Yom Chamishi, 6 Nisan 5778

How to Get Involved

Family Promise

Next Host Week: March 25 - April 1, 2018
Click here to volunteer.

Volunteer Responsibilities 

"Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family. Having both - is a blessing."― Donna Hedges

Family Promise is a community response to homelessness, made up of the giving hearts of community members, houses of faith, and local service agencies. Family Promise believes that no child should have to sleep in a car or under a bridge, and that every family deserves a chance to be whole and have a roof over their head again.

Who We Are – Our Mission & Programs  The mission of Family Promise of Las Vegas is to offer homeless families the opportunity to achieve housing stability by providing short term shelter, meals, case management and hospitality. Family Promise is a cooperative effort that addresses the needs of homeless families by utilizing resources within local congregations and the community. Families in the program receive a full complement of resources and training as they work towards their own independence and self-sufficiency.

Emergency Shelter: Host Congregations
Families experiencing a temporary episode of homelessness are able to stay together in the Family Promise network of shelter sites, whereas other, larger shelters require men (and boys over age 12) to separate from the women and girls.  Family Promise's Interfaith Hospitality Network sheltering system utilizes the facilities and resources of faith communities, such as Congregation Ner Tamid.  In the week that we host, 3 - 4 families will come to Ner Tamid for the evening meal, and sleep overnight in our classrooms, then rise at 6:00 a.m. for breakfast, make a sack lunch, and then are transported by a Family Promise van to their jobs and/or a Day Site. 

Rabbi Akselrad was instrumental in bringing the Family Promise program to Las Vegas.  Each year, we host families for one week, at least three times each year.  We can only do this because our congregants are so generous of their financial support and time, volunteering to make dinners, make our guests comfortable, and to stay the night in case of any emergencies. 

Volunteers Are Needed:

Provide an evening meal: you can cook it yourself or make it a project of your Chavurah or another group, such as the parents of your child's Religious School class.  If cooking isn't your thing, you can bring trays of food from restaurants that cater, such as Panda Express or Pizzas.  The families and children are grateful for any meal and the effort it took to provide.

Come hang out in the evening, play board games or offer a movie: After dinner, the families make their lunches for the next day, and hang out in the kitchen socializing.  When possible, we like to offer an activity at least two nights of the host week - it breaks up the monotony for the guest families and ourselves.

Stay the Night:  The overnight volunteers stay in the Youth Lounge on an air bed (volunteers bring their own linens).  Families are usually in their own rooms by 9:00 p.m., so the overnight volunteer merely ensures the kitchen is cleaned, and then can watch TV, read, or play games with the other overnight volunteer(s) [this is a great volunteer experience for children and youth]. Volunteers go to sleep whenever they wish - but must wake the guests at 6:00 a.m. for a quick breakfast and getting ready for the van at 7:00 a.m.

Weekend Breakfasts or Activities:  The families are given a little extra time on the weekends to be ready to leave for the Day Site.  It's a nice change for someone to come and prepare a more elaborate breakfast (weekday breakfasts are cold cereal, fruit cups, and juice.  If a volunteer wants to plan an outing to a park, movie, or something like bowling - we can arrange with Family Promise for a late pick up or early drop off.  It's all up to us and our ideas!



There are many ways to get involved at CNT by sharing your experience and expertise with others, making CNT "A Special Place to Belong".  Do you have a special skill?  Do you have some extra time on your schedule?  Whether you like on-going committee work, prefer to work on a short term project, or in the office or garden -- we have a place for you! 

Volunteer positions are available to temple members only.
Get involved - Contact Roberta Unger at the temple office at 702-733-6292, 
Click here to complete our CNT volunteer form. 

Community Garden

2013-04-24 15.55.51
LIGDOL B'YACHAD - "Grow Together"

Congregation Ner Tamid's Community Garden

Did you know the Greenspun Campus for Jewish Life, Learning & Spiritual Renewal had a Community Garden?  Congregation Ner Tamid set aside an area in front of the King David Memorial Gardens for a Community Garden, open to all Temple members and members of the general community to plant fruits, vegetables, or herbs.  The Garden plays many roles in our congregational life: it's an opportunity for young and old alike to experience a little bit of nature in our urban environment; it's a classroom experience for Religious School students learning about Jewish ethics concerning the environment; it's a source of nutritious and delicious food for members; and it's a place for individuals to investigate medicinal herbs and share their discoveries! 


Plants thrive when they are harvested; they die when they're not.  Our crops vary, according to the season - but you are always welcome to come harvest what you need for your culinary creations-!  Currently, you will find:  In the First Planter, on the right:  Strawberries planted on Mitzvah Day.  In the Second Planter on the right: Lemon Thyme and Mint.  Third Planter, on the right (planted on Mitzvah Day): Cabbage (Red and Green), Beets, Curled Parsley.  First Planter, on the left: Mint, onions, and flowers for your table.  Second Planter on the left: Basil and Sage.  Third Planter on the left: Cilantro, and Dill.

Join in the Planning, Planting and Fun!  Anyone interested in participating in the Community Garden is most welcome to attend any of our meetings: the first Tuesday of every month at 5:00 pm, in the CNT Board Room.  We are especially in need of people who can tend the garden at least once each week, adopt a particular crop or herb - researching the proper mixture of water and sun to thrive in our environment, and people interested in design.  You can just drop by - or call Phyllis Ruth Hoffman at 702-219-2781 or Roberta Unger at 702-733-6292 x 202 for more information or to RSVP.

History of CNT's Community Garden: Congregation Ner Tamid planted the first four planter beds for the Community Garden located in front of the King David Memorial Gardens on the Greenspun Campus for Jewish Life, Learning and Spiritual Renewal in 2012. Mindy Unger-Watkins, the project coordinator, said at the time, "We planted four beds for now. Once we are successful with the first four planter beds, we will expand the garden and potentially get more involvement from the greater Henderson community." The Garden currently features six raised planter beds and four fruit trees.

CNT had some wonderful team members that helped to initiate the garden. Elaine Fagin from the University Cooperative Extension Horticulture Program jumped in to help advise the committee as well as provide the training needed to initiate the correct planting. McGinley and Associates, a Henderson environmental company, donated lots of time to help supervise the planter building and installation (thanks to Brian Rakvica) as well as the truck to get the soil to the site. Boy Scout Troop 903, under the direction of CNT member and Eagle Project Director Jace Scholes, did all the labor for grading, irrigation, and planter install along with the CNT landscaper, D and H Services who also donated their time for the project. And, Janie Greenspun-Gale's long-time friends and composting specialists, Nature's 8, provided all the rich soils.  CNT member Cecilia Schafler, a landscape architect, did the layout for the initial planters as well our future additions. Staff from the City of Henderson helped the committee to make sure they followed city codes (thanks Paul Androcopolis and Amee Wojtech) plus Jace secured the City of Henderson community clean up trailer with all the needed tools for the day. And lastly, Janie Greenspun-Gale who is herself a master gardener with a great home garden, donated the balance of our funding for the initial project and future expansion. After many months of planning and coordinating, the 7th grade Religious School students planted the garden with help from the many sponsors that gathered to see the results of their hard work.

If you are interested in joining the Garden Committee, volunteering as a Garden Manager, or volunteering as a Garden Steward, all that is required are some regular visits to CNT to tend to the garden. Garden experience is only needed from a few volunteers so basically anyone interested can get involved. Join the garden community and help us grow. 

Talmud Yerushalmi, Kiddushin 4:12
Rabbi Hezekiah and Rabbi Kohen in the name of Rav said: It is forbidden to live in a city which has no healer, no bathhouse and no court which administers lashes and prison sentences. Rabbi Yossi said in the name of Rabbi Bon: It is even forbidden to live in a city which has no vegetable garden.

Outreach & Interfaith

OUTREACH......the Reform Movement welcomes and supports those who choose to explore Judaism.  Introduced over 30 years ago, Outreach began as an initiative of the Reform Movement, thanks to the leadership of then-President of the UAHC (Union of American Hebrew Congregations, now Union for Reform Judaism) Rabbi Alexander Schindler.  CNT's Outreach Program serves the needs of interfaith couples, couples considering interfaith marriage, Jews by Choice, relatives of interfaith couples...anyone concerned about Jewish values, history and traditions.  Our Congregation is the only Temple in Southern Nevada which specifically provides Outreach programming: providing support, education, mentoring and opportunities to share experiences to individuals and families newly engaging in living Jewishly. Typically, Outreach Programs are holiday or life-cycle based; designed to teach different skills related to blessings and ritual actions as well as an enhanced knowledge of customs and traditions.  Congregation Ner Tamid offers many programs on Jewish observance and values appropriate to the beginner, and not all of them are designated specifically for "Outreach" members; you are encouraged to attend all Lifelong Learning programs offered at CNT.

A TASTE OF JUDAISM: Each Spring, CNT offers A Taste of Judaism, a 3-part class giving a broad overview of Jewish history, beliefs and values.  Appropriate for everyone who feels they lack a foundational understanding of Judaism, this class is often the first-step for couples considering interfaith marriage, and/or the non-Jewish family of an interfaith couple.

INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM:  Each summer our Congregation offers a 5-8-week "Introduction to Judaism Class" which is open to all - those curious about our religion and customs; those thinking about conversion; and those born Jewish, but with little knowledge and lots of questions. The Intro to Judaism Class considers the Jewish views of God, Prayer, the Sabbath, and Jewish Observance. Intro to Judaism is a pre-requisite to joining the Conversion Class.

CONVERSION CLASS - CHOOSING JUDAISM: For those deciding upon conversion, each September begins a new Conversion Class (although, upon consultation with Rabbi Akselrad, it is possible to begin the process mid-year). Conversion students engage in a more in-depth discussion and exploration of Judaism and how choosing Judaism will impact their lives.  Hebrew is included in the program. Admittance to this class requires acceptance from Rabbi Akselrad.  To schedule an appointment with the Rabbi, contact the Temple office at 702-733-6292.

Our congregation has a commitment to making everyone feel a part of the temple community.  We have had a long history of welcoming inter-faith families and Jews-by-Choice. Each person's path into Jewish life is unique, and it is our desire to help people in their Jewish choices and to create a caring and supportive community. If you would like information about CNT Outreach & Interfaith programs please contact the Temple Office at 733-6292.

Senior Social Group

The Seniors Social Group is an exciting program specifically designed for the enjoyment of the senior members of our Jewish community. This group provides a wide variety of informative, entertaining and fun events, including lectures, plays, inter-generational programs, musical performances and much more. Of course, noshing and schmoozing are included at each event and includes either a potluck, catered or bring your own lunch.  Each meeting offers something slightly different; sometimes it's pure entertainment with music, dance, or comedy programs by professional and semi-professional groups; sometimes it's informative, with speakers or workshops on maintaining good health habits, reducing stress, or avoiding scams; and other times we just treat each other to our unique talents.

The Social Club meets the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at noon - check the temple calendar online for the next date. Senior activities are for those 55 years and older and are open to the community. For more information please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to contact Joyce Herlands or call 733-6292 ext 213.