Social Action

Social Action

CBI Supports Ukraine and Refugees Around the World

On his April 10-14 mission to Krakow, Rabbi Cahana hopes to deliver five duffle bags of baby formula, disinfectants and antiseptics along with funds donated by the CBI community. Please click here for details, updates, and to contribute.

As part of our commitment to welcome the stranger, Social Action funds are allocated to organizations that work internationally and locally to support refugees and asylum seekers.  

Generous donations to our Social Action Funds have allowed us to make allocations this year to the following organizations doing humanitarian work to support the people of Ukraine, refugees from around the world and  the many recent arrivals in our community from Afghanistan. 
World Central Kitchen  (for Ukrainian food support) – $10,000
HIAS -$1,500
IRCO – $1,500
Refugee Care Collective -$1,500
Portland Refugee Support Group  -$1,500

WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood and CBI have an ongoing collection of period products (pads preferred) to be donated to the Somali American Council of Oregon. Look for the collection bins on campus. 

Interested in CBI Social Action and Immigration Justice?



January 2022 Social Action Tribute Funds Allocations

From the General Social Action Fund:

January 2022

HIAS  (Formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)              $1,500
IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization   $1,500 

From Food Fund:

January 2022

Blanchet House                                            $2,500
Mealsonus PDX                                            $1,500
Portland Backpack                                        $1,500
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center        $1,000
Native American Rehabilitation Association   $1,000
Stone Soup PDX                                             $500
Urban Gleaners   

Robert Peltz (z”l) High Holidays Funds for Food Drive – 5782

This year’s drive raised $25,044, thanks to the generosity of 288 donors. 
The following organizations were recipients of these funds:
Oregon Food Bank – $5,044
Lift Urban Portland – $5,000
Immigrant and Refugee Community Org (IRCO) – $4,000
Sunshine Division – $2,500
NARA NW – $2,500
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center – $2,500
NE Emergency Food Program – $1,500
Stone Soup PDX – $1,000
Urban Gleaners – $1,000

Gun Violence Prevention: Opportunities to Participate

Lift Every Voice Oregon’s two initiative petitions (IP17, IP18) to reduce gun violence have cleared the OR Supreme Court’s review of the ballot titles.

We are ready to start the final phase of signature gathering to move these measures to the Oregon November 2022 Ballot.

Taken together, IP17 and IP18 would ban the manufacturing and sales of semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines with an exception for use in law enforcement or the military.

Other components of the measures include requirements for passing a background check, completing safety training and obtaining a license before purchase of a gun.

More information is at

Want to help? Please email us at

Winter Coat Drive 

Leading up to and throughout the Chanukah holiday, CBI’s Social Action Committee will be holding a winter coat drive for the Refugee Care Collective. Drop off new or gently-used winter coats of any size at Rabbi Joseph’s Chanukah Open House on Monday, November 29, CBI’s Chanukah Family Celebration and Shabbat Evening Service on Friday, December 3, or Religious School on Sunday, December 5 or Sunday, December 12. Donations are also welcome at the Schnitzer Family Center during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM). Ring the bell to be let in and look for the collection bins at the base of the stairs.

Refugee “Restart Kits”

The Oregon Jewish Museum and Holocaust Resource Center and Jewish Federation of Greater Portland are partnering with the Refugee Care Collective to collect “Restart Kits” for newly arrived Afghans

Religious Action Center 

Announcing the launch of the Reform Movement’s 2021 Racial Justice Campaign: What You Need to Know.

Past Events 

21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

How do you go from being not racist to being antiracist? CBI’s Social Action Committee, Adult Education Committee and WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood Social Action invite you to participate in a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge to better understand how racial inequity and social injustice impacts our community. To participate

  • simply select and engage in a daily task from the 21-Day Challenge website, such as
    • reading an article
    • listening to a podcast
    • watching a video
    • reflecting on personal experiences.
  • Choose the time commitment that works for you from 5 minutes to 30 minutes each day.

By addressing issues of race, power, privilege and leadership we can connect with others to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.=

Click here to sign up for the 21-Day Equity Challenge

Click here to let us know you plan to participate

The 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (#BlackMind) and co-developed with Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick (#DiverseSolutions). The plan has been adopted by Organizations, Associations and Corporations all over the nation/world. Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. is the Director of the Privilege Institute in Green Bay, WI. Dr. Moore created the Challenge to not only help people better understand issues surrounding equity, inclusion, privilege, leadership and supremacy, but also to do so in a way that would build a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days. We are excited to be offering you this 21-DayChallenge in partnership with Dr. Moore. As you engage in the various activities over the next 21 days, be sure to tag, comment, and follow (1) 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge | Facebook

Congregation Beth Israel’s Social Action Committee works with Rabbi Joseph to promote social justice and set priorities for CBI’s call to action through programming and volunteer opportunities. This group provides a myriad of programs that support causes through education, advocacy, direct service, and interfaith coalition building. This committee is only open to members of CBI.

Social Action Tribute Funds 

The Social Action Committee is responsible for recommending allocations from the Social Action Tribute Funds to the CBI Board.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic we have allocated over $100,000.   Most of these funds have been directed to  organizations that have pivoted their activities to meet immediate increased needs (especially food insecurity) related to the Pandemic. The CBI Board approved the following allocations.

Social Action Tribute Fund Allocations

From the General Social Action Fund:

January 2022

HIAS  (Formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)              $1,500
IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization   $1,500 

From Food Fund:

January 2022

Blanchet House                                            $2,500
Mealsonus PDX                                            $1,500
Portland Backpack                                        $1,500
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center        $1,000
Native American Rehabilitation Association   $1,000
Stone Soup PDX                                             $500
Urban Gleaners                                               $500   

April 2021

Mercy Connections – $2,000
Lift Urban Portland -$2,500
Sunshine Pantry -$2,500

March 2021

Urban Gleaners – $1,000

February 2021

Blanchet House – $2,000
Sunshine Pantry – $1,000
Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA) – $1,000
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization  (IRCO) -$1,000

January 2021

Blanchet House –  $2,000
Oregon Food Bank – $1,000


Lift Urban Portland – $2500
Sunshine Pantry – $2500
Urban Gleaners – $2500
Northeast Emergency Food Pantry – $2500
Portland Backpack Project –  $ 1,000
Urban Gleaners – $ 3,000
Oregon Food Bank – $ 8,000
Stone Soup  PDX – $ 2,000
Lift Urban Portland – $ 2,500

From General Social Action Tribute Fund:

April 2021

Black Resilience Fund –  $1,000
Cascadia Clusters – $2,000
Stone Soup PDX – $3,000
Sunshine Division – $2,000
Northeast Emergency Food Program – $1,500
CODA – $1,500

March  2021

Rose Haven Shelter for Women and Children -$3,000

January 2021

North By Northeast Community Health Center – $1,000
Interfaith Alliance on Poverty -$500
Lift Urban Portland  (Holiday Gifts) – $300
Holiday Gifts for NW Towers Kids – $333


Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (for Every Voice, Every Vote) – $700
Partners for Hunger Free Oregon – $ 5,000
HIAS (Humanitarian Aid and Advocacy for Refugees) –$ 7,500
CODA (Treatment for Substance Abuse Disorders) – $ 1,000
Rose Haven  (Day Shelter for Women and Children)   $ 2,000

More information about these organizations and the work they are currently doing is available in the Social Action content on the CBI website.



Brit Olam

CBI is a Brit Olam (Covenant with our World) committed congregation, joining over 200 other Reform Congregations in linked social justice work.


Connect with Social Action at CBI

Our Beth Israel Community has a full slate of social action activities, from direct service to advocacy, that reflects our social justice teachings.

Your help is needed. Volunteer for an event or ongoing activity, or to help with the development and implementation of new programs. Participation in the Social Action Committee is open to all congregants. The following is a description of some of our programs.

The Social Action Committee welcomes requests for allocations from the Social Action Food Fund, Robert Peltz (z”l) High Holidays Funds for Food, and the Social Action General Tribute Fund. Please click to learn more and to submit a request.

Even in this time of physical distancing, we have ongoing projects to support our community. We continue our neighbors at NW Towers, including assisting with the resident-run food pantry.

With a long list of activities, there are always opportunities to help our community. These projects are open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.

Click here for opportunities to volunteer.



Questions about how you can get involved with the Social Action Committee? Email or call Program and Communications Coordinator Tracy Manaster Alifanz at (503) 222-1069 to learn how you can make a difference!