blog | about | contact | origins | help
 
  
Share |

I have a question regarding a charitable endeavor my shul is involved in. For many years, we have hosted homeless guests (from a nearby shelter) for a week in our building. About three years ago, we started taking them in during the week of Christmas. Our homeless guests are non-Jews. Someone from our shul contacts the local media (newspapers, TV) so that they would come out to film what we, a Jewish congregation, are doing for these non-Jewish homeless folks on Christmas. I find it very disturbing when the camera crew not only comes into the building, but also wants to go into the social hall/dining room, where our homeless guests usually congregate, to film in this area. I was there last week when the news crew came and, at that particular time, our guests were having breakfast in the dining room. One of our volunteers came to brief the guests about this, stating that, in filming guests at the table, only their hands and feet would be shown. Immediately after she left, all of our guests got up and left the room. I felt awful about this and I too left, in disgust. Every evening, we take the guests from the shelter, where they stay with us for dinner and sleep in our building overnight. In the morning, we then take them back to the shelter. But because this was Christmas day, the guests were to stay with us the entire day. This was their only day to have a leisurely breakfast, a time when they did not have to hurry to get ready to be taken back to the shelter. I felt that we spoiled their chance to have a (rare) peaceful morning by bringing in this TV crew. In a way, I also feel that we are "using" the homeless to gain attention, honor, and (perhaps) donations from the public for our shul. My own feelings are that we brought embarrassment upon our guests, and I believe it is wrong to shame or exploit the poor, especially for our own aggrandizement. It is my opinion that we should go back to hosting the homeless on a week other than that involving the Christmas holiday. This would solve the problem about causing offense or embarassment to some of our guests, as well as put an end to media coverage of how we, a Jewish organization, shelter the homeless at Christmas. I was wondering what your take on this situation might be.




LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Your Anti-Zionism is quite possibly Anti-Semitic

Posted on 01/16/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in News & Updates
High on the list of ironies surrounding anti-Israel organizations is their vocal criticism of the way that Israel has...

Secret Jewish Druggies

Posted on 01/07/2019 by Jacob Schwartz in Health
[Ed Note: This entry to the Jewis Values Online blog addresses some difficult and troubling issues, from a rather personal...

Why Be Jewish? [Part 2] The Forces Within and the Forces Without

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussion on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question), we raised the issue that,...

Yes, You Can Be A Jewish Atheist

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
To say that Judaism is a religion is to misunderstand two things. First, the term “religion” is a new word...

Prayer as a Form of Wishes

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
January 2019For a curriculum that I created many years ago concerning Jewish identity, I proposed that one can draw...

A Biblical Commentary for Rationalists

Posted on 01/02/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
"an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot" - Shemot (Exodus) 21:24 Along with...
JVO Panel  of Scholars
           
 
NOW ADD JVO CONTENT TO
YOUR WEBSITE A FREE SERVICE
 
Click here for instructions to embed the
JVO "JEW Q's" widget on your website.
 
Jewish Values Online

Home | Search For Answers | Ask A Question | About | Contact Us | OriginsUseful Links | Blog | Help | Site Map

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
 
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.