Sign In Forgot Password

Social Justice Team

About The Social Justice Team

Temple Israel Columbus has been actively involved in Tikkun Olam within the congregation and in the community at large for a long time. Throughout the pandemic, volunteers found ways to continue their work serving people in need and advocating for issues we care about. 

The Social Justice Team (SJT) is a group of volunteers who coordinate and support work in the community. This work is grouped into five categories: Mitzvah Angels, Tikkunapalooza, SJT Partnerships, RAC-Ohio, and Diversity & Inclusion.

  • Mitzvah Angels collect and distribute clothes, food, and other supplies needed by people and organizations, such as Broadleigh Elementary School.
  • Tikkunapalooza annually provides volunteers with a day of service opportunities in the community.
  • SJT Partnerships include ongoing volunteer activities, including sharing lunches with residents at Maryhaven, baking and providing challah for Jordan’s Crossing, and feeding neighbors at the Hilltop Community Worship Center.
  • RAC-Ohio and SJT partner to coordinate public policy advocacy activities, such as letter-writing, calling on legislators, and education related to public policies that have been identified by the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) and local congregations.
  • Given changes in congregational and community demographics—nationally and locally—Diversity and Inclusion work was recently adopted as an new and important SJT commitment. We are in the process of clarifying how we will act on this commitment.

Throughout the year, SJT will provide information about the issues and activities we are focused on, as well as information about volunteer opportunities. Look for this information during services, in the Tikkun, and on the Temple Israel Columbus website.

If you are interested in joining the work of the SJT, contact Chris Kloth at


Volunteer at Maryhaven!
Join fellow congregants in monthly projects to help the clients at  Maryhaven, a treatment and recovery center in Columbus.  Sign up here!

The Social Justice Team is currently collecting toiletries for Maryhaven's Women in Recovery. Articles include shower soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes. You can bring them to the JCC on Friday evenings and drop them in the collection bins at the back of room 218.

Background Resources

Background and Resources

Background from the Franklin County Opioid Action Plan:

“The opiate epidemic is eroding the quality of life for Franklin County residents. This public health crisis is killing our residents and devastating families. It is impacting every sector of our economy, including healthcare, education, business and local governments.

“There are many social factors that increase a person’s risk of becoming addicted to a substance, including but not limited to poverty, homelessness, unemployment and trauma. However, there are three major factors that caused the opiate problem to shift to a crisis throughout our entire community. These are:

1. Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Drugs

2. Resurgence of Heroin

a. As prescription pain pills were getting more difficult to get with the crackdown on pill mills and overprescribing, people were turning to heroin which was cheaper and easier to get.

3. Introduction of Synthetic Opiates

a. Examples of synthetic opiates are fentanyl and carfentanil. Although heroin use and fentanyl are not new phenomena, the scale of the problem has increased dramatically, particularly due to the increasing prevalence of fentanyl in the U.S. and the Midwest specifically.

“Ohio has been especially hard hit by the epidemic. On average, eight people in Ohio die every day from an overdose. For the ninth year in a row, unintentional drug overdose remains the leading cause of injury-related deaths for Ohioans. The increase in overdose deaths continues to be driven by the prevalence of fentanyl in many parts of the state, with 1,155 people dying in 2015 attributed to fentanyl, an increase from 503 people in 2014.

 “In 2016, 353 people died in Franklin County due to an accidental drug overdose.  Over the past five years, the number of people who died from an accidental drug overdose increased by 71%.”

Treatment:  For 24-hour-a-day mental health and substance abuse crisis and assessment services, contact NetCare Access.  Other links to treatment are available here

Naloxone/Overdose Reversal:  For information on obtaining Naloxone (for emergency overdose reversal), visit here.

Talking to Your Kids:  For tips on talking to your kids about addiction, visit here.   

Person-Centered Language:  Using person-centered language can help to address the harmful stigma and stereotypes often associated with addiction.  For more, visit Shatterproof

News Reports:  Special reports on the heroin epidemic by the Columbus Dispatch and Cincinnati Enquirer

Drug Street Names: Rehab Spot

A Jewish Response to the Addiction Crisis:  Rabbi Mars’s 2018 Rosh Hashanah sermon.

Financial Assistance for Those Recovering From Addiction:

Cost of Rehab 

Last year, we received countless inquiries regarding drug/alcohol abuse. All across the US, there are large increases in alcohol-related hospital visits and deaths. Here are great links for alcohol addiction:


Fri, March 24 2023 2 Nisan 5783