THE SYNAGOGUE

Congregation B'nai Emunah is serious about its baking. Challas for the Sabbath. Hamentaschen for Purim. Beautiful, clove-scented honey cakes for the High Holidays. Walk into our kitchens any week of the year and somebody will be baking Randee Charney's apple cake, a crowning achievement of the Jewish holiday kitchen. A century-long tradition of expert craftsmanship speaks through the trays laid out for family celebrations. Nobody bakes like B'nai Emunah. We've been doing it for a hundred years.

And nobody is more committed to the idea of service. We run a serious parent support program at McClure Elementary School. There's our benefit public concert to help with food insecurity. We offer English language instruction to Hispanic and Burmese immigrants focussed on the needs of hardworking, low-income moms. For a small congregation, those are big endeavors. We'll keep going forward because we're commanded to make a difference. Right here. Right now. Living in the real world like we mean it.

The Altamont Bakery Project is the point of convergence between these commitments. Early in the fall of 2009, we pledged ourselves to the Altamont Apartments, a Tulsa facility for the formerly homeless mentally ill. Our original project was a congregational partnership, guided by the estimable Robert Althoff of the Housing Faith Alliance of Tulsa. Volunteers from the Synagogue and Metropolitan Baptist Church worked together on providing basic needs: simple furnishings and amenities for newly arrived residents, living at the Altamont as part of their return to society.

The Altamont Bakery is our second major effort on behalf of the mental health community. We believe that our fellow citizens, grappling heroically with mental illness, deserve respectful, generous support from the community at large. We're honored to be part of the solution.

home