Love Thy Neighbor Initiative
Humanitarian Award
Social Justice Programs

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

HISTORY of LOVE THY NEIGHBOR INITIATIVE:

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In the wake of the 2011 tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, a dialogue began at Temple Emanuel. Incivility, lack of respect for divergent opinions, political polarization, anger, and frustration were infecting our world from our nation’s capital to our own community. Our congregation’s response was to create the Love Thy Neighbor Initiative: an annual series of programs that sought to move our region toward the kind of community our children deserve.

During its first years, Love Thy Neighbor programming included Love Thy Neighbor Interfaith Sabbath Celebration incorporating prayers, reflections, and meditations from a wide range of religious sources as well as music…all of which joined together in stirring the soul, stimulating the minds and opening the hearts to welcome the blessings of community and the divine.

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THE RABBI SAMUEL J. ROSINGER HUMANITARIAN AWARD:

During the Fall of 2013, it was decided to honor the legacy of Rabbi Samuel J. Rosinger who served as Rabbi of Temple Emanuel and of Southeast Texas for 50 years; and, at the same time, Temple Emanuel would honor the men and women of Southeast Texas who were exemplary of ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ in their daily lives by serving the greater Beaumont community through righteous deeds, acts of kindness, and service to the community. The award was named The Rabbi Samuel J. Rosinger Humanitarian Award and was presented at the Humanitarian Dinner with each of the following honored as of this date:

2014   James B. Broussard and Charles “Charlie” H. Weinbaum, Jr.

2015   Dr. James “Jimmy” Simmons

2016   Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, SVD, DD

2017   Joe Domino and Jerry Nathan

2018   Becky and Chuck Mason

2019   Rebecca Gale and The Gale Foundation
            Paula O’Neal and Some Other Place

2020  Cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic

2021   Cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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Rosinger Award

Photography by Karen Bourdier, Marilyn Manson-Hayes, and Tim Sudela

BECKY & EDWIN GALE LOVE THY NEIGHBOR FUND

In 2020 what we had called Love Thy Neighbor Tikkun Olam was renamed Becky & Edwin Gale Love Thy Neighbor Fund. It was renamed to honor Jewish philanthropists who had been members of Temple Emanuel for many, many years.

Some of the proceeds of the Rabbi Samuel J. Rosinger Humanitarian Award Dinner and/or other donations made by Members of Temple Emanuel and/or Friends of Temple Emanuel make possible our tikkun olam outreach into the community.

TEMPLE EMANUEL SOCIAL JUSTICE
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SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND
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MAKING A TIKKUN OLAM DIFFERENCE

Women & Children’s Shelter
of Family Services of Southeast Texas:

Over the years, Temple Emanuel Social Justice Committee (TESJ) has coordinated the collection of diapers and towels and blankets for the clients of the Women & Children’s Shelter. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are coordinating the collection of monetary donations, so that packages of underwear can be purchased by Family Services for the clients of The Shelter…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

The Orchard:

The Orchard, a project of TESJ, is across the street from the Main Entrance to Temple Emanuel. Tzedakah is collected to maintain The Orchard, so that anyone who is hungry can pick fresh fruit or nuts as needed. Additional trees are planted annually to coordinate with Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish Festival of Trees; but some cannot be planted until after the frost. The Orchard is barrier free…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

Kosher for Passover Food for Deployed Jewish Soldiers:

Another tradition of TESJ for many years was to coordinate the collection of Kosher for Passover (KP) Food for Jewish soldiers serving far from home. We now collect monetary donations. The donation is sent to the Jewish lay leader overseas who then purchases the KP food…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

You are a Blessing Bags:

It is the custom of TESJ to coordinate the collection of food and/or water and/or monetary donations for items that will be put in You are a Blessing Bags for the Homeless in the Downtown area as well as to Homeless Veterans serviced by the local VA. The bags are filled by men, women, and children of Temple Emanuel and Friends of Temple Emanuel on a Friday night prior to Shabbat Services, usually Social Justice Shabbat, and then distributed…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

Social Justice Shabbat:

Members of TESJ traditionally participate in Social Justice Shabbat either as service participants, greeters, or hosts/hostesses for the O’neg Shabbat Reception following Shabbat Services…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

Blessing the Sacred Sages:

It is the tradition during Social Justice Shabbat to bless the Sacred Sages. By definition, a Sacred Sage has reached the age of 70 or more. Anyone in attendance that Shabbat who is younger than 70 holds the prayer shawls known as tallit around the shoulders of all who are 70+ while the Blessing is offered to those who are 70+. Special booklets for Social Justice Shabbat are created that contain the Blessing, list the names of the Sacred Sages, and list the anniversaries of Sacred Sages who have celebrated 50 or more years. All are welcome to take the booklets home; but for those who are 70+ who are unable to attend Shabbat Services, the booklets are sent to them…thereby making a tikkun olam difference!

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