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Message from The Rabbi

Dear Friends,

We’re navigating Passover in a pandemic, and the themes, values and lessons of Passover resonate in new and significant ways this year—ways I’m sure our ancestors never imagined. We understand, perhaps more than ever, the importance of freedom, safety, and security.  

The Passover Haggadah contains this well-known line: “bchol dor vador chayav adam lirot et atzmo k’ilu m’Mitzrayim”: in each generation, each person is obligated to see himself or herself as though he or she personally came forth from Egypt.” In this text, we are asked to imagine ourselves as if we were living a life of slavery in Egypt, and, even more, to work to ensure all are free. Passover reminds us of primary values of Judaism:  to reach out to those who are hungry, vulnerable and isolated.

However, the pandemic has made this so hard: how can we live out our values of repairing the world while we remain in our homes?

We can. We can repair the world—from home. We’re proud to be sharing with you opportunities, challenges, and ways to advocate from home.  I know that we are ready to put our hands to work and to fill our hearts with the knowledge that we are making a difference.

Together we know that Every Day is Mitzvah Day (#everydayismitzvahday)

There are seven opportunities for you to do a mitzvah, every day,  at home.

There are two congregational challenges for us to join together – from home--  as a congregation to make even bigger change.

There are two ways to begin advocating for justice.

We’ll be adding to our website—and our Facebook page— with more opportunities and challenges.

These are complicated times and the journey will be long. 

Because Every Day Is Mitzvah Day—we are repairing the world, one mitzvah at a time.

With love—and a mitzvah—

Rabbi Allison Vann


How You Can Help:




There Are 8 Opportunities to Make a Difference While at Home

Filling an urgent need for protective face masks for CWRU Students

There is a very large number of foreign CWRU students who are unable to return at home at this time of shelter-in-place. They are presently living in and amongst the remaining student population at the university where the threat of exposure to COVID-19 is high. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, with whom we've previously partnered, has asked for volunteers to help fill the requests for protective face masks, which as you know are in short supply.


IF YOU NEED MATERIALS, THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION WILL PROVIDE THEM FOR YOU: Drive to 21600 Shaker Boulevard. The doors you need to look for are in the back of the building, near the parking lot. When walking from the parking lot to the building, the door is the one on the right side.





Greater Cleveland Foodbank

The greater Cleveland Food Bank is operating at a crisis response level, based on the unprecedented unemployment claims and economic instability. Donations are particularly helpful, and there are limited opportunities for volunteering.

Although there are a limited number of available spots, you can volunteer.

You can also donate to their virtual food drive.

Donate to the JFSA Food Pantry

Jewish Family Services Association provides a broad spectrum of services to both the Cleveland ( not just Jewish) community—from physical and mental well-being, from youth to elder, and more—JFSA’s reach is extraordinary. The JFSA Food Pantry is collecting donations for its’ food pantry to be distributed to its’ clients. The donations can be food (drop off at: 29125 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike, OH  44122, M-F between 9-4) or financial ( to help stock the pantry.

Make Masks

Based on recommendations from the CDC, wearing masks is important. Please consider making masks for members of the congregation.

Here are directions for making masks with our without a sewing machine.

A plastic bin has been placed near the front door to Temple.  If you are donating, please place the new and unused mask in the box.  If you're in need, please feel free to take one. 

WEDNESDAY EVENING (4/22): We presently have about a half a dozen masks in a bin,  just outside our front door. If you are in need of one, please swing by and help yourself to one!

Support the Cleveland Clinic's Distribution Initiatives

You can support Cleveland Clinic’s campaign for the community.

Support University Hospitals' Distribution Initiatives

You can support University Hospital’s campaign for masks and donations.

Give Blood

There’s an urgent need for blood donations.

Connect with Facilities Bound Members

The safety measures that have been extended to those who are living in facilities, such as nursing homes or assisted living, are important—and isolating. We can ease their isolation by writing letters or making cards.

We are going to focus on R.H. Myers apartments.  Currently, the residents are in "lockdown."  Their meals are brought to them and they cannot leave their apartments except to take a brief walk every day!  We can do so much to brighten their day.

There are two options:

1) You can mail or 2) you can drop off mail at a table in the entry at R.H. Myers and they will be delivered by staff.

R.H. Meyers residents
27200 Cedar Road
Beachwood, Ohio 44122

If you wish to reach out to a specific member of our community, please email Rabbi Allison Vann directly for more information.

ST-KA Is Challenging Members In Two Ways 

Share Your Mitzvot!

The list we’ve shared is just a start! What mitzvot are you doing? How are you making things a little bit better? Please share them! Inspire all of us to be better and do more!

Share them on Facebook! Don’t forget to tag your friends, tag the staff and rabbis,  and to use these hashtags:  #everydayismitzvahday #suburbantemplekolami



The pandemic has caused economic instability. How quickly can we reach our goal on our virtual drive at the Food Bank? Let’s hit that goal—and set a new one! 

When repairing the world, we look outward to the world and inward to our own community. Will you make an additional gift to support Suburban Temple-Kol Ami? 

There Are Many Ways to Advocate for Change!

Two of our favorites are below.


Voter Empowerment

The delayed primary will be mail-in only! To ensure that everyone has the ability and the knowledge to exercise their right to vote, RACOhio will be engaging in civic engagement for both the primary and the presidential election. For the primary, please visit to learn more about mail in ballots.


Greater Cleveland Congregations

Learn more about the multi-faith community organizing which has make a difference in Cleveland and recently relaunched and redoubled efforts here.



Suburban Temple- Kol Ami has been committed to Tikkkun Olam, repairing the world, since our founding in 1948. It’s central to our congregational vision and our Reform Jewish values. The Tikkun Olam committee brings together clergy, board members and members of our congregation to create opportunities for both direct service and advocacy.

The pandemic has disrupted opportunities to contribute to long-standing programs. As things "settle down" with the pandemic, we will resume our commitment to these programs. Here is what ST-KA has been involved with:

Direct Service

Over 2019-2020, our direct service has included: partnership with the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank:

  • Filling Little Free Library monthly
  • Volunteering (and having a great time!) at the Kids' Book Bank to Sip and Sort books

Mitzvah Day: Save the Date—May 3, 2020!

Cooking and/or serving dinner at Calvary Church

Get involved here


Over 2019-2020, our advocacy has included or was slated to include:

RAC Ohio: bringing together all the URJ (Reform) Congregations in Ohio to build a Jewish movement for justice in Ohio. We are coming together to speak in one united faith voice about the issues we care about including gun control, criminal justice reform, substance use disorder, and more. Our local voices make a difference!

Greater Cleveland Congregations: a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice. As a catalyst for systemic change, GCC challenges Greater Clevelanders to imagine the change we can accomplish to build a greater Cleveland for all of its residents. GCC unites people across lines of race, class, religion, and geography to promote public, private and civic sector actions which strengthen and improve the quality of life of our neighborhoods. Campaigns such as gun violence reduction, local education reform and food sustainability have gained traction in Cleveland and beyond.


To get involved, please contact Rabbi Allison Vann

January 2020 Calvary Church Dinner

ST-KA congregants helped feed 55 members of our community at the most recent Calvary Church Dinner.

December 2019 Sip and Sort





Fri, May 29 2020 6 Sivan 5780