Social Justice: Na'aseh

Na'aseh Social Justice at Anshe Emet

At Anshe Emet, we see tikkun olam as integral to Jewish life. Na'aseh - meaning “we will do” - is the social justice committee that helps our Anshe Emet community engage in social action and volunteer activities. Are you looking for ways to get involved and tackle issues of hunger, poverty, racism, and violence? Join us to volunteer your time as we partner with other organizations in Chicago. Our efforts are non-partisan. Sign up by clicking on one of the links below, or let us know about other ideas you have to engage our community in this important work of social justice. Together - Naaseh. We will do.

Email us at [email protected] with questions or suggestions and to subscribe to our newsletter.

Click here to join our Facebook Group. 


Jump in! Join us in any or all of the following upcoming opportunities to serve our community’s needs:

Support Refugees Resettling to Chicago. Recently Anshe Emet welcomed a refugee family to Chicago, a family of four with two small children. They are Rohingya Muslims who fled persecution in Burma (now known as Myanmar). We are sponsoring them in partnership with RefugeeOne and aiding them in everything from employment assistance to English tutoring. To stay up-to-date about ways to support them and other refugee families living in Chicago, get on our special email list by writing to [email protected].  Here are specific things you can do:

Tutor Students in English and Math at Clinton Elementary School: DeWitt Clinton Elementary in West Rogers Park is looking for a few volunteers to tutor refugee and immigrant students in math and literacy. This is the school our sponsored family’s child will attend. This volunteer opportunity is one hour per week during the school day (8:30 am-3:30 pm). To volunteer or for more information, please contact Melissa Sterne at [email protected]

Mentor or Tutor a Refugee One Family: Refugee One can use volunteers to assist families who arrive without a co-sponsor. Please complete Refugee One’s volunteer form and indicate that you are from Anshe Emet. Contact Samantha DeKoven at [email protected] with questions.

Donate: Anshe Emet now has a special fund dedicated to refugee assistance. Contributions to the Anshe Emet Refugee Resettlement Fund go toward supporting refugees and other vulnerable immigrants whom Anshe Emet has supported in resettling to Chicago. As these families often lack essential needs, your donation will make an impact in welcoming them to Chicago and helping them build their new life. The fund is listed on the Anshe Emet donation page.

For more ways to help refugees and asylum seekers in the Chicago area, you can find resources and organizations here.

Go Green. Team Yarok is Anshe Emet’s green initiative. Here are a few of the things we’re working on: 

  • A composting system 
  • Energy audits to help with our conservation efforts 
  • Community education and awareness – how each of us can serve as custodians of the world, in our homes and in our synagogue 

For more information or to get involved, please contact Isaac Elnecave.

Serve Youth Needs. Anshe Emet volunteers work with the Night Ministry every other month to provide a meal to the clients of the Youth Outreach Team.  There are opportunities to feed youth who are homeless by baking, cooking, and serving food on the street at Halsted and Belmont.  We also collect hygiene products and new warm winter gear for the Night Ministry. Please contact Janine Landow-Esser at [email protected] to participate.

Fight Hunger with JUF Uptown Cafe: Join Anshe Emet volunteers the second Monday of each month from 5:30 - 7:30 as we serve dinner to food-insecure Chicagoans at the JUF Uptown Cafe (at the EZRA Multi-service Center). Volunteers must be 16 or above (or 12 or above with a chaperone). This is a great bar and bat mitzvah project! Contact Emily Feder at [email protected] to sign up.

Teens: Tutor Elementary Students: Youth. Online. Unified. Tutor students of Bright Star Community Outreach in grades 3-5 through a weekly online session Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-5:00 pm. Bright Star families greatly value the tutoring and one-on-one attention. Anshe Emet students in grades 8-12 are invited to sign up for tutoring (and earn service hours). A few social gatherings at Anshe Emet and Bright Star will enable the students to get to know each other in person. Contact Ruth Rau [email protected] to sign up.

Prepare Taxes for Low-Income Families. Want an interesting and meaningful volunteer opportunity? Do you want to know more about the tax system? Become a volunteer tax preparer for low-income families with the Center for Economic Progress and help out approximately once a week from January - April. Online training and on-site support are provided -- no prior experience necessary! Contact Jonathan Zimbler and Emily Feder at [email protected]. The Center for Economic Progress needs volunteers to work one-on-one with low-income families to help them prepare their tax returns and receive tax refunds. This volunteer activity takes place during tax season from January through April. Members of the Anshe Emet community have helped prepare thousands of tax returns, helping families receive tax refunds and access other financial coaching offered by the Centerfor Economic Progress. Training will be held in mid-November. Contact Jonathan Zimbler with questions.

Advocate to Solve Systemic Issues. Anshe Emet is an organizational member of ONE Northside and a synagogue partner of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. Through both organizations, we have joined with other community groups to organize around local issues. Past advocacy efforts have included voter registration drives and small group meetings around particular issues such as mental health justice, clean energy, and police accountability. Contact Michellanne Li at [email protected]   for more information.

Mercaz Nediv Lev Giving Center. We support partner organizations doing important work in our community by collecting some of their most needed items in collection bins located opposite the Sisterhood Gift Shop just outside the Sanctuary. Recipient partner organizations will rotate monthly. If you would like to suggest an organization to benefit from the Mercaz Nediv Lev Giving Center, please contact Molly Sender or Zach Seeskin.

One-Time Volunteer Opportunities. Looking for other volunteer opportunities: Click here for JUF’s TOV - calendar with volunteer opportunities Mitzvah Manias offer lists of one-time volunteer opportunities throughout the city and suburbs for volunteers of all ages. Sign up and commit to one project at a time with no long-term obligation. Click here to sign up.



Samantha DeKoven, President
Zach Seeskin, Vice President
Molly Sender, Direct Service Chair
Michellanne Li, Advocacy Chair
Brett Klugman, Membership Chair
Adam Engle, Communications Chair
Rabbi David Russo, Rabbinic Liaison
Mimi Weisberg, Staff Liaison