Why Social Action?

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Hillel (Pirkei Avot Chapter 1:14)

As human beings and as Jews, we want to leave our world a better place than we entered it. The concept of tikkun olam, repairing of the world, is strongly rooted in our Jewish tradition. We as members of Temple Etz Chaim practice this by reaching out locally and globally to help ensure that future generations can enjoy the same or an even better community, country, and world than we have today.

The members of Temple Etz Chaim are active in many ongoing projects listed below.  We also organize special projects based on community need and member interest. We invite you to join us in one of our ongoing or special projects.  We welcome your ideas for projects - if you have a project you’d like to make happen, please let us know so we can help get your project off the ground and give it the support it deserves. 

We are part of a community of doers.  We ask all members to commit to 4 hours of Social Action each year. By taking the time to support or participate in just one event, you can make a difference in our tikkun olam efforts. Or, you can do it in bits and pieces. Remember, this commitment works out to just 20 minutes per month. Plus, it’s a great way to meet fellow congregants.  Help us meet our congregation-wide goal of increasing our overall involvement in the community!

We organize special projects based on community need and member interest. Join us in one of our teams, ongoing activities, and special projects. We meet monthly to plan activities and are on hiatus until this summer. For more information, contact Mark Goldstein at socialaction@templeetzchaim.org.

To get involved, learn more about the below Social Action and Interfaith Interaction programs, and share your ideas, please attend our Social Action / Interfaith Interaction monthly meetings in the conference room at 7:30 pm on the last Tuesday of the month.

Response to November 2018 Fires

A fund has been set up by the Ventura County Community Foundation to assist families impacted by the November fires. For more information and to donate, visit https://vccf.org/donate/hill-fire-and-woolsey-fire-sudden-and-urgent-needs-effort/.

The Shalom Institute / Camp JCA Shalom have provided Jewish camping experiences and meaningful adult retreats to our community for decades. The campus was significantly damaged in the recent November fires. To contribute to the rebuilding efforts, visit  https://shalominstitute.com/wildfire/relief-fund/.

Borderline Response and Support

A fund has been set up by the Ventura County Community Foundation to assist families impacted by the Borderline shootings. For more information, visit https://vccf.org/donate/make-a-donation/.

Social Action Teams

  • Visitor Welcome Team- guide those of other faiths and out-of-towners visiting Shabbat services. We are preparing a services guidebook for this.
  • Conejo Pride/LGBTQ+ Team- plan and participate in a Pride Weekend at TEC highlighting informative speakers at services in coordination with Conejo Pride on September 21, 2019.
  • Learning Seder Team- provides educational seders to other faiths in our community at their places of worship.
  • Feeding the Needy- Organized by Lynne Ktaz. Members of TEC participate with Calvary Church in feeding those less fortune or struggling one day a month.  For more information and to volunteer please contact Lynne Katz at lynnekatz@templeetzchaim.org.

  • Garden and Bird Sanctuary Team- Did you know there’s a community garden and bird sanctuary behind the temple building? Help maintain and enhance the garden and bird area behind the temple. There is also the opportunity to donate a bench or picnic table!  Please contact socialaction@templeetzchaim.org if you are interested in volunteering or want more information.

Recurring Events

  • Walk to End Genocide - The Walk to End Genocide is a community event that brings together advocates of all ages and backgrounds in one united voice to say: “we will not stand idly by while genocide and mass atrocities occur.” The Walk increases awareness of current ongoing atrocities and raises funds for Jewish World Watch to continue its work educating, advocating, and supporting projects in conflict-affected communities. To register for the walk and for more information, click here.
  • Mitzvah Day - First Sunday in November. Mitzvah Day includes multiple activities to help the world from electronics recycling to the food drive. Activities change each year. Check back for more information as it becomes available.
  • Blood Drive - Twice a year, in April and November, Temple Etz Chaim and Temple Adat Elohim come together for a Blood Drive. The next Blood Drive will be November 3, 2019. Schedule your appointment now with Debra Levine at dlevine@templeetzchaim.org.

Interfaith Interaction

A great way to meet our neighbors and learn more about ourselves

  • Prayer Breakfast at California Lutheran University- Thursday, May 2, 7:30-9:15 am. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
  • Open House at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 1600 Erbes Road, Thousand Oaks. Sunday, May 19, 3-6 pm.
  • Women's Interfaith Network- monthly meetings. 
  • Conejo Valley Refugee Welcome Team- meets occasionally. Please contact Mark Goldstein for more information about this as well as the Women's Interfaith Network.

Upcoming Events



  • Sun. 21 Jul (8:30 am - 9:15 am)

  • July


  • Mon. 22 Jul (9:15 am - 10:30 am)

    Parent and Me Classes

    Monday: Storytime Stretchers - 9:15 - 10:30. Ages 6 months and up. Story time, songs, art, outside play, and snack. Taught by Miss Nikki.

    Please contact Nikki Lelie, Parent and Me Coordinator

  • July


  • Mon. 22 Jul (7:15 pm - 7:45 pm)

  • July


  • Tue. 23 Jul (9:15 am - 10:15 am)

    Parent and Me Classes

    Tuesday: Baby and Me - 9:15 - 10:15. Ages 0-12 months. Discussion, sensory play, bubbles, songs, art and play. Taught by Miss Nikki.

    Please contact Nikki Lelie, Parent and Me Coordinator

  • July


  • Wed. 24 Jul (9:15 am - 10:30 am)

    Wednesday: Toddler Time - 9:15 - 10:30. Ages 12 months and up. Learning centers, songs, art, challah, outside play and holidays. Taught by Miss Nikki.

    Please contact Nikki Lelie, Parent and Me Coordinator

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