The Davis Academy and Temple Emanu-El both completed winter coat drives during the recent holiday season to keep those in need warm during the winter.
Davis’ PTO Tzedek Committee collected more than 160 coats and several bags of winter attire – scarves, hats, gloves, mittens and socks – in its Su-Coat drive, a play on words as it occurred during Sukkot. The collection, completed earlier this month, was donated to Simple Needs GA, which helps children, the homeless and others in need.
Emanu-El is in its second year of a coat drive in conjunction with the Operation Isaiah food drive. Since the collection began last year, the Reform congregation has collected more than 500 coats, said volunteer Beth Sherman. The drive benefits the Mary Hall Freedom House, the Community Assistance Center and three elementary schools.
“We are shaping the habits of our congregation to consider donating both food and coats during the High Holidays,” Sherman said.
Davis uses Operation Isaiah and its coat drive to teach students about “living our values,” said Micah Lapidus, the school’s rabbi and director of Jewish and Hebrew studies. “Student and family involvement in community outreach activities and tzedakah projects gives students a chance to take action toward making the world a better place.”
Davis PTO members Kathleen Hoff, Celia Chase and Leah Golub are the organizers of the school’s Tzedek Committee, which focuses on “social justice” programming and “doing good in the community.” The committee is responsible for planning service programs throughout the school year, giving the school community an opportunity to get involved and to give back, Rabbi Lapidus said.
The second-grade class focuses on Operation Isaiah as they work with the Atlanta Community Food Bank on their year-long tzedakah project, spreading awareness and combating hunger, he said.
“The Davis Academy believes that our community is stronger when we work together. We want our students to understand how we make a difference in this world so that they can carry on this legacy themselves.”