Tikkun Olam

It’s time again for Feeling Gelty!

Shine your Chanukah light brightly this season by helping those in need. Our sage Maimonides believed that the highest form of tzedakah – charity – is when neither the donor nor the recipient is known to the other.

Feeling Gelty is our Temple’s long-standing program where we buy toys to help brighten the lives of less privileged children in our area.  We are partnering with Trinity United Methodist, Temple Beth-El, and the Day School this year to help make Christmas special for the families of 130 students at Hemphill Elementary.

Sign up to buy gifts from their wish list or make a monetary donation and we will purchase gifts from you for the children. Please honor the $100 limit per child.  You may sponsor one or more children from Pre-K through 5th grade
Grade K = age 5-6, Grade 1 = age 6-7
Grade 2 = age 7-8, Grade 3 = age 8-9
Grade 4 = age 9-10, Grade 5 = age 10-11

Gifts should be unwrapped and placed in a trash bag labeled with the grade, teacher name, initials, and gender.
Deliver gifts to Temple Emanu-El by December 5th. 
Monday through Friday during office hours – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM until December 3rd and on Sunday, December 5th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
If you have any questions call or text Anne Ovson at 205-616-8551

We encourage you to use this opportunity to discuss the meaning of the miracle of Chanukah and the impact of sharing with those who are the greatest in need with your family and friends.

Thank you for taking part in this small act to repair the world (Tikkun Olam) and your continued support of this wonderful Temple project.


We are working every day to make our world a better place. Interested in joining us or have any questions? Contact Monika Singletary at monika@ourtemple.org.

One of Temple Emanu-El’s core values is to make a difference in our Birmingham community. These actions take place on both personal and institutional levels. To name a few:

  1. Four times a year, Temple classrooms are converted to bedrooms to welcome homeless families for a week of housing, meals, and activities through Family Promise of Birmingham. Congregants are actively involved, providing time, money, and meals. Temple volunteers serve food and stay overnight with our guests.
  2. During Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, congregants volunteer to prepare and serve meals to the homeless at Grace Episcopal Church, through the Community Kitchens Project.
  3. Each Spring on ‘Mitzvah Day’, over 100 Temple volunteers join together engaging in Tikkun Olam by doing service projects for 6-8 community programs. This past year included: community clean-up for Grace Klein Community, Glen Iris Elementary School, and Elmwood Cemetery; creating special gifts for Children’s of Alabama and UAB Oncology; sorting and creating packages for the homeless from the Temple Emanu-El Clothing Closet.
  4. Our High Holy Day Food Drive provides truckloads of non-perishable food to 5 local food banks.
  5. Our High Holy Day Giving Campaign raises funds that are distributed to 3 local agencies supporting the less fortunate in our community.
  6. During our Chanukah Toy Drive, known as ‘Feeling Gelty’, we collect donated gifts for those in underserved communities to come and select items for their families. We have been serving approximately 200 children through this highly successful annual project.
  7. A giant tzedakah box, designed in the shape of our synagogue, stands proudly in our Temple with donations being distributed to a different local organization each month.