Tikkun Olam / Social Action Preview

social action4

 

"Repairing the World"…

Our Social Action Committee continues to provide direct service to those in need.  This past year, we also developed a small a cadre of volunteers in community organizing and advocacy.  Together with our clergy we embarked on a listening campaign within our congregation and broader community for ways we can make a bigger difference in our neighborhoods and world. Our activities and actions are now organized by teams supporting target issue areas.  See what we're up to and please join us as we harness our collective power to make the world a better place.

 

Current & Upcoming Highlights

MLK Weekend of Tikkun Olam
Friday, January 12 – Sunday, January 14

Click Here to Register for our Shabbat Dinner w/ Community Partners & Speaker

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12
6:00 PM: Return Again Shabbat Service
6:30 PM: Traditional Lay-led Shabbat Service
7:45 PM: Shabbat Dinner with Community Partners and Guest Speakers: Lashonia Thompson-El and Ryane Nickens
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 
9:30 AM: Shabbat Service in the Charles E. Smith Sanctuary, featuring guest speaker Angela King, cofounder of Life After Hate, and joined by the
Howard University Gospel Choir
SUNDAY, JANUARY 14 
10:00 AM: Adas and Rabbi Alexander join Peoples Congregational Church, featuring special performance by the Ushindi Performance Tribe, 
United Church of Christ, at 4704 13th Street, N.W.

A Glimpse of the Other DC
A conversation with Lashonia Thompson-El and Ryane Nickens

As a young woman Lashonia made a series of bad decisions that landed her in prison for a violent crime and where she spent half of her life. She is currently a Restorative Justice facilitator in the DC Office of the Attorney General and the Executive Director the Wire – Women Involved in Reentry Efforts.

Ryane is the founder and President of the TraRon Center, formed to support, counsel and empower victims and family members of gun violence through group sessions, community education, advocacy and creative arts.

From 2 different paths, these two women have learned to focus on actions needed to bring healing to our city.  On Friday night during Shabbat dinner, they will be in conversation sharing some of their pivotal experiences with us.

 

MLK Jr. Weekend, Saturday Guest Speaker: Angela King, co-founder of Life After Hate, “Transforming the Hater”
Saturday, January 13 during Shabbat morning services and at 1:00 pm after kiddush
Angela King, a former neo-Nazi skinhead from South Florida who spent three years in prison for her part in a robbery of a Jewish-owned store, underwent a remarkable transformation while incarcerated: she went on to establish a non-profit called “Life After Hate,” a group founded by former violent extremists that serves to inspire individuals to find a place of compassion and forgiveness. She will share the story of her journey with us on January 13 during Shabbat morning services and again at 1:00 pm after kiddush. She will help us understand the process of transcending hate and the role we can play in catalyzing it.  

 

Volunteer Opportunity
D.C. Hunger Solutions is seeking SNAP Outreach Specialist volunteers for its 2018 EITC Campaign in Partnership with D.C. Community Tax Aid.

Founded in 2002 as an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), D.C. Hunger Solutions works to end hunger in the nation’s capital by maximizing participation in federal nutrition programs, such as SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), schools meals, WIC and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). These programs improve access to nutritious food for children and families, improve the economic security of households, and decrease rates of food insecurity in the district. 

For our 2018 EITC Campaign, we are seeking 40-50 enthusiastic volunteers for the SNAP Outreach Specialist position. 

All trainings will be held at the D.C. Hunger Solutions office located at 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. Dinner and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly time slot (generally three to four hours per week) during the tax season (February 1 through April 17). Shifts are available on weekends and evenings. Bilingual volunteers are in high demand for certain tax sites.

Questions and comments can be sent to Abby Herzfeld at aherzfeld@dchunger.org or call (202) 640-1088 ext.5057.

 

sukkot in springWe Need Your Help – Co-Sponsor a Refugee Family
Please Make Your Contribution HERE

The Social Action Committee’s Refugee Response Team is currently sponsoring a refugee family of 5 through Lutheran Social Services, and we need your help! Please volunteer to help with one or more of these activities by emailing Liana Brooks-Rubin or Amy Golen: job development, financial literacy, housing/furniture, food/clothing, transportation, education, medical/health. To make a contribution to support this work or for general information about Adas’ efforts to respond to the refugee crisis, email Dan Aladjem. The Social Action Committee’s Refugee Response Team has already furnished two apartments for newly settled refugee families in our area. Please make a contribution to support Adas’ efforts to respond to the refugee crisis. 

 

So Others Might Eat (SOME) Adas Israel Provide-A-Meal Volunteers
Monday, February 19, 6:30am – 9:15am and 10:30am to 1:15pm Register Here

We have another opportunity to volunteer at SOME.  Join us as we work with SOME staff to serve a hot meal to the men and women who use their services.  In 2015, SOME served 241,548 meals in their dining rooms. Volunteers must 13 or older. The closest Metro station is the New York Avenue (NoMa) station. SOME is located 1/2-mile from the station. Directions and transportation information is available HERE. The closest Metro station is the New York Avenue (NoMa) station. SOME is located 1/2-mile from the station. For questions please contact Sharon BurkaUpcoming 2018 SOME Volunteer Dates: Monday, February 19 (President's Day)
 
 

Your Spare SmarTrip Card Can Help DC’s Refugees Start Anew

Do you have SmarTrip cards with remaining value that you will not be using? Your spare card can help local refugees rebuild their life in the DC area.  With as little as $25 on a SmarTrip card, a refugee will be able to attend a cultural orientation class, enroll children in school, travel to a job interview, and go to an initial health screening.

Adas Israel is collecting spare or new SmarTrip cards for refugees in need. We are also accepting cash or checks to purchase SmarTrip cards.  All donations will be given to the International Rescue Committee to help struggling refugees make a new life for themselves. Please drop off your SmarTrip cards, cash or checks in the Adas coatroom or mail to:
Adas Israel Congregation c/o Marcy Spiro

2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

For more information please contact Beth Simon.

 

 

PHOTO GALLERY

     
             
     
 

 

OUR TEAMS

 

Refugee Response Team

For over a year, this team of Adas members has worked to welcome refugees to the Washington DC area. Working with Lutheran Social Services (LSS), Adas Israel has co-sponsored a Syrian refugee family. Adas volunteers have also furnished apartments for two other refugee families. Working with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Adas members are mentoring 5 refugee families from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Congo.  Adas Israel proudly stands with hundreds of other synagogues across the US as a member of HIAS’ Welcome Campaign.  As our involvement with the refugee crisis grows, we have begun to work in partnership with other synagogues and churches to build our community’s capacity to welcome and protect refugees to the DC area.  If you are interested in being a part of our IRC work, please complete the Volunteer Interest Survey. To donate non-cash items such as furniture, clothing and laptops to the IRC, please complete this form.

For more information about our mentoring work with the IRC, contact Alex Levy.

For information about IRC donations, contact Katy Gingles.

For information about our work with our Syrian family, contact Amy Golen, or Liana Brooks Rubin.

 

Climate Action Team  (CAT)

Climate change and the air pollution causing it are a threat to the health of our families and community, as well as families and communities around the world.  To foster collective learning about what Torah and Jewish tradition have to say about environmental matters, we are planning to work with clergy and members to share Torah lessons from the parashiyot related to this subject. There are many opportunities for the Adas community to take action in our synagogue and in our homes and communities to reduce the pollution causing climate change.  We plan to bring to you specific ways to take action, such as with group purchasing discounts for solar.  We are watching for opportunities to engage in advocacy campaigns for climate action in the Metro Washington, DC, area. Through these activities, Adas Israel congregants can find ways to take action together.  We welcome engagement by any and all from the Adas community.  For more information, contact Philip Henderson, philphdc@gmail.com, for more information.

 

 

Gun Violence Prevention Team (GVP) 

The vision for the GVP is to bring communities together within Adas Israel in order to make a difference in the epidemic of gun violence that is affecting our communities, our city, and our country. Toward these ends, the Adas Israel GVP will begin its work with the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) and its member faith-based communities in DC that are engaged in GVP efforts in order to prepare for WIN actions including meetings with the Mayor and Police Chief.  We will work to build relationships and educate within the many Adas communities in order to engage with our members about gun violence prevention efforts that make sense for them and help Adas members keep their homes, families, and communities safe.  We will also reach out to local/national elected officials/staff to gather more information about current gun violence prevention legislation for future action or support and monitoring legislative action.  Each component of our work will include appropriate educational programming including films and speakers.  For more information, contact Lois Fingerhut, loisafingerhut@gmail.com.  

 

 

 

Poverty/Homelessness/Housing Team (PHH)

We are entering the new year of 5777 committed to addressing the broader causes of homelessness, poverty, and illiteracy, and to fostering equal opportunity for all DC residents.  Our commitment is to community organizing and advocacy and to projects that provide direct service to those in need – the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the vulnerable.  Over this past year, our team has been developing the community organizing skills necessary to become effective advocates.  We will continue to identify and recruit interested congregants who will train in organizing practice. We are reviewing our direct service projects, deepening and invigorating them and we are reaching out to congregants who are interested in direct service volunteerism.   As a new member of the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), we are now part of a large inter-faith network of DC area churches, synagogues and mosques.  We will partner with WIN to support and advocate for various campaigns as appropriate to our goals, including the Mayor’s plan to replace DC General Emergency Family Shelter with smaller, dignified short-term housing in all eight wards of the District of Columbia.  Direct service and advocacy efforts are essential aspects of the work we do together.  Contact Sharon Burka, slburka@aol.com, for more information.

 

 

 

Racial Justice Working Group  (RJWG)

The Racial Justice Working Group (RJWG) seeks to encourage deeper understanding of contemporary racism in order to enhance our ability to counter residual racial bias in our everyday lives, our synagogue, and society as a whole.  In this effort, we are following the lead of our clergy, who have eloquently expressed from the pulpit the urgent need to address the continuing struggle for justice and freedom here in the United States. Current activities include a monthly racial justice book/movie club, the first of which took place in September with Ta-Nehisi Coats’ book Between the World and Me.  A kick-off panel is planned on November 13 to examine the Jewish underpinnings of anti-racism work.  We welcome interested congregants to join us in this extremely important work as we develop additional opportunities for learning, self-reflection, and action in the coming year.  For more information, contact Salina Greene, SierraYen@aol.com

     
 

Lev B’Lev

Lev B'Lev (LBL, English: Heart to Heart) is a Hesed and Social Action initiative that involves the congregation in extending constructive compassion to people of all faiths targeted with hate and in creating cohesion within the Washington, DC interfaith community on approaches to eradicating hate and replacing it with love and kindness. LBL launches at a time in our country when hate and the response to it is dominating the news. This hate speech has led to protests, deadly violence, and perhaps most ominous, political reactions that could embolden rather than deter those preaching the ugliest forms of divisiveness. Words and actions are having profound, cancerous consequences.  In this climate, cherished civil liberties are at risk; Thomas Jefferson's self-evident truth that all people have unalienable rights to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" has been denied to far too many, including people who are suffering in our own community.   

As Jews, we are all too familiar with this brand of scapegoating which has plagued us throughout our history. We are therefore well-positioned to be leaders in showing heartfelt compassion to those (Jews and non-Jews) who are being targeted and in thwarting the schemes of those who would point an oppressor's finger at them. The empathy we show and the bridges we build will propel us toward a more just world.   

To get involved with our Speaker Series, letter writing, interfaith initiatives and more, please contact Bruce Chaendoff, LBL Chair.

Learn More About Our Projects

wise aging webAnne Frank House

Click here for the Anne Frank House Website!

Anne Frank House is an independent non-profit with its own Board of Directors, providing permanent housing to individuals in 12 fully-furnished units owned or rented by Anne Frank House. Anne Frank House activities are financed by individual donations and grants, with in-kind support from Adas Israel.  Every year in November, the Anne Frank House mini walk helps raise needed funds.

This year Anne Frank House celebrates 30 years of providing permanent housing to formerly homeless men and women with chronic mental illness in Washington, D.C. See below for articles written on Anne Frank House!

Viewpoint: Anne Frank House is sterling local example
By Current News Staff Writer, Mary Cheh, June 21, 2017

Anne Frank House Recognized for 30 Years of Service
Written by Sue Ducat on 22 June 2017, Kol HaBirah

D.C. Council honors Anne Frank House for its 30th anniversary
June 29, 2017 By Justin Katz, Washington Jewish Week

 

return agian bannerSukkot In Spring

Adas Israel Proudly partners with Yachad DC!
View Photos From Past Events Here

Each year, we assemble teams to renovate homes of area residents who are elderly and frail, disabled, or financially unable to tackle needed repairs on their own. Sukkot In Spring volunteers paint, do yard work; fix windows, leaking roofs, and rotting floors; and tend to inadequate bathrooms and faulty electrical systems.

     

wise aging webSOME & Ezra Pantry

Click here for the SOME, INC (So Others Might Eat) Website!

View Photos of Adas Volunteers at SOME, July 29
View Photos From SOME Memorial Day 2016

Throughout the year, Adas Israel collects non-perishable food for distribution to SOME, INC (So Others Might Eat), a nonprofit, interfaith organization. Throughout the year, we also sponsor and serve meals at SOME's dining room as well as collect new and gently used winter coats from November through February .

  wise aging webN Street Village/Luther Place
Click here for the N Street Village Website.

 

View Photos From Past Events Here

For more than 30 years, Adas Israel has been involved with N Street Village and Luther Place Shelter. Adas volunteers prepare monthly meals for 30 women at the shelter. Volunteers also prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the Luther Place women. We also help prepare and serve Christmas dinner to the women who participate in N Street Village's programs and we sing holiday songs with them.

     

wise aging webOne Congregation, One Family

Click here for the One Congregation, One Family Website!

In 2015, Adas Israel was the first synagogue to join the Mayor’s Office in a project new to the District to help homeless families get back on their feet and rise up from poverty. One Congregation One Family is an interfaith initiative that matches homeless families entering the Rapid Re-Housing program with volunteer mentoring groups from congregations around the city. Contact Joel Fischman to get involved.

  wise aging webPeoples Congregational United Church of Christ (Peoples Church)
View Photos From Past Events Here

 

For 11 years, Adas Israel and Peoples Church have been partnering and “joining hands across the park.”  Each year, we honor the memory and spirit of Martin Luther King with a weekend that features social action partners as guests. We also help members of their Food Pantry with their annual Thanksgiving & Christmas project, packing food bags for distribution to low income residents of DC.

     
wise aging webReading Partners
Click here for the Reading Partners Website!

 

Adas Israel participates with Reading Partners, a nationwide literacy empowerment program that trains volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring to children attending under-resourced schools who are struggling with reading. Reading Partners also welcomes new and gently used Kindergarten through third grade level books. Children select and read a book during their tutoring session and then take the book home for a personal library. To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please CLICK HERE and click on volunteer today or email Lois Fingerhut.com for more information.

   

 

Paths of Kindness @ Adas Israel

 

Garden of the Righteous

The Garden of the Righteous Program was initiated in 1992 by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Wohlberg to honor non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. The honor takes the form of the dedicating a plaque each year on the Sunday morning closest to Yom HaShoah, dedicated to a particular “Righteous Gentile” in an area near the front of the synagogue known as The Garden of the Righteous. The honoree or, if the honoree is deceased a representative of the honoree’s family or country, receives an engraved memento of the occasion. When possible, the rescued family member or descendent participates in the ceremony. Learn More about our past honorees

     
 

Hesed

On occasion, as with a prior Bone Marrow Drive, the Social Action Council and the Hesed Committee will work together on a project.  The Hesed Committee builds community through acts of loving kindness by reaching out to new members, to congregants who are ill, to new parents and to others to provide meals, visits, calls, or special occasion baskets.  You can find more information about the Hesed Committee here.

 

Social Action Council Contacts

Social Action Committee Chair: Jamie Butler (jgb3611@gmail.com)

N Street Village
Monthly Meals: Laura Epstein (Laura_Epstein@hotmail.com)
Christmas at N Street Village: Ruth Kleinrock (ruthkleinrock@gmail.com)

Ezra Pantry: Healey Sutton (healey.sutton@gmail.com)
SOME Liaison: Nechama Masliansky (nmasliansky@some.org)

Sukkot In Spring: Ellen Winter (eswinter7@gmail.com)

One Congregation One Family: Joel Fischman (fischman@comcast.net)        

Reading Partners: Lois Fingerhut (loisafingerhut@gmail.com)

Save Darfur Monthly Vigils: Laura Cutler (Mbcutler@aol.com)

SOME Meals
Adas Liaison: Sharon Burka (slburka@aol.com)

 

Advocacy
Nechama Masliansky (nmasliansky@some.org)
Shelley Tomkin (shelltomk@aol.com)
Ed Kopf (ejkopf@bmcassociates.com)
Adina Mendelson (inmcareers@themendelsons.net)
Joel Fischman (fischman@comcast.net)        

Peoples Church Liaison: Joel Fischman (fischman@comcast.net)
Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Packing: Jamie Butler (jgb3611@gmail.com)

Religious School Liaison: Ellen Winter (eswinter7@gmail.com)

Sisterhood Liaison: Nancy Weiss (weissdnj@verizon.net)  

Anne Frank House (an independent 501(c)(3))
Adas Liaison: Sue Ducat (stansue@verizon.net)