Out of the Cold


The 19th season of the Beth Sholom/Beth Tzedec Out of the Cold Shelter will operate on Tuesday nights from January 2, 2018 through March 20, 2018. We provide a hot meal, clothing, entertainment, an art program and a mindfulness group for 175 of Toronto’s homeless and needy. We also offer sleeping accommodations for 60 overnight guests, a hot breakfast, bagged lunch and a subway token for everyone each week. 


Our Shelter has succeeded in creating a warm environment for our guests in more ways than one. We are known for our friendly and caring volunteers, the fact that we serve our guests dinner, (rather than having them line up), on white tablecloths, and have live musical entertainment while they enjoy their meal.


The distribution of warm clothing is one of the most essential services we provide to our guests. We greatly appreciate your clothing donations. Please note that we only accept the following items, and they must be in adult sizes and in new or nearly new condition: down coats, ski jackets, parkas, snow pants, sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirts, sweat pants, blue jeans, corduroy pants, winter boots, hiking boots and running shoes. Clothing can be dropped off at Beth Sholom Synagogue, and placed in the bins and boxes located in the entrance of the Synagogue.


Our art program, The Art Circle, has empowered many of those who use our services. Our guests work on their paintings and drawings for two hours every Tuesday night after dinner, under the guidance of our experienced volunteer staff. At the end of the season we present Basking in their Light, the Out of the Cold Art Sale and Fundraiser that showcase’s our artists’ works. For many of the artists it is the highlight of their year. The 2017 Art Sale set records for the numbers of attendees, (400), and the money received by our artists.


We continue to search for ways to improve the quality of life of our guests. This past year we teamed up with The Centre for Mindfulness Studies, and started a mindfulness group that focused on stress reduction..


The heart of our Shelter is our volunteers, without whom we could not operate.


If you would like to volunteer please click here.
Please see below for changes to our volunteer registration.

If you have questions related to volunteering please contact us at:

If you have questions please contact us at: ootcbsbt@gmail.com


We look forward to volunteering with you,


Rafi Aaron and Maureen Tanz

Co-chairs Beth Sholom/Beth Tzedec Out of the Cold


Volunteering at our Out of the Cold

Registration is now open for volunteers for our Out of the Cold Shelter. Shifts are available to set up for dinner, serve, socialize with guests, sort and distribute donated clothing, supervise overnight and help serve breakfast. Community service hours are available for high school students.


We are very fortunate and thankful to have so many dedicated volunteers, without whom we could not operate our Shelter. Over the years the numbers of volunteers have grown exponentially. We are trying our best to accommodate everyone but must adhere to the fire regulations that limit the number of people, (volunteers and guests combined) on any given shift.

Please note that most of you will only be able to volunteer 2 or 3 times this season.
Volunteers who show up on evenings when they are not scheduled to work will be turned away.

Changes to Volunteer Registration 2018

This year we will be sending out the volunteer schedule for the entire season, rather than week by week, as was done in the past. You will receive a reminder email a few days before your scheduled shift. Please send an email volunteer.ootcbsbt@gmail.com as soon as you are aware that a particular week will not work for you.


When you fill in the registration form, you must indicate your shift preferences for the weeks you would like to volunteer. This does NOT mean that you will necessarily be volunteering on all of those weeks. You will receive an email confirmation from our Volunteer Co-Ordinator for the dates and shifts you are scheduled for. If you have not received an email to volunteer on a given week, please do not show up, as you will be turned away.


Please let us know which shift your are available to work. On occasion, some volunteers may be asked to work in the clothing room instead of on the floor during their shift.


If you are volunteering with a friend or family member and want to be on the same shift, please indicate that in the registration form and we will do our best to accommodate you. If you are registering for multiple people, please provide separate emails for everyone, where possible.


If you do NOT use email, please provide a friend or family member’s email, as this is our method of communication with our volunteers.

Register to Volunteer

Registration is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who applied. You will be contacted directly with further information about this years OOTC season.

Donate Now

If you would like to make a donation to our Out of the Cold program in honour or in memory of please click here.

Mazon Canada

Thank you to Mazon Canada for their continuous support of our Chesed programs.
About Mazon Canada

Out of the Cold Gallery

Yasher Koach to long-time member Kurt Herzstein for his commitment to helping the homeless in our community!