Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our events could not take place without the help of generous and dedicated volunteers.  Some ongoing opportunities are described here, along with contact information associated with each. Feel free to email the Program Director / Volunteer Coordinator (hoffman@bethisraelcenter.org), President (president@bethisraelcenter.org), or Rabbi (rabbi@bethisraelcenter.org) with questions.

Kiddush Helpers

Shabbat kiddush is a central gathering time for Beth Israel Center after Saturday morning services. Sometimes, professional caterers are hired. Most weeks, we "self-cater" kiddush, meaning it's a volunteer effort coordinated by our Program Director / Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Hoffman. More hands are always needed to:

  • Prepare and set out food (during services).

  • Maintain/restock the buffet during kiddush.

  • Clean up afterwards (usually done by 1:30).

  • Sign up for one, two, or all three jobs.

Training (if needed) will take place on the job - Saturday mornings with a previously trained kiddush coordinator; written instructions posted in kitchen

Why volunteer?
* it’s a mitzvah
* meet new people
* eat delicious food
* feel connected to the BIC community

To volunteer, click here or contact Program Director Deborah Hoffman (hoffman@bethisraelcenter.org).


The Road Home

Beth Israel Center has supported homeless families in transition to permanent housing by volunteering through The Road Home in various ways over many years. Currently, we respond to posted volunteer opportunities during particular months to which BIC is assigned. Click here to volunteer in October.


Friends of Emerson Elementary School

Madison’s collaborative synagogue social action organization - Jewish Congregations for Social Justice (JCSJ) - focuses on social action initiatives that involve the entire Madison Jewish community. Since its inception, JCSJ has focused on social problems that plague our city, such as the social and economic educational gap in Dane County schools.

As part of that effort, Beth Israel Center members tutor students and assist with evening programs at Emerson Elementary School (2421 East Johnson Street).

Fall 2018 opportunities include:

  • Harvest Night, Tuesday, October 30, 5:15 to 7:15 pm
    Serve pizza, help families carve pumpkins, and clean up after the event.

  • Book Fair Night, Tuesday, November 13, 5:15 to 7:15 pm
    Set up and serve a spaghetti dinner, help with book selections, and clean up after the event.

To volunteer or for more information, click here, write to socialaction@bethisraelcenter.org, or visit the Jewish Congregations for Social Justice page on Facebook.


Support Local Refugee Resettlement Efforts

Beth Israel Center is proud to support efforts being spearheaded locally by Jewish Social Services to resettle refugees in Madison. 

Beginning upon their arrival in August 2018, we are supporting a family from Rwanda. All volunteers who will be interacting directly with the family must complete training and/or paperwork through Jewish Social Services. Email socialaction@bethisraelcenter.org for information about current needs.

Click here for general information about this important ongoing effort.


Daven & Read Torah:

Participation on the bimah gives qualified congregants an opportunity to learn, practice and enhance their synagogue skills and play an active role in the ritual life of the shul. Daveners and Torah readers rotate about once a month.

Skills needed:     

  • Hebrew language

  • tropes

  • chanting

  • davening

  • singing

  • leading prayer

Training (if needed) will take place with the Rabbi or another qualified mentor

Why volunteer?     
* you’ll meet new people
* you’ll learn a new skill
* you’ll feel connected to the BIC community
* you’ll feel connected to the ritual and spiritual life of the shul    
* you’ll practice and enhance your synagogue skills

For information, contact the Rabbi (rabbi@bethisraelcenter.org) or  Rayla Temin (rgtemin@wisc.edu)


Event Planning & Preparation

Our congregation relies heavily on volunteers for holiday celebrations and other events. Volunteers are often needed to decorate a room, prepare food, clean up after an event, or work with our professional staff to plan special events.

Why volunteer?
* it’s a mitzvah
* you’ll feel connected to the BIC community
* play an important part in the holiday celebration
* shmooze time with other volunteers

To volunteer, contact Program Director / Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Hoffman (hoffman@bethisraelcenter.org)


Meals on Wheels

Beth Israel Center provides volunteers to deliver meals to elderly and disabled Dane County residents as part of the Meals on Wheels program of Home Health United.  

Why volunteer?
* You’ll meet new people
* Family time
* It’s a mitzvah!

For more information about the program or about volunteering, contact Larry Bensky (608-238-2569).


Men’s Shelter

Beth Israel has a monthly commitment of volunteer activity at the Emergency Shelter for Men located at Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W. Washington Ave. We are responsible for serving dinner on the second Sunday of each month and breakfast the next morning. 

Please contact Corliss Karasov at (608) 831-6521 or ckarasov@gmail.com.

Click here to volunteer now.