Join like-minded people to do good in the world, make friends, and build community.
Count Me In engages participants to help repair the world (tikkun olam) and make a positive impact in our local community, regionally, and in the world.
We offer our volunteers the opportunity to build lasting relationships with each other, other agencies, and the community around them. We offer opportunities for people of all ages—children and adults. We believe that all people can help those in need and be a part of something larger than themselves.
Each person makes a difference. Together we are responsible for making our community a place where we uphold dignity for all and seek to improve the world through our actions. Join us!
“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway… And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!”—Anne Frank
September 7 – October 17
Share the joy of providing meals to those that need it most, and help everyone have a healthy, vibrant High Holiday season. Join JFCS Food Banks in offering nutritious food to seniors on fixed incomes, adults with disabilities, young families with low incomes, and other individuals and families facing temporary crises. Your help will keep JFCS food banks full throughout the Bay Area and ensure that everyone has access to the essentials they need most. Any of the below options are greatly appreciated at this critical time. We are all in this together!
1. Add extra items to your grocery cart!
Just drop them off in person outside a JFCS office, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
San Mateo: 2001 Winward way, San Mateo
Palo Alto: 200 Channing Ave, Palo Alto
2. Order online via Amazon or Instacart:
Send groceries directly to one of the JFCS offices, c/o JFCS Food Bank. Locations listed above! Deliveries must take place Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
3. Purchase grocery store gift cards:
Gift cards can be purchased online (for example, to Whole Foods and Safeway) and sent to Masha Gutkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, purchase one when you shop. Gift cards to Trader Joe’s are especially popular and can only be purchased in store. Drop off gift cards at one of the food bank locations or mail to: Irina Klay, JFCS, PO BOX 159004, San Francisco, CA 94115
While all donations are appreciated and accepted, the most needed items are:
Looking for a way you can help those who have been impacted by the Northern California wildfire? Below, we’ve shared several resources that provide a range of ideas for offering support.
Resources for Wildfire Season from JCF
As we all grieve the destruction and loss from the wildfires that erupted throughout California this week, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties has provided an extensive number of resources to help track developments and prepare for potential events. You can find these resources on their website.
Wildfire Information and Resources from Thrive
Thrive: The Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County has also shared information about the wildfires, along with ways to contribute to emergency response efforts, on its website. Access their resources here.
San Mateo County Wildfire Information
You’ll find even more suggestions in the following articles:
In collaboration with all seven Bay Area JCCs, we will be offering Zoom parties and resources focused on getting out the vote and addressing voter suppression! This nonpartisan series will feature guest speakers, phone bank opportunities, discussion happy hours, and much more. Resources include downloadable window signs, a reading list, recordings of select past Reclaim Our Vote presentations, and other useful information.
The 2020 Elections and the Jewish Vote
Thursday, October 8 • 5:00 pm
Join us as Dr. Steven Windmueller, a political scientist, educates on the roles Jews have played and will play in American politics. The results of the November election are not only important for us as a society, but also for our own community. Guest speaker Dr. Steven Windmueller will be sharing a nonpartisan election analysis designed to educate about the diverse and significant roles Jews have played and continue to play in American politics. As a political scientist, Dr. Windmueller’s work in Jewish political behavior has been central to his research and writings. His 2014 book, The Quest for Power, seeks not only to define the nature of Judaism as a political system but to demonstrate how Jews have historically governed themselves over the course of their complex historical journey.
Takes place via Zoom. Advanced registration required. Donations suggested. Your donation will go to the JCC from which you heard about this event. You will have the option to specify the PJCC during checkout.
Power Through Voting: Young Professionals Happy Hour
Thursday, October 22 • 6:30-8:00 pm
A Zoom party that will make a difference! Text bank with us to address voter suppression. Text banking is like phone banking, but with texting (don’t worry, you won’t need to use your own phone number—it’s all done online). We’ll be doing this through a collaboration with the Reclaim Our Vote campaign, which seeks to address voter suppression among people of color by educating voters on how to register, how to find their polling place, and much more—this is your chance to send those reminders directly to voters.
Suggested donations. Your donation will go to the JCC from which you heard about this event. You will have the option to specify during checkout.
Count and Be Counted: The Safety and Importance of Voting and Census in the Era of COVID
Thursday, September 24 · 10:00-11:30 am
Worried about the election? Wondering how the Census count will impact our representation and local funding? Anxious about voting during a pandemic? You are not alone! We’ve put together a panel of experts to walk through what you need to know about Census 2020 and the November Election. Join us!
Featuring: Emma Gonzalez, Director, San Mateo County Manager’s Office of Community Affairs and Census 2020; Julia Marks, Staff Attorney on the Voting Rights and Census Team, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus; Miriam Yupanqui, Executive Director, Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto. This session will be facilitated by Petra Silton, Director of Advocacy & Education, Thrive Alliance.
Hosted by Thrive Network and the San Mateo County Libraries. Learn more and register.
The Leagues of Women Voters of San Mateo County Present: The Pros and Cons of the California Ballot Propositions and Tri-county Measure RR
Tuesday, October 6 · 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Hosted by Thrive Network and the Leagues of Women Voters of San Mateo County. Learn more and register.
Thrive is proud to host the Pros & Cons, a nonpartisan explanation of state propositions, with supporting and opposing arguments. The North and Central San Mateo County League of Women Voters has teamed up with the South San Mateo County League of Women Voters to create a presentation for the whole County. After the presentation, there will be ample time for questions & answers.
As a Jewish organization with a heritage built on an unambivalent call to justice, the PJCC recognizes that we must take a firm stance against the injustice, inequality, and hate that blights our society.
Upcoming Community Event
An Interfaith Discussion about Race and Racism hosted by Peninsula Multifaith Coalition
Monday, October 19 · 7:00-8:30 pm
Unfortunately racism still exists and plagues our streets on an everyday basis. It isn’t going to stop overnight. What can you do? This event will be an important avenue to listen to people sharing how they stand up to racism. Speakers include members of the faith community and social change activists. After the presentation, you will have the opportunity to meet and share your thoughts in break out “rooms” with other participants. We will close with final thoughts by the moderator and panel.
Speakers include: Rev. Kristi Denham- UCC Pastor; April Vargas- Community Organizer; Kelly Yu and Alex Iliopoulou of Coalition Z; and Moderator, Rabbi Corey Helfand, Peninsula Sinai Congregation.
We condemn the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who came before them. As a diverse PJCC community, we stand with the Black community in this moment. We cannot be silent or stand idly by while people inside and outside our immediate community are in pain and are unsafe because of the color of their skin.
The writer James Baldwin said it best, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
We must advocate for change while also reaching to care for one another and striving to listen to those who are most impacted. We must face this moment head on and work together for change.
Join us—stand up and say “Count Me In” as we work together as a community to educate ourselves, educate our children and take steps to combat racism.
Show Your Support and #KneelAtHome
Join our partners at JCRC and demonstrate your solidarity publicly for the Black community through the #KneelAtHome campaign. Tag #CountMeInPJCC when you post your photo.
Be an UPStander!
We have all been a bystander at one time or another. It can be uncomfortable. Often people do not respond because they do not want to be a target of abuse themselves. Raise you voice when you hear racist remarks. Standing up to racism can be a powerful sign of support. It can also make the offender think twice about their actions. When responding, always assess the situation and never put yourself at risk. Your actions do not need to involve confrontation.
Make Your Home a Safe Zone
Ten-year-old Cruz of Burlingame invites the Peninsula community to come together and put up signs of support in our windows. He says, “I want my generation to come together and be kind to each other. Love more. Smile more. I know we can stand together and see past color and see people for who they are inside. We all have beautiful skin.” Join Cruz and put a sign in your window showing your support for the Black community.
Making a Positive Impact, Locally
“What’s something simple that I can do that’ll have a positive impact on my block?” Jahmal Cole, Founder and CEO of Chicago-based “My Block, My Hood, My City,” explains how to organize and make our city a more equitable place. Read his piece for the Chicago Tribune.
Getting to Know Campaign Zero
A look at data- and research-informed policy solutions that communities can put in place to end police violence.
Talking About Race
Explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s online portal created to help families, individuals, and communities talk about racism and commit to being antiracist.
One Anti-Racist Action a Day
This newsletter serves as a means of accountability and support by sharing one concrete, anti-racist action you can take each day—for example, a petition to sign or an email to send to a congressperson. Subscribe now.
Color of Change
Sign a petition to end violent policing against Black people.
Nationwide Bail Fund
Help support bail for protestors in your community.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups and individuals organizing for racial justice. Join a local SURJ Chapter and get engaged with the struggle for racial justice in our community.
15 Ways To Support Social Justice & Civil Rights
Want to take action, but looking for ideas for where you can start? Read this list of suggestions, created by VolunteerMatch.
Use Your Voice!
We can use our voices to advocate and amplify the messages and positions we support, talking about the important topics with our friends, family, and networks.
Get More Weekly Action Tips
Our partner 2 for Seder has begun to send “Weekly Action Tips” with suggestions for small, meaningful activities you can do. Each Action Tip is effective against the bigger picture of hate and anti-Semitism. Most activities are quick and the most effective ones for you will involve an activity that you are already doing. Sign up today!
How to Find Peace While Fighting for Justice
What are some ways to get involved and show support, even if you aren’t marching? Read some suggestions by Tamara Y. Jeffries.
Talking to Your Kids about Race: A (Virtual) Conversation
How should parents talk to their children and teens about race? In this video, brought to you by the The Parent Education Series, they bring together a distinguished panel of experts to address this question, and to offer insights into an often difficult, fraught subject: race in America.
Panelists include Julie Lythcott-Haims, JD, MFA: Former Dean at Stanford, speaker, activist, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American: A Memoir; Donald E. Grant, Jr., PhD: Executive Director, Center for Community & Social Impact, Pacific Oaks College; Eric Abrams, MBA: Chief Inclusion Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Education; and Kareem Graham, PhD: Senior Scientist (Immunologist), author of “White parents, talk to your kids about race” (San Francisco Chronicle, Opinion, June 9, 2020).
Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests by Laura Markham
Step up to Reclaim Our Vote!
Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters—especially voters of color. Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. Volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. It is a nonpartisan campaign of the nonprofit 501(c)3 Center for Common Ground. The organization is looking for volunteers to help either: write postcards, make phone calls, or text bank. Register today.
Coastal Cleanup 2020
Coastal Cleanup 2020 is the world’s largest cleanup event that will be different this year to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of participating in large groups, your household or social bubble is encouraged to dedicate one or more Saturdays in September to pick up litter in your neighborhood while following social distancing protocols. For dates, registration, and other important information about this year’s efforts, visit the San Mateo County website.
Challah After School
This fall, Challah for Hunger will be continuing their virtual community programming with Challah After School. At Challah After School, young children and their loved ones will have the opportunity to participate in events and activities revolving around the three pillars of Challah for Hunger: advocacy, philanthropy, and community building. You’ll receive two activity “bingo cards,” where you can check off completed activities. Join them for weekly virtual gatherings to do these activities together as a community!
Challah After School will also offer adult-only programming. Our Speaker Series, through Challah for Hunger’s Campus Hunger Project, will bring in professionals working to eliminate food insecurity and hunger among college students in our country.
Be the Match: Bone Marrow Registry
Joining the Be The Match Registry® means volunteering to be listed as a potential blood stem cell donor, ready to save the life of any patient in need of a transplant. Learn more and get started today.
IsraAID Emergency Volunteer Program
Our partners at IsraAID are putting their experience in disaster relief to work in the US, supporting logistics for emergency food distribution. They need volunteers to begin distribution efforts in San Jose and San Carlos. Please click on this link to find out more information and to register today.
Helping Hands Community
Want to volunteer and help someone who can’t leave their home? OR maybe you need help and can’t leave the house? Sign up online today to either be a volunteer or if you’re looking for help. It’s easy!
TOM (Tikun Olam Makers)
Join the COVID-19 Response Team. Have a 3D printer, help make face masks for distribution!
TOM (Tikun Olam Makers) is mobilizing thousands of makers, engineers, professional fabricators and healthcare professionals worldwide to generate open source health and well-being supplies for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Learn more on TOM’s website.
1. Donate Blood with Vitalant
We are facing an urgent shortage of blood; donors are needed. Make a life-saving appointment at Vitalant’s website. (Note: Although Vitalant is taking safety precautions, Vitalant does not test for COVID-19, so please do not give if you are sick.)
Repair the World Program
Support a cause you care about by volunteering for a project or consultation call. With over 140 different project types, there is an opportunity to give back that matches your skills and time availability. Learn more!
Volunteer with Samaritan House
Samaritan House in San Mateo needs help with food preparation and transportation. For more information, visit the Samaritan House website.
Serve with Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest needs help with sorting and distribution. Visit their website for ways you can help.
Support Jewish Family and Children’s Services
JFCS needs to stock their food pantries for clients and community members who are looking for groceries. Here’s how you can donate:
For more information on Jewish Family & Children’s Services, go to https://www.jfcs.org
Help Secure Meals & Masks for COVID-19 Medical Workers (Bay Area)
This Facebook Group connects frontline medical workers with communities that want to encourage and support them with meals and masks during the COVID-19 Crisis. Learn more.
County of San Mateo: COVID-19 Pandemic Volunteer Opportunities
To volunteer for coordinated volunteer activities such as senior check-in calls and food distribution or delivery, please fill out the San Mateo County COVID-19 Pandemic volunteer signup form. These volunteer assignments will be organized by the City of Redwood City, County of San Mateo, or partner nonprofit agencies.
More Ways to Volunteer in San Mateo County
Looking for ways to volunteer in the county? Check out this website!
Become a Foster Parent!
There are San Mateo County children currently placed outside of the County due to a lack of local families available to foster. Help to bring these kids back to our community! Opening your heart to a child in foster care can be an amazingly rewarding experience. You can make a difference in a child’s life. Please visit www.helpsanmateokids.com to get more information on how you can help kids in need.
Rescue the Underdog
Are you dog lover? Maybe now is the time to foster a dog. Rescue the Underdog is a small San Francisco based, volunteer-run organization that saves dogs from being euthanized in high kill shelters. Please know the purpose to foster a dog is to care for and help a dog learn many things they might not know yet. Learn more and complete the online Adoption Application.
Nine Lives Foundation
If you are able to provide temporary accommodation (a few weeks or months) for a cats or kittens, now is a great time! In particular, the shelter has a number of adult cats and “teenagers” that would benefit from more social interaction. Fostering also reduces the workload on shelter staff and volunteers during a time when we may face staffing shortages due to coronavirus. If you are interested in fostering, please see the information in the Fostering section on the Nine Lives website, and fill out the application form. For short-term fostering, please email email@example.com. They have a list of high-priority cats that they would like to get into long-term foster homes immediately, whom you can meet by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays noon-5:30 pm at their Adoption Center. Please call 650-368-1365 to schedule an appointment. Learn more about Nine Lives Foundation.
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly—San Francisco Bay Area is currently in need of volunteers to help them in making friendly phone calls to over 400 of their older adults. Learn more.
Have a little time on your hands? Check out Catch a Fire, an online portal for virtual volunteer opportunities! Whether you have an afternoon or several, you can help a not-for-profit organization with tasks like writing thank you letters or editing photos. Learn more.
If you’re looking to take your online volunteering worldwide, this is the place to start. UN Volunteers connects you with organizations working for peace and development in need of skills like research, writing, art, and design. There are already over 12,000 volunteers from 187 countries lending their talents to organizations around the globe. Learn more.
Everyone counts! You can learn more about Census 2020 & get counted today at https://cmo.smcgov.org/census-2020-san-mateo-county
Have your child make a picture or write a note to your healthcare professional thanking them. Email them the sentiment.
As shared by Former First Lady Michelle Obama
“4 Ways To Shape Your Volunteering In Uncertain Times”
Did you know: giving back is good for your health! Read this helpful article and consider how you might support volunteer efforts during this unique time.
Co-created by IsraAID, Israel’s leading humanitarian aid organization, this free 45-minute experiential self-care/mental health online session provides practical strategies and resources to improve your emotional well-being. Since 2001, IsraAID has been providing mental health/psychosocial support to communities following disasters and crises. The webinars are facilitated by mental health professionals who have deployed with IsraAID worldwide.
Multiple times and dates available. To sign up, visit IsraAID’s registration page for the event.
Are you interested in humanitarian relief, international development and disaster response? Join the IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN)!
IsraAID’s Humanitarian Professionals Network is an international collective concerned with local and global humanitarian aid, and with IsraAID’s recovery work. Members receive briefings and trainings on humanitarian relief, international development and disaster response topics from Israeli experts.
Founded in 2001, IsraAID has done emergency rescue and recovery work in 51 countries, helping disaster-stricken regions with medical care, water and sanitation, education and other forms of humanitarian aid.
To learn more about the IHPN Speakers’ Series, please contact Michele Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org
In partnership with IsraAID, the OFJCC, PJCC and Peninsula congregations.
Check back soon for information on upcoming lectures.
Right now, everyone is being told that staying at home is the safest thing to do. Unfortunately, staying home is not safe for those who are in abusive relationships, who are now having to stay at home with their abusers. During Shelter-In-Place, the Bay Area has reported an increase in domestic violence related ER visits and 9-1-1 calls. It is more difficult than ever for victims to access the safety and support they need. Survivors of domestic violence often report that community silence and the feeling of being alone are part of the trauma of abuse.
In the spirit of Kol Yisrael Arevim zeh ba-zeh, we are leading an effort to let survivors of abuse know that their Jewish community is here to support them. If you have someone you’re worried about right now, this is the time to message or call them. They might not be able to safely speak with you, but if you reach out they will know that you are there for them. If they are able to get a private minute, let them know that they don’t deserve to be abused, that it isn’t their fault, and that help is available.
Let them know that they can call Shalom Bayit’s free, confidential helpline: 866-SHALOM-7.
Friends and family of the person being abused are also welcome to call to get ideas for how to support.
Fight Back Against Anti-Semitism with Love and a Safe Sukkah!
2 for Seder: In the Sukkah focuses on the traditional values associated with the Jewish holiday Sukkot (the evening of October 2-9th), encouraging hospitality, transition, and gratefulness.Simply set up a Sukkah (or your version of the Sukkah) and invite 2 friends of another faith to share a COVID-safe meal. Start a dialogue!
Let’s fight anti-Semitism across North America through sharing an authentic and joyous Jewish experience. Invite 2 friends of another faith to join in on a COVID-safe meal in the Sukkah—whatever that may be for you.
Request 2 for Seder’s Safe Sukkah Guide
The High Holidays are going to be different this year, but Sukkot, a home-based, outdoor holiday, is waiting for you to make it special. Sukkahs may be a variety of shapes, sizes and places, but they let you see the stars, feel the breeze and have a meal together. Pick a spot and decorate it to make it special for the week of Sukkot.
2 for Seder’s Guide will help you learn about Sukkot traditions, give you ideas for adapting the holiday to your home and family, Discussion Cards and the SafeSukkah Fact Sheet to help you have a COVID-safe experience.
The PJCC is proud to be a communication partner of 2 for Seder.
The PJCC partners with several agencies to do good, including IsraAID, Mission Hospice, the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL), Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS), Samaritan House, and more.
Stay tuned for more ways to serve partner organizations alongside the PJCC, or check the “Ideas for Getting Involved” tab for additional drives & service opportunities!