“It is not yours to complete the task but neither are you free to desist from it” … Rabbi Tarfon
Oraynu Congregation is a group of people who believe that Judaism is more than Jewish holiday celebrations, education and culture. One of the main purposes of Judaism is to bring aid and comfort to those less fortunate than oneself.
We may wonder how we can help make our world more fair or just. If the universe is indifferent to our fate, we have to work together to bring some order into this moral chaos. We want others to enjoy the kind of dignity that we enjoy.
We need to turn words and ideas into action and commitment. We need to be generous with our time, our talents, money, energy and enthusiasm. Fortunately, we have the strength of a caring congregation to do what needs to be done.
Oraynu has always committed itself to a social justice agenda. It varies from year to year depending on human needs and the energy of our members. These activities satisfy our need to do and not just watch.
How Our Social Action Group (Tikkun Olam Oraynu) Chooses a Project
When we choose which issues to tackle, we look at 3 main areas:
Our connection to other Jews and to Israel
Our passion for human rights
Our desire to help groups at risk in our community and the world
SUPPORTING A SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY December 2015 – ongoing
Our congregation raised over $50,000 for the sponsorship of a family through both direct fundraising and our Soup It Up for Syria event held in Feb. 2016. Our Ismaili Muslim family of three – parents Lina and Tamer, and their 10 year old son Nour – was assigned to us through Jewish Immigrant Aid Services. The family arrived on Nov. 24th and were welcomed by several Oraynu members. Many other members got to meet them on Sunday November 27th when they joined us to view the “Syria: A Living History” exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum. It was a very moving experience for all to finally witness their arrival, after all they have endured, both in Syria and in Turkey where they were waiting to be approved for immigration. We will be providing not only financial support, but also material assistance to help them settle in. Here’s a photo of the Oraynu-niks greeting Lina, Tamer and Nour at the airport:
Here is a note sent to our Rabbi by Thanaa, the sister of the family, just prior to Passover:
“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.” — Morris Joseph
It is ever so fitting that the Festival of Freedom has you and your community fulfilling the freedom and rights of those who are suffering today. You have taken your history and the suffering of your people, and made every effort to ensure that human beings may not suffer in any way. May you always be blessed with happiness, prosperity, peace, and good health on Pesach and always!
Past Fundraising Initiatives
Na’amat Canada’s Shalom Daycare in Jaffa, Israel where children from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze families learn and play together, fostering co-existence without barriers.
Out of the Cold — providing meals and overnight shelter for the homeless during the winter. Click here for more information.
Pencils for Kids (P4K) — providing scholarships for girls in Niger to attend school for one year (uniforms, books, supplies, tutoring, and money for food)
Solar Cooker Project — helping the women and children of Darfur through purchase of Solar Cookers, a project of Jewish World Watch.
Collection of new toys, craft materials and candies for autistic children in Eilat.
Collection of Kosher for Passover food in aid of the National Council of Jewish Women’s annual drive
Collection, preparation and distribution of packages of women’s toiletry items to women’s shelters
Collection of Chanukah gifts for Jewish Family and Child Services
Collection of food and clothing for Ve’ahavta which distributes to the homeless in Toronto
Donation of used inkjet cartridges to Israel Ink
Fundraising for Magen David Adom, Jewish National Fund, Beit Halochem, Givat Haviva, Na’amat, New Israel Fund and more,
Promoting awareness of media bias against Israel
Buying Jewish products to help the Israeli economy
Education about Israel
Annual Walk with Israel
Statement on Israel
Participation in UJA Telethon
Support statement for FAST (Fighting Anti-Semitism Together), a group of non-Jewish business leaders speaking out against anti-Semitism in Canada
We reach out to Oraynu members to form a committee. Write letters, collect money, donate items, do hands-on work.
We find groups to work with e.g. Ve’ahavta: The Canadian Jewish Humanitarian Relief Committee, UJA Federation, The Society for Humanistic Judaism, Canadian charities
- We invite you to stand with Oraynu members on these issues.
- We invite you get become involved with your whole family.
- We invite you to celebrate the human spirit and better the lives of people who are at risk, in need or weak.
- Raise your voice. Raise some money. Join an Oraynu committee.
You will ennoble yourself and others. That’s what being Jewish is all about, isn’t it?
Contact us for more information