Social Action

Your purse donation this month could be a lifeline.

The Texas Advocacy Project and the Travis County Sheriff's Office are   collecting new or gently used purses as part of the campaign, Handbags for Hope, to put information on domestic violence into more women's hands. The handbags, which will be given to the women by their children as gifts, will have the Texas Advocacy Project's domestic violence hot line number stitched inside. The handbags will be given to shelters in the Austin area and rural areas where abuse victims have fewer places to turn         because pamphlets with phone numbers and resources often end up being taken away by the abuser or end up misplaced or in the trash, the information that is stitched discretely into a purse could make a    difference for a woman needing legal help. The Texas Advocacy Project offers its services for free. Please place new or gently used purses and handbags in the Blue Social Action Barrel near the Sisterhood Gift Shop during March.  Questions? Contact Cindy Lindauer, project chair, at or 567-9545

New interfaith initiative calling all who
Knit, crochet, needlepoint, bead, braid, make jewelry

What happens when a woman with needlepoint shows up at a Sisterhood Knitzvah (Knitting) monthly gathering? A good idea is born. For a number of years female Muslim friends and acquaintances of mine have suggested getting Muslim and Jewish women together to meet, dialogue and perhaps eventually do social action projects together. Gathering times will vary but we tentatively plan on offering two opportunities a month to get together. Location still to be determined. It may vary between the two community’s congregational space or in group members’ homes. There will always be tea and a cultural sweets nosh included. If you are interested in becoming part of this new adventure, and either do some type of handicraft or would like to learn how, in the company of Muslim and Jewish women, please contact Cindy Zieve at 401-8435 or  Plans are for the crafters/needlework artists to begin meeting in the spring.

Thank You!!!

We would like to thank everyone very much for being a part of helping families from Allison Elementary School experience a Christmas this year that they never thought they would.  Beth Orton’s beautifully written letter below captures the essence of why we look so forward to this project every year.

    “This is such a blessing” a grandmother said repeatedly when we filled her empty living room with gifts. This really captures how our Allison community feels about what Agudas Achim has done on behalf of our families for over ten years.
    In all of those years you have shown families that other people care about them.  One of the families that you helped this year, you also helped years ago.  At that time the family had just moved to the United States and really needed support to start their life in Austin.  Since that time the children have flourished!  They have earned honors at a Middle School Business program to travel and compete on a National level.  They have performed in Ballet Folklorico; one child even earned a Hispanic Student of the Year award at his school.  The family needed support this year because the father was laid off from his job.  The synagogue has shown the family that the community supports and cares about them.
    Your generosity has helped eleven families this year. Each family is experiencing a difficult year and is doing their best to provide basic needs for their children.  The synagogue helped families experiencing cancer, domestic violence, incarceration and abandonment from caregivers.  When we delivered gifts there were tears and remarks of gratitude.
    You put so much time and effort into organizing, finding just the right gifts for each family member, wrapping them up and delivering to Allison.  Please know that everyone here at Allison and certainly all the families you helped deeply appreciate your kindness and willingness to share your time, money, and compassion.
    At Communities in Schools, one of our tasks is to help students to focus on learning and growing at school.  Your help is making their holidays much brighter!  We were privileged to see the response of a child when he received one gift made available with a gift card.  He was so thrilled at the idea of having a gift under the tree.  This brought tears to our teacher’s eyes.
    The children and adults chosen for this wonderful program will not forget the generosity strangers extended to them this year.  We cannot thank you enough for the difference you have made this year and all the past years.  You are all truly an inspiration to us and a blessing for Allison Elementary!
    Allison Communities in Schools Staff: Beth Orton, Mary Hannah Duhon, and Mariizhe Bonier, Susan Stahl,  Elissa Sterling, Suzanne Newberg, Shari Jankowsky, Melanie Susswein and Lora Ann Gerson.

Yad Ezra    

Our wonderful Yad Ezra volunteers reach out to help congregational families in times of need with delicious home cooked meals. If you would like to join the committee or know someone who could benefit from our services, please contact Terry Milman at or Arlene Maze at A big thank you to the following people who helped out this month for Yad Ezra. Stanley Saiken, Lisa Brill, Mae Levitan, Jeanette Brickman, Susan Broockman and Marcia Orkin.


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