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...and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; (Deut. 11:19)

Group Chairs: Stacey Berg         Clergy Liaison: Rabbi Lydia Medwin

The Temple’s RSJI Public Education group is committed to partnering with local schools and organizations to provide time and support for our children and schools within the Atlanta public education system. We continue our ongoing support of specifically, FATE or Frederick A Toomer Elementary school. We are seeking new members at all times and welcome teens, adults and seniors. Anyone interested in public education policies welcome. We welcome volunteers at all times; please reach out.



The RSJI Public Education and Homelessness groups have joined together to help support financially disadvantaged children at Toomer Elementary School.  Each Friday, 29 children go home with a nondescript backpack filled with non-perishable food items  for the weekend.  These children are confidentially selected by the school administration and school social worker.   Our Backpack Buddies program helps ensure that these children have nutritious meals on the weekends when they are not receiving lunch or breakfast at school.  

We are able to continue this program thanks to generous donations by our Temple members.  Please consider purchasing items on the Amazon Wish List.  If you are interested in volunteering to help sort and/or deliver items to Toomer, please contact Stacey Berg.

Our goals are:
  • To provide resources directly to the students of Toomer Elementary school, including holiday gifts, school supplies, and tutoring.
  • To educate our Temple community about the major issues facing public school education and the students and teachers.
  • To monitor legislation that affects our public schools.
How we accomplish these goals:
  • In the Fall, we partner with Toomer Elementary to provide students and the school with the materials they need through a supply drive. We collect the supplies through outreach to our religious school families. Supplies are collected and delivered over the course of two weeks in August/September.
  • For the holiday season, we host Project Gift, which is a holiday gifting program for Toomer, as well as Hope Hill in the 2019 holiday season. Project Gift enables the students access to a "gift store" where they use the merit points acquired over the course of the year to purchase new gifts for members of their family. Project Gift requires the gifts be purchased for others to encourage the spirit of giving. Thanks to generous donations, we provide a variety of brand new gifts for the students to give to their loved ones, in addition to something small for the students themselves.
  • Members of The Temple have been mentoring students at Toomer Elementary School for many years. Mentors are required to commit to one lunch period per week with students assigned to them by an in school outreach program. Mentors can bring their students lunch and are asked to engage in discussions promoting self-esteem, problem solving, and positive impact and respect. No teaching experience is necessary, simply a willingness to be present for students.
  • We partner with the Women’s Rights group and the Homelessness group to throw a Period Pack Party, a gathering in which donated feminine supplies are sorted and packed into distributable packages. This program began after we realized that many young women were missing a week of school each month for lack of these essential supplies.
  • We partner with the Backpack Buddies, alongside the RSJI: Homelessness group, to provide students in public schools with backpacks full of food to feed their families. Each week, backpacks are packed full of canned foods and dropped off at schools that have been identified as serving the students at greatest risk of hunger.
Thu, December 8 2022 14 Kislev 5783