Southside Collaborative spreads peanut butter and kindness on day of service

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the Southside Jewish Collaborative on a rare sunny Sunday in San Francisco’s normally fog-shrouded Outer Sunset district was convincing volunteers to skip the beach to engage in tikkun olam activities.

A beachside cleanup, sandwich and meal making for the Daly City Community Action Response Team, blanket making for the ill children served by Project Linus, a coat drive for the YMCA Community Resource Center and a toiletries drive for Working Essentials were all part of Tikkun Olam Day, devoted to acts of kindness to repair the world.

“We’re happy they can contribute and still spend time outdoors with their families,” one committee member said.

About 35 people joined in the Sept. 18 activities hosted by Congregation B’nai Emunah, a Conservative temple that is one of four San Francisco synagogues in the Southside Jewish Collaborative. The others are Beth Israel Judea (Reform), Ner Tamid (Conservative) and Or Shalom (Reconstructionist).

It was the collaborative’s first multitask Tikkun Olam Day.

“Previous events were geared more specifically toward food and hunger,” said committee member Lori Ganz. “This Tikkun Olam Day is the first ‘Day of Everything.’ ”

The sandwich station churned out 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in less than an hour, while donation bins were repeatedly filled by contributors.

Decades-long B’nai Emunah members Hal and Susan Tauber worked together measuring and cutting brightly colored fleece for blankets. Hal Tauber said the collaborative is “a broader community – it enlarges the pool of people that can be involved.”