Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Members of Albuquerque Synagogues Serve Meals at Homeless Shelters on Christmas Day

By Michelle Radden-Vogler

For the past four years, members of several Jewish synagogues in Albuquerque; Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Temple Albert and B’nai Israel, have been preparing and serving breakfast meals to homeless people in our community on Christmas day and Easter Sunday. Volunteers from many different faith communities in Albuquerque also participate.

This year, Nahalat Shalom hosted the meal at the Good Shepherd Center and Congregation Albert prepared and served breakfast at St. Martin's Hospitality (in much of the same manner as on Christmas Day, 2014)

As members of the Jewish community we are providing this service so that those Christians who regularly work at the Good Shepherd Center have the opportunity to celebrate these important holidays with their families or in ways that are meaningful to them.

We are also participating in the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew term defined as ‘acts of kindness through human actions that help to repair the world’. Through these actions we seek to transform our broken world so that it reflect the divine values of justice and compassion.

The challenges of hunger, homelessness and poverty are huge issues that must involve all of us- from different faith communities and belief systems—in fact from every aspect of society.

We are grateful to be part of these efforts within our community as well as the many social justice projects affecting our world today.

The photos in this blog post were taken on Christmas day 2015 at Good Shepherd Homeless Center. The center, located in downtown Albuquerque, serves over 300 meals every day of the year to people in need. Brother Gerard Sullivan and all the fine members of the Center provide a variety of programs that assist people in lifting themselves out of homelessness and poverty.

The author is a member of Nahalat Shalom and a participant in the Interfaith Hunger Coalition.

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