Social Action

ואהבת לו כמוך כי גרים הייתם בארץ מצרים
"You shall love the stranger as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" - Leviticus 19:34

TBA has a number of committees working toward Tikkun Olam & Social Justice. Choose a cause that is meaningful to you and join us!
Click on each tab to learn more.

Jewish World Watch

Temple Beth Am is a member synagogue of Jewish World Watch, working to end genocide and mass atrocities worldwide by educating and mobilizing individuals, advocating for policy changes, and funding projects to support and build resilience in conflict-affected communities. Contact Dianne Shershow for more information.


Temple Beth Am is a member organization of One-LA, a network of religious and non-profits across LA County committed to building relational power and exercising that power to strengthen our communities and bring about a more just society. Contact Nancy Goldstone or Paula Pearlman for more information.

Refugee Taskforce

Temple Beth Am is a member of the HIAS Welcome Campaign to educate the public about refugees, advocate with elected officials, and take direct action to support refugees settling in Southern California, in partnership with other synagogues and nonprofits. Opportunities to advocate, educate, or act on refugee issues available HERE. Contact Tyson Roberts for more information about the Taskforce.

The Giving Spirit & Operation PB&J

Temple Beth Am assembles and distributes survival kits to the homeless during the Winter Holidays (with The Giving Spirit) and at Purim (Operation PB&J). Contact: Dianne Shershow for more information.

Pressman Academy Hesed Committee

The Hesed Committee provides support and assistance for families in need within the Pressman community and beyond. Contact Susie Pretsky for more information.

ECC Social Action Committee

The ECC invites families to participate in social action activities to build community and help others. Contact Dorit Shub for more information.

Teen Council Tikkun Olam

Temple Beth’s Teen Council includes Tikkun Olam and Social Action activities among its programs. Contact Reut Sklar for more information.

Habitat for Humanity

Temple Beth Am is part of the Habitat Jewish Coalition, working to help local families in need of housing. Contact Dianne Shershow for more information.


Become a mentor! Imagine LA is a non-profit Family Empowerment and Mentorship Program that provides mentors to families who have exited homelessness, and are on their journey to self-sufficiency. Contact Lia Mandelbaum for more information.

Reading Partners

Volunteer - You can make a lifelong impact on a child struggling with reading

  • Give as little as one hour per week. We welcome more!
  • Flexible weekday volunteer times are available
  • Follow a highly effective, structured and easy-to-use curriculum
  • No formal teaching experience required

    Reading Partners currently serves 100 students in Los Angeles. We transform an empty space of our partner schools into a functioning reading center, providing a positive learning space for students and their volunteer reading partners.

    Carthay Center Elementary - 6351 W. Olympic Boulevard
    Saturn Street Elementary - 5360 Saturn Street
    Wilshire Crest Elementary - 5241 W. Olympic Boulevard

    Our volunteers provide one-on-one reading support each week for one hour, on a set schedule. All reading centers come equipped with the materials and on-site support volunteers need to provide quality tutoring.

    Each session follows our step-by-step curriculum. Here’s how most sessions go:
    1. Prep (sign-in, review materials, talk to site coordinator, etc.)
    2. Tutor read aloud
    3. Review reading skills and/or introduce new reading skill
    4. Student read aloud


    Please visit our website at or email us at

    Pressman Academy Tikkun Olam

    Tikkun Olam is part of the Pressman Academy curriculum at all levels. Students in each grade, K-5, select a nonprofit to support during the year, such as SOVA, Tomchei Shabbos, or Friends of the IDF. Students in the middle school pass out gift cards, water, and cookies to the local homeless population multiple times each year, and make and serve food to the homeless for Sukkot, Purim, and Thanksgiving. Middle school students also volunteer with a number of nonprofits, such as PATH and the Friendship Circle, as part of the Got Mitzvah program.

    Interfaith Programming

    Temple Beth Am and Pressman Academy each organize a number of interfaith programs over the course of the year, for the TBA membership or for Pressman students. Events in recent years have included hosting Iftar meals in partnership with the Pacifica Institute. The Islah Academy-Pressman Partnership gives Muslim and Jewish students an opportunity to meet and learn from each other multiple times over the course of the school year.

    Social Action Calendar

    Donation Drives

    Ongoing: Food for SOVA

    DONATE FOOD to local families in need through SOVA. Please bring canned meat, tuna, peanut butter, or other canned or dry foods and put them in the SOVA bins downstairs at Temple Beth Am.

    November 2018: Gifts for Locally Settled Families

    Buy a gift for former refugee families settled in Los Angeles or San Diego! Miry's List describes a variety of local refugee families who are in need of specific items. Take a look and see if there are any items you would like to shop for to help refugees in the Southern California area. Because of high rent costs in Los Angeles, many more former refugee families are settled in San Diego rather than in the LA area. Help these families celebrate the holidays by sending gift cards, for delivery before December 9, to the address below. You can make a note that you'd like the card(s) to go to a refugee family. Jewish Family Service of San Diego ATTN: Embrace-a-Family 8804 Balboa Ave. San Diego, CA 92123

    November 2018: Thanksgiving Bags

    We are partnering with LA FAMILY HOUSING to help families in need celebrate the holiday. They will DISTRIBUTE the Thanksgiving bags we put together!!! It’s easy:

    1.Drop off Thanksgiving-appropriate items (cans of vegetables and cranberries, boxes of corn bread mix and potato spuds, etc.) in a re-useable grocery bag in the Social Action bins in the downstairs lobby by SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

    2.Include $20 Gift Card for the turkey (Ralphs Gift Cards are available at the TBA Gift Shop)

    3.Optional: A Thanksgiving Greeting Card.

    Contact Jo Ann at with any questions

    Make Thanksgiving a Bountiful Day for All

    December 2018: Clothing Drive for MLK Day

    Please help us to collect and sort clothes for women, men, boys & girls of all ages and all sizes. New and gently-used work clothes, casual clothes, warm clothes& coats, and athletic wear are all needed. New socks and underwear are greatly appreciated, too!

    February 2019: Baby2Baby

    Do you have baby stuff lying around your house, but no baby? Our Social Action Committee has arranged to have a baby2baby collection bin downstairs. Get your spring cleaning done while doing good at the same time!

    March- April 2019: Tiyya & Save the Syrian Children

    We are collecting diapers for locally-settled former refugee families, in partnership with Tiyya, and medical and other essential supplies for to help families and children trapped in the civil war in Syria, in partnership with Save the Syrian Children.

    The Social Action Committee
    Jo Ann Colker-Arison, TBA Board Member
    Michael Becker, TBA Board Member
    Nancy Goldstone, One LA

    Joanna Kasirer, Pressman ECC Parent Association
    Lia Mandelbaum, TBA Director of Programming & Engagement
    Amir Orbach, JLC Director
    Paula Pearlman, One LA
    Susie Pretsky, Pressman Hesed Committee
    Tyson Roberts, Refugee Taskforce
    Kathy Rosenblatt, Refugee Taskforce
    Rabbi Matt Shapiro, TBA Clergy
    Dianne Shershow, JWW/Operation PB&J/Habitat for Humanity
    Reut Sklar, TBA Teen Council
    Rabbi Chaim Tureff, Pressman Academy

    Quick Contacts

    Lia Mandelbaum

    Titles: Director of Programming and Engagement
    Phone Numbers:
    Work: 310-652-7354 ext. 215

    Ariana Shane

    Titles: Membership Coordinator, Assistant to the Executive Director
    Phone Numbers:
    Work: 310-652-7354 ext. 223