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Social Action Programs

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?

– Rabbi Hillel
 

At TI, Tikkun Olam has previously meant a hands-on approach and for over twenty years our Social Action Committee has sponsored a wide spectrum of thriving projects. This year, some of our Social Action programs will be hands-on (in person) but others can be done from the safety of your home, avoiding any risk of close contact.

Our commitment to tikkun olam – healing and repairing the world – is a natural outgrowth of TI’s progressive concern for the both the local community and world around us—a concern that is needed now more than ever.

We welcome you to join us for a one-time event or for a more regular activity. Each person can choose the issues closest to their heart, volunteer the amount of time they can, and let’s come together to heal the world.

Over the next year, TI’s Social Action programs will fall into these broad categories:

  1. Support in providing food, shelter and necessities for those in need;
  2. Educational activities organized jointly with other TI Committees and groups;
  3. Addressing issues of racial justice from a Jewish perspective;
  4. Tutoring programs aimed mainly at children;
  5. Advocacy and educational programs on crucial social action issues.

PROVIDING FOOD, SHELTER AND NECESSITIES FOR THOSE IN NEED

  • Rosh Hashanah Food Delivery
    September 2021 (Sunday)
  • Walk for the Homeless with Emory United Methodist Church
    October 2021
  • Shepherds Table: TI volunteers serving food
    First Sunday of each month
  • Christmas Dinner – TI volunteers serve shelter residents
    December 2021
  • MLK Shabbaton
    January 2022 (Shabbat)
  • Passover food delivery
    April 2022 (Sunday)
  • Ward 4 Mutual Aid: TI volunteers pick up, pack, and deliver food, diapers, and other necessities.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED JOINTLY WITH OTHER TI GROUPS

  • Martin Luther King Shabbaton
    January 2022 (Shabbat)
  • TI Children Reading Jewish Picture Books
  • Rock Creek Park Cleanups  

ADDRESSING ISSUES OF RACIAL JUSTICE FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE

  • Vigil Against Racism
    Every Friday evening at TI, check the TI calendar for times.
  • The Curse of Ham: An Exercise in Misinterpretation
    October 2021
  • Hebraic by Convenience: The Use of Torah as a Defense of Slavery
    January 2022
  • Jews Come in All Colors: A Panel Discussion
    Shabbat afternoon in February
  • Song of Songs (fiction based on Shir Hashirim)
    April 2021
  • Black by Convenience: Colorism in Eurocentric Culture
    June 2022

TUTORING PROGRAMS AIMED MAINLY AT CHILDREN

Tifereth Israel volunteers have traditionally tutored students from the closest public elementary school, plus children of refugee immigrant families. We are now working on the arrangements to continue such tutoring programs remotely in the Fall and hopefully in-person in the Spring.
 

ADVOCACY AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ON CRUCIAL ISSUES

DC Synagogues Social Justice Initiative (DCSSJI)
Social Action coordinators from Tifereth Israel, Adas Israel, and Temple Sinai have met monthly since mid-2020 to discuss the multiple ongoing crises (racial justice, pandemic, economic fallout) that affect all of us, but especially low-income, Black and Brown communities, immigrants and those who are economically distressed. We share information, coordinate Social Justice actions and support each other’s Social Justice activities. Our congregations coordinated closely with Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) and the Fair Budget Coalition to ensure that health and human services and other social justice priorities would be preserved. This coalition scored a major victory when the DC Council voted to increase public funding for childcare and early child education services. Over the next year, our advocacy priorities will probably be on working to limit gun violence and increase support for early childhood services.

Mosaic Visions
One of the great riches of the global Jewish community is its diversity and the variety of languages, cultures, and backgrounds represented.  However, Jews of color—Black, Asian, Latino, and Middle Eastern Jews have often felt unseen, unheard and generally marginalized in the American Jewish community.  TI has generally been warmly welcoming, but we want to do more to welcome Jews of color, learn from their experiences and make room for their perspectives. For this purpose, we have partnered with Mosaic Visions, which describes itself this way: 

The mission of Mosaic Visions is to form an inclusive space that generates visibility for marginalized and underrepresented Jews of Color (JOCs) within the Global Jewish community through advocacy, awareness, and education. It is an organization of racially and ethnically diverse Jews and other allies and collaborators that are committed to equity and diversity.

Tue, October 19 2021 13 Cheshvan 5782