Social Action

The 2018-19 Ojai Valley Winter Shelter Program

The Ojai Valley Winter Shelter is manned by us on the first Monday of each month, December through March. 

It is truly amazing what can be done for those less fortunate when we work together as a group.

If you want to volunteer, please contact me so I can schedule you in.  

John Gottesman


Join our Social Action Committee

The Social Action Committee was formed to create projects that benefit the general community and to participate in ongoing social action projects led by other local groups. Along with active project participation we plan to add an educational component to inform the congregation about the teachings of Judaism as they relate to social justice and action. For more information, please send an email to John Gottesman.

Interested in Community Service? Here's another opportunity...

I am Sandy G., a member of the JCO Social Action Committee I'm also a volunteer at CAP (Community Assistance Program), part of Help of Ojai. The CAP office is located at 108 Fox Street. CAP has volunteer opportunities in two areas:

1. Front Desk Receptionist. Answer the phones, getting food boxes for walk-in clients from our food pantry, explaining our other services to walk-ins, etc. There are two shifts:

Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (3 ½ hour shift) and Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (3 hour shift). CAP would be grateful if anyone would just take one shift of 3 hours once a week.

 2. Farmer’s Market volunteers. Some of the farmers donate their leftover produce to CAP. There is a BIG need for volunteers to pick up the food from the Market on Sundays and drop off to the CAP office on Fox Street. This would be a commitment of two hours, from noon until 2 p.m. every other Sunday.  

 This is a wonderful opportunity to do Tikun Olam service for our community, to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I know that I feel so fulfilled, like I really made a difference, at the end of my volunteer work day. Won’t you please consider lending a helping hand. Please feel free to call me at 805-836-5013 if you would like more information about volunteer opportunities or where to sign up. Thank you, Sandy G
This time of year we do our part to help those less fortunate than us by feeding the Homeless through the Ojai Valley Winter Shelter 

This year we were reminded that on our first serving last year the Thomas Fire had broken out and it was also Blue Full Moon. As we were leaving that night we saw flames but just thought it was a house fire.  

It gives pause and reminds us to count our blessings. 

This year we not only welcomed our regular volunteers (Michael Shapiro, Patty Gritlefeld, Evy Rosen, my wife Suria and myself, but along for the ride were new Temple Members Mandy Cisler & Lawrence Joselowsky. 

Michael brought his usual vegetable and fruit plates, Patty, her salad and rolls. Suria, the main dish, Evy , delicious cobbler, and Mandy and Lawrence surprised us with Ice cream cakes and cookies! 

We fed about 25 guests and Rick Raines, the head coordinator, thanked us for our long standing service. 

Thank you for your continued support of our program. 


January 7...Last night we feed around 35 guests which is a record for us and luckily we had enough food.

Thanks as always to Michael Shapiro, Patty Gritlefeld, my wife Suria and Evy Rosen. In addition Noah Schrewe (soon to be Bar Mitzvahed at our Temple) assisted.

Noah gave a wonderful melodious rendition of the “Ha Motzi” blessing.

February 4th was our third scheduled night to provide food at the Ojai Winter Shelter program. We fed around 25 guests.

Thanks as always to Michael Shapiro, Patty Gritlefeld and my wife Suria. We would like to welcome back Helen Salmon and her son Ben Joseph. 

They provided the fruit salad for dessert and assistance throughout the evening. Noah Schrewe provided the eggplant Parmesan for our vegetarian guests. 

He also gave his melodious rendition of the “Ha Motzi” blessing and assistance throughout the evening.

Thanks as always for everyone’s support for this program.


Our final feeding Homeless Feeding this year was led by Patti Gritlefeld and her husband Adamm who also gave the blessing.

My wife and I were out of town. Michael Shapiro gave his usual help with fruit and vegetable platters, Patti and Adamm supplied meatloaf and mashed potatoes and salad and rolls,

Jerry Hittleman came with Vegetarian Lasagna, and Evy Rosen brought her Mom Miriam to help as well as her friend Carl and desert.  And last but not least Mandy Cisler and Lawrence Joss

Brought a multitude of supplies to compliment the meal.  

Everyone who contributes or assists in this endeavor is greatly appreciated and I cant stress enough how this mitzvah is so needed . Thank you one and all…….Until next year