Isaiah congregants come forward with jobs help

If you’ve got a skill that can help keep someone afloat while the economy is in turmoil, Temple Isaiah in Lafayette wants to know.

After recently sending out an urgent e-mail to congregants asking for help, Rabbi Roberto Graetz, leader of the Reform congregation, received more than 100 responses from those eager to assist in the areas of résumé writing, interview preparation, mortgage refinancing and more.

Also offered were rooms for temporary residents, assistance in finding employment opportunities and rental properties, and free emergency medical, optical, mental health and dental consultations.

All of these services are being organized through EARN, Temple Isaiah’s Employ-ment and Resource Network. The newly formed network is making available resources that include the names of organizations that offer workshops and networking opportunities, plus the services mentioned above.

“I was very happy with the number of people who came forward,” said Graetz, acknowledging that the network is primarily for Temple Isaiah congregants. “I hope I will not be so overwhelmed by the people needing these skills. I’m afraid that as the year goes on, it will get worse before it gets better.”

Terry Karp, a Temple Isaiah member and founding principal of the Bay Area Career Center in San Francisco, will lead a workshop on crafting resumes 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23 at Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.

Those interested in attend- ing should RSVP to tkarp@ by 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22.

Temple Isaiah isn’t the first Bay Area synagogue to band together during the economic crisis. Reform Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael started a similar network in August that paired out-of-work congregants with those with jobs to offer. Other congregations have since followed suit.

Temple Isaiah will be partnering with S.F.-based Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay and other local organizations that can be of assistance.

Congregants with a service to provide are encouraged to contact Graetz via

e-mail at [email protected].