Congregation Beth Shalom working year-round to help those in need
By Mark Ambrogi
Congregation Beth Shalom’s stated mission is to inspire, strengthen and enrich Reform Judaism in Central Indiana.
Founded in 2010, the congregation of 80 families is dedicated to providing support in the Indianapolis area for those in need.
In late July, CBS, 4000 W. 116th St., Carmel, began collecting school supplies for Westlane Middle School in Washington Township in Indianapolis. Last year, supplies were collected for Rhoades Elementary School in Wayne Township in Indianapolis.
“Sometimes we’ll do school supplies, sometimes we’ll do coats, scarves and hats,” said Sarah Hann, recording secretary for CBS.
Several people brought supplies and monetary donations to the annual BBQ Shabbat Aug. 12 at the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville. More than 100 members were in attendance.
“Our congregation is doing more and more social action kind of events,” said Cindy Springer, past president of the congregation. “Each year, we try to do something to give to the community, that’s very important. It’s been different things each year depending on the need that has come to our attention.”
Becky Selig, chair of the social action committee, said CBS conducts food drives for Popsie’s Pantry, the food pantry run by the Jewish Federation. She said it’s the primary group the congregation supports.
“We’re always collecting something. Last year at our Hanukkah party, we collected underwear and socks for elementary students,” Selig said. “We did packing for Gleaners Food Bank in May.”
Selig said there is build date for Habitat for Humanity in September.
Selig said CBS is trying to start a new relationship with Coburn Place Safe Haven, a shelter in Indianapolis for victims of domestic violence.
“So for Halloween, we’re having a party for the kids,” Selig said. “Our brotherhood is donating pizza for it. Our sisterhood is making treat bags for the kids. We have several volunteers for different activities.”