Jews' Next Dor

Congregation Beth David's Young Adult Group for Jewish 20 & 30 Somethings

Beth David Shelters Homeless People

Posted by ishtov on June 27, 2007

Last Thursday evening the young adult gang spent some time hanging out with homeless people as part of Beth David’s participation in the Cupertino rotating shelter program. It’s difficult to use the term “homeless people” now because after spending some time with them, you realize that they’re not homeless people. They’re real human beings. For different reasons they are in situations where they can’t afford the rents and mortgages in the pricey Bay Area, but they didn’t come across as people just looking for a hand out.

For example, I spent some time talking with a man named Dale about sports. He’s a Yankees fan, but I didn’t hold that against him. When we started talking NBA, we discovered that we both are disappointed that Lebron James won’t sign the petition to stop the genocide in Darfur. Dale used to work delivering packages until his delivery truck got rear ended. Now he is trying to get back on track, starting up his own package delivery business (DeWitt Courier & Transportation Services).

I also want to give major props to the Beth David community as a whole, for sheltering these good people for a month in the synagogue. I’ve been to several synagogues on the east coast and quite a few in the Bay Area, and I’ve never seen this before. Many communities volunteer at homeless shelters, but to actually open up your synagogue as a shelter for people is a really beautiful thing. According to the Help The Homeless post below, Beth David has been doing this for 14 years now.

I’m not sure how to express how wonderful this is. But it really shows that the Torah values of loving your neighbor as yourself are alive and well at Beth David. In the prophet Isaiah’s first recorded prophecy (Isaiah 1:1-18), he warns of the danger of only focusing on Jewish ritual. If we ignore the plight of the less fortunate, our prayers and ritual observance become meaningless. Beth David does a great job of focusing on both Jewish observance and community service. Everyone who has helped out with this great effort over the last 14 years should be very proud.

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2 Responses to “Beth David Shelters Homeless People”

  1. Hugh Goldpiel said

    I am a homeless Jew , and I have been trying to find a safe shelter in San francisco. I have been indirectly attacked, and discriminated many times over. I was living in my van for a few years, and couldn’t pay for the registration. It was taken away from me a month ago, and I have been moving through different shelters that treat people very rough. They are above all racist, and I have no protection . I do screen printing. I am a skilled tradesman looking for work, but another group of people that claim to be the chosen race have been chasing me away from work, they call themselfs La Raza. Can someone please help me? I am alone.
    I went to Beth David as a child with my father, Alfred Goldspiel.

    • Rabbi Schonbrun said

      Shalom. We are very sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Please feel free to contact Congregation Beth David and we will be happy to refer you to some outside resources that may be able to help.

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