The Jewish tradition is rooted in a concern for justice and freedom from oppression – a theme that is front and center at Passover, but that defines the very core of who we are as a people. PSJC’s Rodfei Tzedek (Pursuers of Justice) Group is deeply committed to do whatever we can to right the many wrongs that continue to scar our country and our world.
PSJC and Rodfei Tzedek, have been working for justice on any number of fronts:
We continue to work for justice for immigrants and refugees, especially by joining with HIAS in supporting their efforts to keep the needs of these individuals at the forefront of our nation’s agenda.
On February 10, 2024, we are celebrating Refugee Shabbat with a special Dvar Torah during Shacharit and a festive kiddush program at 1:00 PM with Merrill Zack, HIAS Vice-President for Community Engagement and Executive Director of HIAS NY. Click here for more information.
We have found ways to work on issues of economic justice by partnering with Repair the World for various “packaging projects.”
We are exploring issues of climate justice through a series of classes that are continuing this spring, L’ovdah u-l’shomra (To Guard and to Protect): Judaism and Environmentalism—and we look forward to making these efforts more and more a part of PSJC’s life.
One of the most significant social justice efforts we have engaged with is the deep and abiding need for racial justice in our nation. Rodfei Tzedek’s Racial Justice Workgroup has been working both internally and externally. Internally, we focused on increasing awareness within the PSJC community about racism and striving to educate ourselves about what it means to be anti-racist. Externally, we have pursued many opportunities for Tikkun Olam (repairing the World).
The Internal Working Group
Has been learning from experts in anti-racism work and talking with people of color within our shul about their experiences; and
We have begun to lay out educational opportunities and discussions about how we can create a more open and inclusive physical and emotional space within the shul, including a proposed wording change in the Guiding Principles of PSJC’s Mission Statement, to include welcoming Jews of all races and ethnicities, and to add social justice as part of the collective responsibility of shul members. The Board has embraced this change.
The External Working Groups has focused on housing/homelessness issues and criminal justice. PSJC has joined the Jewish Coalition on Criminal Justice Reform (the Coalition), which includes a wide range of notable Jewish organizations as well as a growing number of synagogues (www.jewishcjr.com).
If you are interested in more frequent and targeted information about social justice opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and check out the weekly e-blast for information about how to join the Racial Justice Workgroup email list.