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Volunteering at Kol Emet

Only by working together do we become a community, a congregation. There are many ways for you to get involved at Kol Emet. Below is a list of each of the committees/groups/clubs of Kol Emet, a description of what they do, how you can get involved, and who to contact for additional information. Whatever time you have to spare, you will make a difference.

Adult Education Committee
The adult education committee provides opportunities for adult members of Kol Emet to learn about and better appreciate various aspects of Jewish life, culture and history through a wide range of methods. These include discussion groups, formal classes, seminars/lectures, and speakers. We strive to offer mainly complementary programming to members of Kol Emet. The committee also disseminates information about and coordinates efforts to attend existing/upcoming programs in our community that fulfill this mission

How you can get involved: Assistance is always welcome in offering suggestions and topics for future adult events and in coordinating events for our members and community at large. There are multiple opportunities for members to exhibit their special skills in writing, teaching, and organizing workshops on Jewish related topics.

Caring Committee
The caring committee provides suport to congregant families during times of illness, loss of a family member, addition of a new family member or other signigicant lifecycle event. This support includes: meals for families recovering from illness, attending shiva to represent the congregation, one-on-one grief support and reading to congregants recoveringing from illness. We are in the process of adding specific support for families living with and recovering from cancer. We occassionally provide other services on an as-needed basis. The synagogue office prepares e-mails that are distributed to inform congregants of significant lifecycle events. The committee follows up to see if support is needed. The caring committee works with Jewish Family Services and other area agencies to pull resources and participate in projects like bikkor cholim training for those interested in visiting the sick.

How you can get involved: Our volunteers participate by signing up for any of the following sub-committees of the caring committee. And signing up is as easy as sending an e-mail, or making a phone call. Many volunteers sign up for one or more subcommittee because the actual time commitment is relatively small.

1) Planning - Overall planning of caring committee projects, operations and budget.
2) Meals- Providing an occassional meal to a family recovering from illness.
3) Shiva - Attending a shiva as a representative of the synagogue. This does not require leading a service or being responsible for food prep or organization.
4) Grief support - Volunteers who have experienced loss of a parent, child or spouse volunteer to provide one-on-one support for a congregant experiencing a similar loss.
5) Reading - Volunteers read to those recovering from illness. This may be recorded on tape, or could be visits.
6) Cancer - We have several congregants who have expressed interest in providing peer support during cancer treatment. In addition, we are working with our local Gilda's Club to bring a program to the synagogue to inform congregants of the many support services available free to families living with cancer, such as yoga, meditation and cooking classes.

Meeting schedule: The committee purposely holds as few meetings as possible so the volunteers spend the majority of their time involved in the caring activity. Most interaction is done via phone and email. We do occassionally have planning meetings. New ideas can be shared at any time via phone or e-mail. We often publicize and send representatives of the committee to attend meetings or seminars held on caring topics within our larger community.

Community Relations
The Community Relations Committee works externally with the general public and internally with the Kol Emet Community. For the general public, our goal is to bring awareness of Kol Emet, the unique aspects of our congregation; especially its mission and its people, information about our programming and events, and the work that's being done at Kol Emet to benefit the lives of everyone in our world. We communicate our message by participating in community-wide events and through a press awareness program with the Yardley News, the Bucks County Courier Times and the Jewish Exponent. Within our Kol Emet community, we work to build enthusiasm and participation in Kol Emet events. We also work with Kehillah of Bucks County to share both of our community events and to reach out to both the affiliated and unaffiliated.

Responsibilities include: this web site, the weekly newsletter (The Whisper), the quarterly newsletter (The Voice), email announcements (A Shout), and establishing a general communications strategy for Kol Emet.

How you can get involved: We need people who have writing or editing experience, desktop publishing skills for creating print materials, and web design experience to help maintain and redesign the web site.

The committee and subcommittee are open to all congregants and everyone is welcome to join to add new ideas.

Contact: Jeffrey Blankman

Finance Committee
The Finance committee works internally with the Treasurer and the Board of Directors to safeguard and oversee the assets of the congregation. The committee verifies the accuracy of financial transactions and bank, investment and fund balances. Personnel from the committee meet to review budgets and analyze restricted and non-restricted funds. We strive to import new ideas with regard to long-range planning to help evolve and assure the perpetuity of the organization.

Interested people who have some financial experience are welcome to join our meetings.

Contact: Rob Siegel

Perhaps the most behind-the-scenes, unsung committee at Kol Emet is the House Committee. The House Committee is responsible for the infrastructure of the building including operational issues, capital improvements/projects and design matters. Our building is heavily used by the Kol Emet Community for social, religious and educational programming and events.

Anyone interested in helping to maintain and improve the backbone of the Kol Emet Community is welcomed to join this committee - no experience or tool belt required.

Contact: John Eichholz

Long Range Planning Committee
Ensure growth and stability by promoting Congregation Kol Emet's Mission and Vision. We advise and assist on the planning done by other committees though the coordination and facilitation of long-range decision-making. All those interested in the long-term success of Kol Emet are welcomed to join this committee.

Contact: Ken Hampel

Membership Committee
Volunteer opportunities with the Membership Committee are year-round and consist of providing information about Congregation Kol Emet and welcoming new members. We meet 2-4 times annually to prepare for events we host. During the summer, we host several “Rap with the Rabbi” sessions. This is an opportunity for new and prospective members to talk with the Rabbi in a small group setting, before a Shabbat service, and to learn more about Kol Emet specifically and Reconstructionism in general. We volunteer during June at the Jewish Festival and throughout the year at several community-wide events for the Jewish community. We are also active greeting congregants during the High Holiday services and helping the Ritual Committee with logistics. Our annual New Member Celebration takes place in the winter and provides a wonderful opportunity for new members to get to know each other as well as Board Members and many long time members. Our main goal is to provide a welcoming and informative presence and to help make the transition into the Kol Emet family a smooth one.

Contact: Ronnie Fuchs

Men's Club
The Men's Club meets as a group to drive particular events and activities in support of the congregation. A few of their activities include "The Yom Hashoah Yellow Candle" project every Spring as well as building and breaking down one of Bucks County's largest Sukkahs. Of course every day of hard work is usually followed by a hearty brunch of bagels, lox, and assorted goodies. You are encouraged to reach out and join this committee and tell us how else this committee can serve you and the community.

Contact: Josh Fishman



Michael Neil

Pre-School PTO
The Pre-School PTO is responsible for assisting the pre-school staff with a variety of holiday, classroom, and fund-raising events. Our three fundraising/Social events will be things like Comedy Club Night featuring "The Great Holtzie", a Saturday Night Disco and Silent Auction as well as a night at Bounce U.

How can you get involved: We welcome assistance and input at all levels chairing or helping with a committee, serving as homeroom parent, creating event flyers, ordering classroom gifts, etc.

Meeting Schedule: The Pre-School PTO meets the first Wednesday of every month after drop-off. We also email pre-schools families regularly with event updates and volunteer needs. Contact Susan Steiner or Beth Zuckerman if you are interested in being a "homeroom parent" for your child's pre-school class.

Contact: Lauren Templeton

Religious School PTO

The PTO is responsible for creating and organizing a variety of holiday, classroom, and fundraising events for the congregation. Some of these events include an Annual Back to School Party, Sukkah Building Celebration, Secret Hannukah Shop, Purim Carnival, Passover Candy Sale, Special Class Seders and Oneg Shabbats, and much more.

How can you get involved: We welcome assistance and input at all levels – chairing or helping with a committee, serving as homeroom parent, creating event flyers, ordering classroom gifts, etc.

Meeting Schedule: Meeting times/days vary as we try to accommodate working schedules. Most communication is via phone and email. Contact Beth or Heather if you are interested in being a "homeroom parent" for your child's class.

Contact: Tabitha Peters

  Heather Finkle

Ritual Committee
The Ritual Committee works directly with Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy in planning and suggesting ways to make our services more meaningful to more congregants. We plan programs revolving around the many festivals and holidays as well as suggesting changes to enhance our weekly Shabbat service. In the summer, our main focus is on preparing for the High Holidays. Throughout the year, a great deal of planning and work needs to be done in order to accommodate our congregation’s many needs.

How you can get involved: We are very welcoming of new ideas and invite you to join us at our regularly scheduled meetings which are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to suggest or communicate your thoughts, please feel free to send an email.

 Robert Moses

The Sisterhood is one of Kol Emet's original and long-running organizations. It is open to all women belonging to the synagogue. We plan social, fund-raising, and educational events. Every year we open with a membership brunch that centers around an activity of interest to women. As example, we organized a panel of experts who discussed staying young without going under the knife. Some of our other activities have included a formal gala for the Rabbi's 10th anniversary with Kol Emet, dinner/cooking demonstration, game night, Passover recipe exchange and a dinner raffle (with unbelievable prizes!). We welcome everyone's help in planning our events, and look forward to having a large turnout at each of them. Come join us.

Contact: Genevieve Shultz

Social Action
The Social Action Committee has been working hard to enable congregation members to meet social service needs in our community. Activities like Aid For Friends, "Mitzvah Day", Food Collections, Holiday Gift Drives and the Garden have spurred us on to perform these important mitzvot. In addition, a focus of the Committee is to increase members' awareness and understanding of issues in our society that create the social service needs we try to meet, so that we can begin to address some of these underlying concerns effectively. We usually meet every other month on Sundays @ 10am.

How you can help: Our projects occcur throughout the year and most only require up 2 hrs. of your time. Most of our projects are family friendly. It only takes one person to make a difference, so why not be the one!

Contact: Howard Greenberg

Youth Programming
Our mission is to develop programs that provide social, educational, and community oriented activities for two age groups: 4th and 5th graders and 6th through 8th graders. Our youth groups help to develop friendships, leadership, and responsible young adults. Some of our activities include in-house events such as movies, improv, a game show, mitzvah projects, an evening service, the Purim Carnival, or even a car wash. Our off-site events include fun activities such as a hayride, the NAC, bowling, ice skating, or reading books at Kol Emet's Barnes and Noble Day.
How you can get involved: We are always looking for new ideas, chaperons, or committee members. We usually meet every six weeks or so and also communicate through email. We welcome your involvement whether it be for one event or for the whole year!

Contact:  Risha Neil