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Community Service
Tikkun Olam means healing the world

Welcome to our page dedicated to community service events! More information on all of our social action programs can be found below.

As a Jewish community we keenly feel the brokenness of the world and believe that we are God’s partner in making the world whole. Tikkun Olam means healing the world, and shemesh means “sun” in Hebrew. Like a sun, our SHM Tikkun Olam Committee has rays of light shooting out and bringing light to the darkest corners of our world.

We intentionally and thoughtfully engage with our Jewish values, texts, and traditions to guide our ongoing work to create a more whole world. Through our social action projects, we respond to the needs of our immediate community and we respond to the deep hurt we see in our broader world. We create opportunities for all members of Shir Ha-Ma’alot to participate in Tikkun Olam.

If you would like to get involved with SHeMesh, or one of its ongoing activities, including the Holocaust Survivor Luncheons, Reading Partners, the Jessica Herron Caring & Sharing Program, or Sharing Healthy Meals.

Please contact Rabbi DePaolo at and she can connect you with the relevant group.

Sharing Healthy Meals
Nourishing  the  bodies  and  souls  of  our  neighbors  experiencing  food  insecurity.

Sharing Healthy Meals, chaired by Robbie Rosenberg, is back for another year of spreading kindness and helping feed those in need.


Jessica Herron Caring & Sharing Program

This program is dedicated to the memory of Jessica Herron, daughter of Dana Klein and Jay Herron, who lost her life in a traffic accident in October 2005. Jessica had a lifelong history of caring about the needs of others. Barbara and Rabbi Bernie King z”l chose to rename SHM’s Inner-City Partnership Program in Jessica’s memory to honor her love for helping others. For more information contact Barbara King at All donations are tax deductible, and can be made year round.




Names Project - Yad Vashem 20 those lost in the Holocaust

For over 50 years, Yad Vashem, the world center for Shoah (Holocaust) remembrance and education, has led the mission to gather the names of those who perished and memorialize them. In the Central Database of Shoah more than 4 million names have been recorded. Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot is working together to help ensure that every victim of the Shoah has a place in our collective memory.

Civic Engagement at SHM

We are truly Better Together, and as Jews we know it is our obligation to engage with the world outside our synagogue walls. Our Civic Engagement programming at SHM provides special events and featured speakers to help educate and motivate our community to become more civically engaged Orange County Jews. Let us learn together today, to create a brighter tomorrow.




Civic Engagement Committee - Food Insecurity in OC Resource List, from November 2023


SHM – Sharing Healthy Meals - Get involved with our “sister committee” in SheMesh, our broader SHM Social Action group.  Upcoming events:

March 23,2024 – Purim event

Summer 2024 – Someone Cares Soup Kitchen


Second Harvest Food Bank

Since 1983, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County has worked to support those facing food and nutritional insecurity in Orange County.  Mission Statement:  In collaboration with our partners, we provide dignified, equitable and consistent access to nutritious food, creating a foundation for community health.

Bracken’s Kitchen –Founded in 2013, their mission is simple: Through food rescue, culinary training and their community feeding program they are committed to rescuing, re-purposing and restoring both food and lives.

Minimizing Food Waste: 

UCI Basic Needs Center:

  • UCI students facing food insecurity and other needs
  • Fresh Pantry:
    • emergency food and toiletries to all current UCI students
    • Once per Week | One Basket Limit
    • Client-Choice Pantry - students select their own groceries
  • Emergency Meal swipes to access healthy and well-balanced meals in the UCI Dining Commons
  • ZotBites – UCI students can get text notifications to inform them about free and extra food from catered campus events:

Families Forward – (numerous volunteer opportunities)

Food pantry open to clients Monday - Thursday 10-4.  Regular volunteers process food and distribute to clients, and outside groups (faith, corporate, clubs, etc) also come in to help.  They offer 3 programs - pre-made bags of food for food clients, bags with requested items for food clients who have dietary or medical preferences, and food to clients in their housing program with a more extensive list.  Clients must live in Orange County and can come in weekly. They can adjust food to clients’ living situation (car, shelter, cooking source, frig or not). Several local stores donate produce, bread and other items.  We also receive fresh produce a couple times a week.  They are completely staffed by volunteers with food mostly provided by donations.  Our greatest needs today (10/23) are canned tuna and chicken, pasta, and canned beans (not green beans).


SHM’s Listening & Learning Committee - Recommended Resources on Food Insecurity:

How the Other Half Eats: The Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America by Priya Fielding-Singh PhD, York Whitaker, et al

From her years of field research, sociologist and ethnographer Priya Fielding-Singh brings us into the kitchens of dozens of families from varied educational, economic, and ethno-racial backgrounds to explore how - and why - we eat the way we do.


Food Justice by Robert Gottlieb & Anupama Joshi

Food Justice recounts the history of food injustices and describes current efforts to change the system and how food activism has succeeded at the highest level. This comprehensive inquiry addresses the increasing disconnect between food and culture that has resulted from our highly industrialized food system


Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

Free Lunch is the story of Rex’s efforts to navigate his first semester of sixth grade as a poor kid in a wealthy school district. It’s a true, timely, and essential work that illuminates the lived experience of poverty in America.


Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784