Har-El’s mission statement indicates that our congregation is dedicated to Study, Worship and Building Community. This has been true from our earliest beginnings in 2004. These are the programs we have sponsored to help in the upbuilding of our community and in creating bridges of interfaith understanding:
Financial Support for Victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005
Interfaith Passover Seder:
Each year, Har-El has invited a church group to join with us in our observance of Passover. Over the years, we have invited the Rector and parishioners of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church to join with us in a Passover Seder service. A sample Passover Seder meal was served for all to enjoy. Our Cantor provided the music and our Rabbi provided the explanations. We look forward to our next Interfaith Seder, which will be a virtual experience.
Interfaith Tu B’Shvat Seder:
In February, 2020, Har-El held a special Tu B’Shvat Seder and vegan meal in observance of Chamisha Asar B’Shvat, the 15th of the month of Sh’vat, which celebrates nature and the need for environmental concern. The Seder for Tu B’Shvat dates back to the mystical scholars of the Sephardi communities in the eastern Mediterranean in the 16th century. This Seder was well-received and has special relevance to our generation today. Our next Tu B’Shvat Seder will also be a virtual one.
Collecting Food, Gently-Used Clothing and Other Items for Those in Need:
Over the years, Har-El has joined with our neighbors at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in supporting the “Neighbor 4 Neighbor” Food and Clothing Drive. On Yom Kippur and throughout the year, we urge our congregants to bring non-perishable food items and gently-used clothing as well as other items to St. Margaret’s where they are distributed on a weekly basis to the disadvantaged in our community. During the summer of 2020, Har-El Congregation members gave revenue to provide 15,000 meals for those who were suffering in the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“Well in the Desert”:
This program feeds over 2,000 people on Christmas Day at the Palm Springs Convention Center. In 2017 and 2018, Har-El provided 40 volunteers to work in this much-needed program.