Social Action and
Community Service
at Ansche Chesed

From our men’s homeless shelter, which operates 365 days a year, to our many social action programs for adults, teens and families, we strive to live up to our name—to be ansche chesed, people of kindness, working to build the world through good deeds. The busy Social Action Committee hosts activities throughout the year and partners with many local charities, including the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, the New York Blood Center and the homeless organization, Midnight Run.

Rabbi Yael Hammerman shared her reflections of participating in the New Sanctuary Coalition’s Accompaniment Training

Upcoming Events & Actions

Check back soon for more Social Action and Community Service Opportunities

Past Events


Ongoing Programs

Foodshare’s SNAP Challenge

Foodshare’s SNAP Challenge encourages participants to spend a week experiencing what life is like for millions of low-income Americans who live on an average daily allowance of $4.15. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, feeds millions of hungry families in America every month, and with the rising cost of food and other economic challenges, SNAP benefits are sometimes a family’s only access to food.. To learn more, contact SocialAction@ or visit


Our sustainability effort focuses on finding ways to make the Ansche Chesed building function in a more environmentally sustainable way, creating opportunities for members to participate in hands-on environmental projects, and educating members about our activities and about what they can do at home. We also try to model appropriate care for the environment by recycling used materials. New York City recycling bins can be found in key locations throughout the facility, we hold periodic recycling days for computers and other types of electronic equipment, and we can provide a list of locations where members can recycle used fabric and clothing. To learn more, contact Executive Director Amy Shapiro-Kessler (

Panim el Panim

Panim el Panim is a 12-week, 24-session program developed by the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness & Housing for men and women who are or were homeless. Using the Life Skills Empowerment Program (LSEP) model developed by the New York Archdiocese of Catholic Charities and the Interfaith Assembly for Homelessness and Housing, Panim el Panim helps people recovering from the trauma of homelessness to develop essential life skills by sharing life stories within a supportive community. Each participant is assigned a mentor who, with the support of a professional social worker, helps the participant identify goals and develop a plan to achieve them. To learn more, contact or visit

Teen Community Service

Teens interested in earning community-service credit are invited to volunteer at Ansche Chesed’s family programs throughout the year. To learn more, contact Aliza Sebert, Education and Family Programs Director (

West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH)

The West Side Campaign Against Hunger not only feeds thousands of people each year through its unique customer cooperative model, but also helps its clients access government aid, the social services they need to grow stronger, and information about nutrition. We hope you will consider supporting WSCAH with donations of food and funds. To learn more about the organization’s work, visit

Social Action Events

Check the calendar for these events:

Blood Drives

Three times a year, Ansche Chesed sponsors blood drives through the New York Blood Center. For more information, contact Administrative Director Martin Sivorinovsky at or visit

Habitat for Humanity Projects

Several times each year, Ansche Chesed members join with other New Yorkers to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. You must be 17 to participate (16, with the approval of a parent or guardian). For more information or to volunteer, please contact Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky ( or visit

MLK Day of Service for Kids

Every year, Ansche Chesed holds a series of events that honor the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Past years’ activities have included cooking for the Ansche Chesed Men’s Homeless Shelter and number of related arts and crafts projects. For more information, contact Aliza Sebert, Education and Family Programs Director (

Riverside Park Clean-Up Day

Join Ansche Chesed for the synagogue’s annual Riverside Park Clean-up Day and help make Riverside Valley Community Garden, at 138th Street, beautiful again. We do a range of tasks, including weeding, spreading woodchips and mulch and raking. For more information, contact Aliza Sebert, Education and Family Programs Director (

Midnight Run

Every year Ansche Chesed collects, sorts and distributes food, clothing and toiletries to homeless New Yorkers through the Midnight Run. Donations are collected throughout the year as members use lobby drop-off bins to hold (1) new or gently used clothing (for men: pants, jeans, khakis, shorts, shirts, T-shirts, light jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, baseball caps, belts and shoes; for women: pants, tops, light jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts); (2) sample-size toiletries; and (3) backpacks, large bins, and sturdy canvas bags. On the day of the event, volunteers gather at Ansche Chesed to sort clothes, make sandwiches and prepare individual bags of toiletries. Adults, teens and children eight and older are welcome and community service credit is available for teens. Financial donations are always welcome. To volunteer, contact To learn more, visit

Thousand Turkey Challenge

Each year, Ansche Chesed joins the interfaith coalition of community supporters of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s Thousand Turkey Challenge. In 2014, this food/tzedakah drive raised more than $34,000 and donated more than 1,000 turkeys to New York City families in need. Donations can be made online, in person, or in the form of frozen turkeys the week before Thanksgiving. To learn more about the work of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, watch this video  or visit To learn more about Ansche Chesed’s participation in the Thousand Turkey Challenge, contact