Descriptions of successful congregational programs
Rabbi's Message - Shedding Light in Tough Economic Times
Temple Solel - Paradise Valley, AZ - December 2008
As we approach Chanukah - The Festival of Lights - this month, we know there are many in the Solel community and beyond who are struggling in these tough economic times. It's in the recitation of prayers, the observance of rituals and the celebration of holidays that we are reminded of our power to shed light in the dark places. Over and over again Judaism reinforces our responsibility to step from the sidelines onto the playing field. We are forbidden to remain indifferent to the plight of others - known or unknown.
One way to step onto the playing field begins Sunday, December 7, at 10:30 am at Solel's Boker Tov Bistro. Under Scott Tucker's leadership (hatched in Solel's membership Committee and in partnership with the Social Action Committee) will be an employment networking opportunity. Temple Solel's Harvey Wasserman will be on board to begin a conversation and provide some nuts-and-bolts strategies for networking and resumes.
The role of the shamash, the helping candle, couldn't reflect more beautifully our own power to shed light. It is the one shamash candle each night that provides the light for the other candles. The light from the shamash is never diminished by sharing its light. On the contrary, with this one light, more light is created each night. May this be so with our own lives. Let's look for ways to reach out to those in our community. Helping someone get back on their feet through a job is considered the most powerful form of tzedakah in Jewish tradition. Let's bring the Chanukah spirit to light in our community!
~Rabbi John Linder
Coping with Job Transitions during Times of Stress
Shalom Center, Temple Chai, Phoenix
For several years, Temple Chai's Shalom Center provided a bi-monthly support group called "Job Transitions Networking and Education for the Changing Workplace" for people out of work, seeking to change jobs or careers, re-entering the job market, or assessing new job possibilities. Experts in the field of job and career transitions volunteered their time to speak to the group to assist people in enhancing their skills and knowledge in the areas of job search techniques, financial planning in transition, and maintaining and enhancing one's mental and physical health and/or spiritual needs. We began each session with a Jewish prayer or reading for uplifting our spirits and building community. In addition to these sessions, we developed, promoted, and provided a one-day conference on May 15, 2005 open to the entire Jewish community covering topics listed above plus information on marketplace changes in Arizona.
Over the past few years, we have teamed with the Scottsdale Job Network to provide sessions twice a month. This non-profit organization is comprised of business leaders and volunteers. The Scottsdale Job Network provides education in the job search process and all attendees have the opportunity to meet with people who offer support and guidance during employment transition.
We recently held a workshop, "Peace in the Home during Job Transition," to address and help mitigate the impact of unemployment on couples and families. The facilitators emphasized the importance of quality, regular, and predictable time for the couples; heartfelt listening during vulnerable times; scheduling time for fun and learning together; and mastering acknowledgement and appreciation.
For more information, contact Sharona Silverman, MPH at the Shalom Center, Temple Chai at 602.971.1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.