At Machar, we believe that helping others less fortunate than ourselves is one of the most important mitzvot (good deeds) we can perform. As a Machar member, you will have many opportunities to participate as a Jew and a humanist in community service. Demonstrating the Congregation’s commitment to being “good without God,” our members volunteer their time and raise funds for organizations that meet the needs of our local, national, and international communities.
Machar is a founding congregation of the Capital Interfaith Hospitality Network (CIHN), a non-profit coalition of religious and community organizations serving homeless families in Washington, DC. CIHN makes an intensive investment in up to three families at a time, providing integrated services that help families break generational cycles of poverty. Families stay in their own apartments. Machar and its Jewish Cultural School (JCS) provide volunteers and members donate generously to CIHN. Additionally, Machar members participate in the annual Rock Creek cleanup, in association with the Rock Creek Conservancy.
At our High Holiday services, members and visitors provide food for the Manna Food Center, Montgomery County’s food bank. At Passover, we contribute to Mazon, the Jewish response to hunger. During adult education and JCS sessions, members contribute tzedakah (money for charity). At the end of the school year, JCS classes select organizations that reflect Jewish and humanistic values to receive the money collected during the year. Charities supported recently include: 1) American Friends of Neve Shalom, a village jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel that is engaged in educational work for peace, equality, and understanding between the two peoples; 2) Trees for the Future; and 3) CIHN. Machar also helps to raise funds for important causes, such as the annual Mini-Walk for the Homeless.