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Poverty & Homelessness Committee


Poverty and homelessness continue to be major issues in Portland. We believe it is vital that Havurah continue to educate our community and be an active advocate in the ongoing goal to reduce the hardships, isolation, loneliness, and violence experienced by those who face unaffordable housing, wage inequity, racial/sexual discrimination, and mental and physical disabilities.

The Poverty & Homelessness Committee supports the work of various nonprofit agencies that we believe reflect these values held by the Havurah community. We support organizations through volunteer time, financial donations, and advocacy work. 

Current co-chairs of this committee are Gloria Halper, Steve Rudman, and Jenn Louis.

Currently we are working with the following groups: 

  • Havurah has been a longtime supporter of Portland Homeless Family Solutions to empower homeless families with children for their long-term housing needs.  
  • Havurah is a partner congregation of the Interfaith Alliance on Poverty, a volunteer-driven, advocacy group of 14 Portland faith-based institutions. It offers an opportunity to become informed and involved with systems-change efforts to reduce poverty in our community. Their website offers educational resources and information. Join them for their first Thursday meetings at noon to listen to speakers addressing issues of homelessness and poverty. You must sign up for these virtual meetings through their homepage.
  • Havurah supports The Common Good Project, founded by Havurah member Jenn Louis in 2020, which provides direct service to Portland's homeless population. Support includes building an ongoing relationship through the distribution of supplies to meet basic needs and supporting a project that employs our homeless neighbor to clean and maintain public streets. 
  • Havurah supports Lift Urban Portland, which provides food and supports low-income residents in northwest and downtown Portland.
  • In 2021-22, Havurah added the RoseHaven Day Shelter for women, children, and marginalized genders experiencing homelessness and poverty. RoseHaven is the only day shelter and community center in Multnomah County supporting these vulnerable populations. Of interest to our Havurah community, RoseHaven is physically located in our NW neighborhood, only blocks from our synagogue, and it provides opportunities for our Education Committee for Youth volunteer projects.

Two High Holidays Tzedakah Projects:


1) The Common Good Project: We will collect underwear and socks as described. below, and NON-PERISHABLE foods that are easy to eat (no cooking facilities), open without a can opener, and are soft (lots of dental issues):

  • Underwear, new only, please (women’s s/m, men’s m/l): men prefer cotton boxer briefs
  • Socks for men and women, matching, if used
  • Canned fruit (with pull tops)
  • Canned vegetables (with pull tops)
  • Beverages: Gatorade, juices, sodas -Granola bars/bars of any sort
  • Oatmeal, instant
  • Chips or popcorn
  • Any stew or hearty item (with pull tops)
  • Cookies, crackers, chips and snacks
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Shippable vegetables (like for little kids)
  • Applesauce (no glass)
  • Candy (big sweet teeth out there!)
  • Nut butter (no glass)
  • Jelly (no glass)
  • Honey
  • Shelf-stable milk (dairy and non-dairy- not powdered, please)
  • Powdered chocolate milk mix
  • Instant soups and foods (ramen is a favorite


2) RoseHaven Day Shelter: We will also collect the following prioritized items that are always needed at the RoseHaven Day Shelter:

  • Gently used bras
  • Women’s leggings
  • Blankets
  • Rolling carts/suitcases/backpacks with wheels
  • Towels
  • Purses

Drop-off Information for the High Holidays Tzedakah Projects:

All items for The Common Good Project and RoseHaven Day Shelter should be brought to the 4th floor of the Tiffany Center during our scheduled hours for Erev Rosh Hashanah, First Day Rosh Hashanah services, and Erev Yom Kippur through end of services on Yom Kippur. They can also be brought to Havurah during the Second Day Rosh Hashanah service.

Check with your Havurahood Captain to see if items can be dropped off with them if you are not coming to the Tiffany Center. Stephanie Hausman has the most current Havurahood Captains list.

Sun, October 2 2022 7 Tishrei 5783