One of the many programs impacted by COVID-19 this spring was Temple Emeth’s “High Five: Drop In, Do Good,” a series of five Sunday afternoons with five different projects, five inspiring causes, five opportunities to help others and five small ways to make a difference.

Spearheaded by Samara Katz, director of congregational learning at Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill, High Five aimed to bring together congregants of all ages to work on projects in collaboration with local Jewish agencies, to make contributions and provide where there are definite needs. “Each one of us has unlimited potential, and we can achieve great good by taking even the smallest step,” said Katz. “It doesn’t take much to make a difference.”

The first three programs, held in October, December and January, were great successes. The drop-in nature of the program afforded volunteers an easy way to do good deeds and acts of lovingkindness without a heavy commitment of time, a place where like-minded individuals could work together to accomplish something meaningful on a Sunday afternoon filled with giving back to the community.

Adults and supervised children joined together at Temple Emeth for lunch before getting to work on projects including assembling Shabbat bundles for families in need, assembling winter packages of essential supplies for the homeless and creating 100 colorful birthday cards for area Holocaust survivors to help brighten their birthday celebrations.


Jewish Family & Children’s Service partnered with Temple Emeth to coordinate the distribution of the packages to where they were most needed.

Then the coronavirus intervened, and it looked like the program would be put on an indefinite hiatus. But in May, thanks to the efforts of Nathan Tworetzky, a Temple Emeth congregant, and students at Brookline High School and Prozdor at Hebrew College, a way was found to amend the program.

Nathan volunteered to pick up food and supplies from the doorsteps of local homes and deliver them to the Brookline Food Pantry (BFP). Temple Emeth has a longstanding relationship with BFP and serves as a link between the pantry and South Brookline neighborhoods. Temple Emeth organizes food drives several times a year, usually centered around a Jewish holiday and with a specific theme.

The BFP needs assistance and donations at this difficult time, and Nathan stepped up to give members of the temple a way to help without leaving their homes. The response was so overwhelming that Nathan had to enlist the help of friends to pick up all the collections. Thus, “Drop Out(side), Do Good” was born.

Due to the success of the program, Nathan has volunteered to pick up goods once a month. The next pick-up date is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10. Pick-up is limited to the South Brookline, Chestnut Hill and Newton areas and by sign up only. If you wish to contribute, email with your name and address. You will be contacted with more detailed information and directions.

Although all donations of unexpired food are appreciated, the BFP is in particular need of rice, cereal, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, lentils, formula, baby food and diapers. Thank you in advance for making a difference!

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