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csi gives back on mlk weekend 2024

To celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and continue CSI’s work engaging with the communities of which we are a part, congregants volunteered their time, resources, and thoughts around Martin Luther King Jr. Day. King emphasized the goal of a “beloved community”: “the creation of a society” in which we “live together” as brothers and sisters. Thanks to CSI volunteers for their participation and to Saul Crumpton, Laurel Brodkorb, and Susan Baker for organizing these events.

Here’s a summary of what happened, and information on how to continue the work!

On Friday, January 12, 10 CSI members volunteered at Intown Cares, preparing the organization for their Saturday food pantry, where hundreds of food insecure neighbors come each week. Volunteers unloaded 6 palettes from the Atlanta Community Food Bank and organized food rescued from local grocery stores and donated by individuals. CSI was one of the organizations to found Intown Cares in 2009.

On Saturday, more than 25 people gathered for a post-Kiddush discussion centering on the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel led by Rabbi Helfand.

On Sunday, Machaneh Shai and other Shearith Israel families gathered for Havdalah led by Ma’alot’s leader, Rabbi Ariel Wolpe, and then cycled through four service projects. Families

  • Learned about food insecurity in Atlanta and assembled more than 350 sandwiches for The Sandwich Project. (If you’re interested in participating from your own home, see the Project’s website.)
  • Created appreciation cards for the teachers at Briar Vista Elementary School, where 12 Shearith Israel members tutor students. (If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved, including tutoring, contact Sara Duke at
  • Worked together to create bundles of notes for four isolated seniors through a project called Love for Our Elders. (If you’re interested in participating at home or on your own time, see their website.) 
  • Made bird feeders to help support our feathered neighbors during the winter– and adorn our campus trees.
  • Assembled 131 bags of non-perishable food for food-insecure students at three local elementary schools with Backpack Buddies. There are slots to pack with Backpack Buddies available throughout the spring. See the spreadsheet here

On Monday, January 15 10 Shearith Israel volunteers pitched in as part of a service project with Repair the World Atlanta at the Toco Hills Community Alliance to organize food for distribution at local mobile food pantries. 

Throughout the month, we’ve collected books for Children Read and have already collected more than 500 books.

Thanks to all the CSI volunteers hard at work creating a beloved community!

Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784