Rabbi Brant Rosen, spiritual leader of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, IL was recently on a Brit Tzedek v'Shalom mission to Israel. Upon his return he wrote this letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times. (See Rabbi Rosen's blog, Shalom Rav).
For a full set of resources on Israel see http://www.jrf.org/israel
To the editor: read more »
I recently traveled with a Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace) delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territories. We met with academics, peace activists, and politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian Prime Minister Fayad. Among other things, we learned much about the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, circumstances reflected in the 1/22/08 article, “Tens of thousands of Palestinians flood into Egypt through breached Gaza wall.”
Click here to register for this and other PEARL tele-conference sessions.
Below is a growing list of programmatic resources to aid congregations in their pursuit of Tikkun Olam, organized by issue, and type of resource.
The initial issues included are:
These represent the most common issues being addressed by Congregation Based Community Organizing (CBCO) groups throughout the country.
Kehilat HaNahar of New Hope, PA, held a successful Mitzvah Day on Oct. 21. That day, the community:
• Packed 500 lunches for a Trenton-area soup kitchen
• Cooked 65 meals for the Aid for Friends organization
• Sent care packages to 61 members of the New Jersey Air National Guard 108th Air Refueling Wing, stationed in the Middle East
• Signed people up to assist with HOPE (Helping People Every Day) and NOVA (Network of Victims Assistance)
• Enrolled people in the CROP walk in Lambertville
The activities were funded through a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
For additional resources on hunger and poverty see: http://www.jrf.org/hunger
With the enthusiasm around JRF's Omer Learning Initiative, as well as the solid response of JRF congregations in the Climate Change Initiative, JRF is continues to deepen its greening work with member communities next year.
Our hope is to motivate and educate our congregations in sustainable practices, with the goal of reaching 100 percent participation in the years ahead.
Learn about the Sustainable Synagogue Initiative on the JRF website's environment pages at jrfSustainable_Synagogue_Resources.
For more information contact Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Director of Outreach and Tikkun Olam, SZevit@jrf.org
Shir Hadash of Milwaukee is slating the upcoming "shemita" or "Sabbatical" year as a "green" year for its congregation. The central theme of the year will be to explore how we as Jews can give our stressed and endangered world a rest. An ad hoc committee chaired by two Shir Hadash members will oversee and coordinate events, classes, educational and ritual opportunities all tied to the yearly round of holidays and holy days of the Jewish calendar. read more »
We must reflect on how fortunate we are to ring in the High Holidays in the United States, where we generally practice our religous values freely and safely. Our fellow Jews in Sderot, however, do not enjoy such security. Often, geographic distance makes relating to the distress of our Israeli counterparts difficult.
Now is your chance to touch the hearts of citizens of Sderot struck by religous violence. Kehillath Shalom is involved in a "Joint Chessed Project." Our Israeli Ki Va Moed partners sent a list of about 130 families in Sderot, and we would like to collect letters of support and encouragement to send to them.
Envelopes are available in the JRFNY lobby. After completing your letter, please place the envelope in the "mailbox," also located in the lobby. Please do not take an envelope unless you intend to write a letter and return it by September 30. We want to be certain everyone on the list receives a letter, so please get involved!
This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children and to remind yourself of the values of "chessed" (loving kindness) and "Col Yisraelim aravim zeh l'zeh" (the idea that all Jews are responsible for one another).
Letters do not have a mandated length (1 paragraph would suffice). Here are some details that you may want to include:
Thanks for helping to spread the joy of the New Year to our global Jewish community.
JRF, a member of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs and an affiliate member of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, joins in supporting the JCPA's 2007-8 National Anti-Poverty Campaign.
There shall be no needy among you. (Deuteronomy 15:4)
The JCPA proposes the launching of a national anti-poverty campaign to: read more »
I am excited to present to you sample guidelines for congregational values-based decision making in the area of social justice and advocacy.
Taking a specific stand on a social or political issue is a real and complex challenge for any faith-based community. read more »
The guidelines were developed by Adat Shalom in Bethesda, Maryland, Columbia Jewish Congregation, Columbia, MD, and Tzedek V'Shalom in Newton, PA, over an intensive year of study and community-wide discussion and decision making. The documents were graciously shared with us to aid other congregations in similar processes.
On April 27, 2007, Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis of Temple Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, California, delivered a major speech regarding genocide, the suicide of denial, and our collective responsibilities to transmit memory to our children and our children’s children.
Entitled In Honor of the Martyrs of Armenia, it commemorates the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, speaks to all genocides, whether Armenian, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, or Darfur, and points out the consequences to a society which remains apathetic in the face of murder. read more »