Social Action

The 2017 Ojai Valley Winter Shelter Program

The Ojai Valley Winter Shelter is manned by us on the first Monday of each month, December through March. 

It is truly amazing what can be done for those less fortunate when we work together as a group.

If you want to volunteer, please contact me so I can schedule you in.  

John Gottesman


Join our Social Action Committee

The Social Action Committee was formed to create projects that benefit the general community and to participate in ongoing social action projects led by other local groups. Along with active project participation we plan to add an educational component to inform the congregation about the teachings of Judaism as they relate to social justice and action. For more information, please send an email to Howard Hoos 

Help of Ojai Can Use Your Help

The Community Assistance Program (C.A.P.) of Help of Ojai offers free produce to low income individuals and families in the Ojai Valley. They can use any donations of perishables on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Donations can be brought to the C.A.P. office at 108 Fox Street between 8:15 am and 8:30 am. Ask for Karen Kaminsky. Your thoughtful donations will be greatly appreciated.

In our first outing this 2017 season we served meals to 20 guests including 4 children. All our regular volunteers showed up in force and very little food was left over.

Thank yous go out to Michael Shapiro for his fruit and vegetable platters, Patty Gritlefeld for her salad and dinner rolls, John and Pat Allen for their vegetarian fare, Evy Rosen for her scrumptious deserts and my wife Suria for her main dish.

If you missed our Friday night service with a talk on the Homeless situation, a lot of good information was imparted by Pastor Lyn Thomas of The Wesleyan Church who is on the Board of Directors of the Ojai Valley Winter Shelter. Howard Hoos and John Allen had a lively discussion about the need in this valley for low income housing. I gave a brief history of our Temple's involvement in feeding the Homeless. We were advised about many needs of the Ojai Valley Winter Shelter and it was decided that we have enough donors to our immediate program and that we should donate to the Winter Shelter.

Sheila Cohn officiated over the service and read a very poignant passage from the bible concerning tzedakah. hopefully we have all reached the level that we help without reservation. Actor Kirk Douglas would remind us that "you haven't lived until you give.

John Gottesman

In our second serving, we welcomed new help from Howard and Irene Hoos. Their Vegetarian Lasagna was a sellout. Our continuing helpers shined as usual. Michael Shapiro gave everyone an extra helping of vegetables and fruit. Patty Gritlefeld dished out her salad and rolls,
My wife Suria made a chicken pot pie without the crust and mashed potatoes. As Rick Rain, the shelters director, so aptly put it, they received their monthly dose of matzo ball soup courtesy of me and Evy Rosen capped off the evening wither sumptuous carrot cake.

Thanks once again to everyone who contributes to this worthwhile cause.

In our third outing we had some old and new volunteers to fill out our ranks and we served 29 guests.

Michael Shapiro continued with his fruit and vegetable trays while Adamm Gritlefeld filled in for his wife Patty with Salad and Rolls. My wife Suria made Me atloaf and Mashed potatoes and I made my usual Matzoball soup.Evy Rosen baked Carrot and Red Velvet cakes for our guests and when she served them there was a lot of notable surprise. Helen Salmon and her son Ben Josef donated milk, bread and jelly and helped make the bag lunches we hand out and our newest volunteer was Kate Goldstein who supplied the vegetarian entree. 

As always we were cheered and thanked for our food and I thanked our guests for letting us serve them. It is always a pleasure to run this program and on behalf of all the volunteers, thank you for your continued support.


March 6, 2017

Our final serving this year was met with good cheer and we welcomed a new helper. 

Michael Shapiro brought his fruit and vegetable platters and Patty Gritlefeld brought salad and rolls, and my wife Suria made the main course of spaghetti and meatballs with a side of vegetables while I made the matzo ball soup.

And we welcomed Jerry Hittleman who made Vegetarian Lasagna, which was a sellout! Last but not least, Evy Rosen brought her exotic deserts which included Avocado pie!

We were also privileged to meet the new rector and his wife of Saint Andrews Church, Greg and Joy Kimura.  

We continually thank Saint Andrews for letting us host at their facility and thank you all who donate to this program to keep it going.

There aren’t words to express how grateful I am for being able to facilitate this worthy cause.