shalom, Falls Church, (703)532-2217. Send volunteers once a month to a soup kitchen.


Temple B’nai Torah, Mercer Island, (206)232-7243. Serves evening meals to approximately 60 homeless people once a month at a nearby shopping center.


Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, Milwaukee, (414)964-4100. Together with County Department of Social Services operates Project Reunite, to proved families with temporary housing.