The mitzvah of hospitality: Interfaith Shelter Network

A synagogue initiative to work with the local Interfaith Shelter Network over the Christmas holiday to provide assistance to people in need.

Temple Solel
552 South El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024

Target Groups: Multi-Generational Social Action Program

Temple Solel's members have coordinated a two-week homeless shelter with the local Interfaith Shelter Network (ISN) for twelve years. The ISN helps screen and refer the guests to the shelter and provides follow follow-through services. Temple Solel runs the shelter over the Christmas holiday to afford the ISN churches a holiday break and provides a special Christmas experience for its guests. On Christmas morning, the temple Men's Club serves a feast, volunteers give each guest a small gift, and the entire group explores Sea World in the afternoon. A different temple family serves as hosts each night, while bar/bat mitzvah students put together toiletry packets for each guest, and a qualified member gives the guests haircuts. Solel volunteers certainly demonstrate the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim (hospitality) and will continue to help others attain self-sufficiency as a result of this community project.