Direct Service

Social Justice Programs

We have projects for everyone and for all ages. Please find a service project that is meaningful to you.

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack is one of Temple Beth Sholom’s direct service programs which provides “backpacks” of snacks for food insecure school children right here in our Miami Beach neighborhood. Join us as we pack bags of food for children at Fienberg-Fisher K-8, North Beach Elementary and others schools with students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. These “backpacks” are delivered to each schools’ counselors, who distribute them to children in need, particularly over long weekends or school holidays when some children have limited food options. Great opportunity for kids.

Dates: December 2, February 4 (Mitzvah Day), March 9

Co-Chairs: Tiffany Hurwitz, Kelsey Levey and Marina Ganopolsky


Mazon at Chapman Partnership

Mazon is a group of volunteers whose sole mission is to provide a monthly, wholesome dinner to the residents of the Chapman Partnership who are experiencing  homelessness. We welcome you to join our many members who already experience camaraderie and satisfaction as they strive to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Please register in advance and choose the dates you wish to participate Register for Chapman Partnership

Dates: Every month on the 3rd Monday of the month, year around.

Co-Chairs: Richard French and Carolyn West

Miami Bridge with The Tribe (Young Professionals)

As part of The Tribe’s commitment to civic engagement, cultivating community, and building leadership, The Tribe has partnered with various community organizations which provide a full range of social services to those most vulnerable in our community. Young professionals are encouraged to join a volunteer day. More info is available at or by emailing

Dates: Determined on a monthly basis. 

Contact: The Tribe Program Coordinator


The Lotus House

The Lotus House is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women, youth and children who are experiencing homelessness. They provide sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower the residents to heal, learn, grow and blossom into who they are truly meant to be. Please join us for a day filled with cooking, decorating baked goods, assembling craft projects, gardening, serving meals, and a lot more. We hope you can help bring joy to the families that reside at the Lotus House. Volunteers must submit waivers prior to attending. Community service hours are available.

Dates:  September 10, March 10

September 10: We have a very special speaker, Cristina Ortega, from Modo Yoga, joining us for the first hour of the event. She is a certified yoga teacher and will lead a class for our volunteers and any residents who want to join. She will focus on stress reduction techniques, meditation, and breathing. Her teachings will include,  “How to be a Warrior, Not a Worrier”.  Beginners welcome! As always, this is a cooperative project, and we are grateful for your participation and donations. Please find the signup link below if you would like to contribute to the day. Community service hours will be awarded.

Registration LINK:

Chairs: Suzanne Meltzer

Bags of Happiness

Please join us in assembling at least 300 bags of food to benefit the students and families at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, located in Overtown, and other area schools. We will meet at the Palm Island Park on Palm Island, Miami Beach to assemble healthy food bags to help children in Pre-K through 5th grade. Most of the students come from low-income families and receive free breakfast and lunch. Participants will donate food items and help assemble the bags.

Date:  October 8, December 17, January 21, and May 19

Co-Chairs: Suzanne Meltzer


Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida believe that when you change a child’s life, you change a family’s life, which can change a community and ultimately, the world. The Ronald McDonald House supports families with children who are undergoing treatment for various illnesses. Your service will help further this vision as we provide meals for residents undergoing treatment for these life threatening illnesses. Cooking and baking projects will be organized in volunteers’ homes on the below dates. Community service hours are available.

Dates:  November 5, April 14, all at 11am.

Chair: Suzanne Meltzer and Ryan Meltzer


Giving Back to Gibson Park

Please join us for a day of fun with children ages 5-18 who attend programs at Gibson Park in Overtown. We will serve lunch, play sports, assembly craft projects, and much more.

Date: February 4 (Mitzvah Day)

Chair: Suzanne Meltzer and Ryan Meltzer

Beach, Park and Dune Clean-up

Join a dedicated group of eco-minded volunteers for beach, dune and park clean-ups in and around Miami Beach. Help to keep our city beautiful and protect the ocean and waterways for all of us and future generations. We will be working primarily with the Surfrider Foundation of Miami.

Dates: November 12, February 4 (Mitzvah Day) and April 7

Co-Chairs:  Doris Galindo and Stacy Savett


Buddy System MIA Community Refrigerator

Buddy Sytem MIA is fighting food insecurity by creating unique and innovative ways to engage our community, empowering neighbors to support neighbors, beginning with access to free, healthy food. Temple Beth Sholom, together with the Richard Sharpstein Humanitarian Fund and Buddy System MIA, are working to establish and maintain a community refrigerator in the North Beach neighborhood. We will be doing work every month to help residents in this food desert. 

Dates: to be determined

Co-Chairs: Rachel Unger and Andrea Wagner.

Exchange for Change Prison Visits

Exchange for Change offers education and communication skill-building courses to incarcerated people to amplify and bring their voices to the outside world. Through advocacy and education, Exchange for Change provides vision and understanding on both sides of the fence. Exchange for Change has partnered with the Frederick Douglass Project for Justice to bring their signature prison visitation program to South Florida prisons. Volunteers get to meet with incarcerated people and have meaningful discussions so that we can see the humanity in each other and learn that we are all created B’tzelem Elohim (in the image of God).

Dates: November 1 for Homestead Correctional Institution (women’s facility) 3 to 4:45pm. November 6 for Everglades Correctional Facility (men’s facility) from 1:30 to 4pm;

Chair: Nina Mandel