HBT collects food year-round for Family Table. Sponsored by Jewish Family and Childrens Services, Family Table is the largest kosher food pantry in New England. Please help us keep the collection bin in the lobby full with boxes of pasta (whole-wheat is preferred) and containers of tomato sauce (Kosher certification preferred but not required).
MAZON Partner Synagogue
We support Mazon (a Jewish Response to Hunger) in many ways and encourage members to contribute as a way of sharing our joy and bounty with others. As part of the bar or bat mitzvah celebration, we ask for a family contribution to MAZON; the customary donation is 3% of the cost of food at the celebration.
Gun Violence Prevention Initiatives
HBT, as a congregation, and individual members have been actively involved in gun violence prevention initiatives in Boston, the State, and nationally. HBT supports the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence that campaigns to update and strengthen MA state laws to reduce gun violence on the streets, in our homes and in our communities. We also support grassroots community-based efforts in Boston to end violence through education and advocacy through such groups as Citizens for Safety and the Luis D. Brown Peace Institute.
Environmental Awareness & Action
Our synagogue signed the non-binding Boston Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) pledge to use more sustainable practices in our operations. We have done a number of things to improve our energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, including:
- Corey Street Farmers Market. Started in our parking lot in the summer of 2013, the first farmers market in West Roxbury. We also offered a CSA, open to the entire community. For the coming summer, the market has expanded and we are offering 4 CSA choices: two fruit and vegetable CSAs, one meat CSA and one fish CSA. This initiative has gotten support from West Roxbury Main Streets, the West Roxbury Business and Professional Association and local churches.
- Energy Efficient Lighting. Converted to CFLs.
- Improved Insulation in our newly renovated building wing.
- Recycling. We approached the City of Boston to pick up our recycling on a regular basis, despite a policy against serving non-profits. The DPW has agreed to help us (though not to change the policy) and supplied us with a city recycling bin. We are working to educate our community and make recycling more visible in the building.
- Supporters of Hazon, an organization working to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all.
Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO)
Hillel B'nai Torah was the first synagogue and the first Jewish organization to join GBIO when it was founded in 1996. GBIO is a coalition of faith-based communities that builds on relationships across divides to work together for the betterment of our city and community. In the past, GBIO has succeeded in make changes in education, health care, housing and elder care in the greater Boston area. GBIO is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF),
Jobs Not Jails Campaign
In December 2013 HBT joined the efforts of the Jobs Not Jails Campaign to demand a halt to more prison construction in the state and to fund job training and job growth programs instead. The campaign also supports abolishing mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses, passing a Minimum Wage increase and many other criminal justice reforms. HBT members collected close to 500 signatures on petitions to state legislators and participated in the statewide rally on the Boston Common on April 26th.
Human Rights Shabbat
This annual service, supported by Truah and the Diamond family, in memory of Larry M. Diamond, features texts highlighting human rights and the reading of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in place of the haftorah. The service is followed by a special Kiddush lunch and speaker. Each presentation highlights a theme chosen to illustrate a fundamental human right, and suggests ways to work towards a more just and sustainable world.