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

On My Mind/ In My Heart:
the Voices of Women in Public Housing

Monday, December 18 @ 7:30pm Register Here
Edlavitch DCJCC, Co-sponsored by the JCRC and Adas Israel

Directed by Thembi Duncan, On My Mind/In My Heart: the Voices of Women in Public Housing invites you into the lives and experiences of real women living in DC’s public housing. Developed by playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings (Queens Girl in the World) and set to a soundtrack by DC’s own DC RBI, this play includes themes of housing justice, disability, loss, and leadership. Afterwards, join us for an audience talk-back and discussion. Tickets are $10 and support EmpowerDC and their efforts to increase affordable housing in DC.Drinks and light snacks will be provided.

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.


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

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: November 12

Principled Parve Eating (Meatless Mondays, Adas Style) A Climate Action Team Challenge

On Tu BiShvat, the Climate Action Team led Adas Israel in an examination of how our sages grappled with rules for personal responsibility for harms we cause, even if the harm is indirect or attenuated (a difficult matter in both religious and secular law), and we discussed how these principles relate to that most Jewish of activities: food choices.  The pollution emitted in farming and transporting food to us translates like this: one day's worth of meat and dairy equals 3.2 kg in carbon pollution, while the same amount of vegetable protein is only 0.6 kg. (more info on lifecycle pollution in various foods is here). 

More than 30 Adas Israel community members took the "parve pledge” on Sunday, February 12, committing to eat parve (no meat or dairy) one day a week for a year, which will save the amount of carbon that 180 trees would sequester in that time.  We’d like to extend the Principled Parve Challenge to the entire community, thus extending our positive potential in the natural world.
If you would like to join, please email Elana Alschuler.








Refugee Response Team

We’ve all read and seen the horrors of the refugee crisis and we feel helpless. Now, a group of Adas members is exploring ways that we can take action to support refugees and displaced persons through the lens of Jewish ethics and values.  Initially, we are supporting newly resettled refugees and asylum seekers by partnering with HIAS (formerly, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society).  Specific local HIAS needs are: pro bono legal assistance to HIAS clients seeking asylum, volunteer translation or interpretation for HIAS legal clients, and letter writing to asylum seekers in immigration detention. Other areas we are studying are:  partnering with national and international organizations to advocate on a range of issues relating to refugees; sponsoring a refugee family through a local organization (HIAS does not resettle in around DC); and Jewish teaching and learning about the refugee crisis.  Join us as we chart a course of action to make an important difference in this humanitarian work.  Contact Dan Aladjem, dan.aladjem@gmail.com for more information.


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

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



Adas Israel mourns the loss of our loved ones…

We encourage our members to consider using the help of our Bereavement Committee for funeral arrangements.
Click Here to Learn More about Bereavement and the comfort you can find in this sacred community. 

When death occurs, please call the synagogue at 202-362-4433, so that we may inform the clergy and assist you.


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



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: Jamie Butler (jgb3611@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)


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)