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It's In Our Hands

We take our responsibility of tikkun olam (repairing the world) seriously, and engage in numerous tzedakah (giving) projects throughout the year. HNT members, young and old, engage in a wide variety of community service projects.
Getting Involved All Year Round

Mitzvah Corps

Mitzvah Corps continues to be an active group with an outstanding core of volunteers, but more are needed to truly serve the community’s needs. Besides providing hands-on assistance and support to the HNT “family,” our ongoing projects include High Holiday outreach, Shabbat challah and wine deliveries, meal preparation, thinking-of-you cards, and visits to congregants. Do you know someone who needs a helping hand? Consider being a part of Mitzvah Corps; you will find that you are receiving much more than you are giving while providing comfort, warmth, and caring through your mitzvot. Contact Judy Ziedman at or 425-883-6482 to volunteer.


Tutor a Child…Change Their World

Join our corps of tutors helping elementary students with math and reading. No experience required, but tutors are sought who can volunteer on a regular weekly basis with one or two students. This consistency means kids and tutors can get to know and bond with one another on a schedule that works for you. Get involved by emailing Linda Krisher at


Teen Feed

Each month a dedicated crew of HNT volunteers prepares and serves meals to homeless youth in the University District. Email our Teen Feed leaders at for questions or to be added to the Teen Feed volunteer list.


Harborview Magazine Drive

HNT collects recent magazines for the waiting rooms of Harborview Medical Center. These materials provide a welcome distraction to those spending seemingly-endless hours in the waiting room. After tearing off your address, please drop current magazines in the marked basket in the Upper Foyer.


Resources for Community Outreach

The Social Action/Social Justice Committee has developed an online resource guide with a sampling of the many worthy organizations that need support. Our hope is to provide inspiration as each of us wrestles with the challenge of how we each, in our own way, make a difference in the lives of others, and by doing such, enrich our own lives immeasurably. Click here for the guide.


Making a Difference With Frankel Religious School

FRS is all about making a difference with our own two hands. From Pre-Gan (Preschool) to 8th Grade, classes work on specific mitzvah projects and regularly collect tzedakah to causes of their choice. These projects aim to give voices to the silent, see the unseen, and give back to the community. In addition to FRS and USY social action projects, our new 8th grade program, Gesher (bridge), will create two all-school mitzvah opportunities during the year to continually give back and provide for those in need.

Doing Good Month By Month
August 2019

Leschi Elementary School Projects

Many thanks to all those who contributed to our third successful year of filling over 120 grade-specific backpacks for children in need at Leschi Elementary. But there is still plenty of work to be done to help these children who are just seven miles from HNT. See page 10 for details on joining our corps of tutors by the end of October, and donating clothes in September and November to keep growing kids in weather-appropriate clothing year-round.



Back to School Kids Clothing Drive

Have a drawer or closet full of new or nearly-new clothing that your kids have outgrown? Leschi Elementary needs help filling their spare sweatpants, sweatshirts, shirts, light weight jackets, and more for K-5 students in need. Bring donations during the first week of religious school – starting at the Back to School Picnic on Sunday, September 8 through Sunday, September 15.


Congregations for the Homeless Fundraiser: 9/19

Congregations for the Homeless (CFH) strives to mitigate the pain of homelessness by providing meals and basic needs to men on the eastside. HNT has formed a special relationship with CFH by providing monthly shelter meals (see page 5). We hope to support them further by filling two tables at their annual fundraiser on September 19. Come hear first-hand accounts of the lifechanging impacts this organization has made, or make a donation, at Please email if you can join our table.


Drop Off Donations for Mitzvah Bags

Help us reach our goal of making 200 Mitzvah Bags. We need: cheese/peanut butter crackers, soft granola bars, apple sauce (pouches only), juice (pouches only), handwipes, chapstick, and handwarmers. Please drop off items in the office or donate from our wishlist at by the end of September.


Congregations for the Homeless Shelter Meals (through April)

HNT aspires to provide at least two monthly meals for 30-80 men during the colder months and one monthly meal during the summer. This is a great activity for families, friends, or your book group, and HNT will provide organizational support. It’s all done potluck-style with food you can buy or make at home, and it’s easier than you think! You choose the date for lunch or dinner that works for your group. See our guide for “How to Captain a Shelter Meal,” or email Mindy Landsman at for more details or to volunteer.



Living Outside: A Sukkot Tradition & An Everyday Reality

Join together on October 16 to share a meal in our sukkah, hear first-hand stories of overcoming homelessness, and make a direct impact. Each Sukkot, we eat and sleep outside in the sukkah as a reminder of our time as a nomadic people. However, for many, this is not a playful tradition but an everyday reality. Former clients and staff of Congregations for the Homeless will explain what it really means to sleep outside and receive lifechanging help from the kindness of strangers. Before dessert, we will assemble Mitzvah Bags (see above), which will be available for everyone to keep in their car and distribute to those in need.


JFS High Holiday Food Drive & Sort

During the High Holidays, HNT collects non-perishable food for the Jewish Family Service Polack Food Bank. Volunteers participate in the JFS Food Sort every year, loading up the food collected at HNT and joining hundreds of other volunteers at JFS to sort the food and stock the pantry. To volunteer on October 20 (RSVP required), email


Candidate Forum with League of Women Voters

Join us Wednesday, October 23 to hear from candidates for Mercer Island City Council, presented by the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization. Register to vote by October 28 at



Winter Clothing Collection for Leschi Elementary & ROOTS

Leschi Elementary School has 80 homeless children in need. ROOTS (Rising Out Of The Shadows) is a shelter for young adults, many of whom have aged out of the foster system. We’d like to give these kids and young adults clothing to keep them warm this winter: new socks, gloves, scarves, and new or nearly new winter coats.


JFS Holiday Gift Drive

Help give kids in need a happier holiday season by donating gifts through Jewish Family Service. We will provide a sign-up form with specific gifts needed which should be dropped off unwrapped. Once all the gifts have been collected, we will coordinate a ‘wrapping party’ before they are delivered. For details email



Refugee Household Collection

Jewish Family Service has 150 clients overseas who have already been extensively vetted and are awaiting resettlement in the US. These families are fleeing inhumane situations in their countries of origin, and come to the US without even basic household items. HNT is helping families by providing a full household (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and general items) upon arrival. If you would like to rally a group of your friends to sponsor one of these families, contribute to a household collection, help with our December “Packing Party,” or have questions, contact Celie & Mira Brown at


January 2020

JFS Families Fight Hunger

About 1,300 households rely on the Polack Food Bank
each month. On January 26 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, volunteer to support food bank clients by packaging food, creating personal kits, writing cards and advocating for important issues. RSVP to or (206) 861-3153.


The Sophia Way Volunteer Day

The Sophia Way is committed to helping end homelessness
for women by providing shelter, social services, and permanent housing with support. Our group will volunteer in Sophia’s Closet, the donation room at the Day Center, managing incoming donations and keeping the room organized. Sign-ups for this January project begin in December at



Jewish Community Legislative Priorities & Lobby Day

In the fall, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle will be emailing out surveys for the community to give input on public policy priorities. Please check your inbox and let your voice be heard! Then in February, we will journey to Olympia for a day of lobbying for those issues that matter most to our Jewish community.



Purim & Penne: Let Your Pasta Be Your Grogger

Are you a penne person? A macaroni maniac? A farfalle fanatic? We invite every family member to bring a box of their favorite dry pasta to use as their grogger during the Purim Shpiel on March 9. At the end of the night, drop your box in a bin for Jewish Family Service’s Polack Food Bank.


Donations to H2R: Homeless to Renter

One family disaster can lead to loss of home, due to job loss, medical bills, rent increases, domestic violence, or other issues. H2R supports families currently in shelters move into housing by providing help with deposits, move-in costs, and personal items. To fulfill the special Purim mitzvah of Matanot La’evyonim (gifts for the poor) make a donation at the Purim Shpiel on March 9.


Annual Blood Drive

This event honors the memory and last wish of Ellen Yusim z”l,
a teenage congregant whose family was sponsored by our synagogue when they resettled in Seattle from the former Soviet Union. Timeslot sign-ups for March 15 are available beginning in January at


HIAS National Refugee Shabbat

The weekend of March 20, we will learn about the global refugee crisis and recommit to putting our values into action. Shabbat services will focus on the plight of refugees. Find further details at



Eastside Baby Corner Volunteer Day

Eastside Baby Corner serves as a diaper bank, clothing bank, and food source for more than 800 kids across King County each week. HNT will be organizing a group to fill orders and sort donations of baby clothes, items and gear. Sign-ups for this April project begin in March at



Birthday Dreams Volunteer Day

Birthday Dreams is dedicated to bringing joy to homeless children with the gift of a birthday party. HNT is seeking volunteers for several birthday parties. Sign-ups for this May project begin in April at


Personal Needs Pouch Collection & Assembly

Lend a helping hand when it is needed most by donating and assembling pouches filled with toiletry items that will be donated to Harborview Medical Center for distribution to families who end up there unexpectedly. We will collect supplies at Volunteer Appreciation/Annual Meeting & Lag B’Omer in May – watch for a list of needed items. Sign-ups for this May project begin in April at



JFS Harvesting for the Food Bank

Help collect fresh produce from the Capitol Hill Farmers Market for Polack Food Bank clients on the second & fourth Sundays of the month. The Food Bank serves food insecure households in the Capitol Hill, Central District, and downtown Seattle neighborhoods; as well as vulnerable members of the Jewish community in the Puget Sound region. The Food Bank is a critical piece of the food security system for our most vulnerable community members. RSVP to or (206) 861-3153.



Swedish SummeRun & Walk for Ovarian Cancer Research

Since 1993, Swedish SummeRun has raised over $10 million towards ovarian cancer research. Each year, the HNT Athletes team gathers to participate in loving memory of HNT members Marsha Rivkin, Babs Fisher and Gail Stulberg. Money raised from the SummeRun helps the Marsha Rivkin Center in its mission to save lives and reduce suffering through improved treatment, early detection, and prevention of ovarian cancer. Donate to and/or join our team beginning in June at