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 Justice, justice shall you pursue. —Deuteronomy 16:20

It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either. —Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21

Grounded in Jewish texts and rooted in Jewish values, Temple Sinai works to fulfill the value of tikkun olam—repairing the world. Our vibrant Social Action Committee (SAC) leads this work.


In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade,
the Social Action Committee is forming an Immediate Response Team to provide information, education, advocacy, and support around this critical issue.
 
To be part of the Immediate Response Team contact the Social Action Committee at SOCIALACTION@TSINAI.ORG.
 
Programs

Monday, September 19: "How Inequities and Injustices in the Rochester Community Undermine Democracy" presented by the Social Action's Reclaiming Our Democracy Work Group. Guest speakers for this program are Jennifer Leonard and Simeon Banister. 

Wednesday, September 21: Fall book discussion on "The Night Watchman", by Louise Erdrich presented by the Social Action's Through an Indigenous Lens Working Group.

It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an 'emancipation' bill; but it isn't about freedom - it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal?

In The Night Watchman multi-award winning author Louise Erdrich weaves together a story of past and future generations, of preservation and progress. She grapples with the worst and best impulses of human nature, illuminating the loves and lives, desires and ambitions of her characters with compassion, wit and intelligence.

Sunday, October 30: Abortion/Reproductive Justice Workshop presented by Social Action's Abortion/Reproductive Rights Justice Task Force and other community partners to educate and mobilize the Rochester Jewish community following the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade.

Sunday, November 13: Fall movie discussion of "Gather", the story of rebuilding Native food systems presented by the Social Action's Through an Indigenous Lens Work Group. You can locate the trailer for Gather at gather.film. Gather will be available on Netflix November 1 and is available now for streaming on iTunes, Amazon, and Vinemo.

Visit our calendar for more dates.

Issue Advocacy

We regularly share current information about community events and legislative advocacy of interest to many of our congregants (this does not imply official endorsement by Temple Sinai). If you would like to receive this information, please email the committee. 

Working groups

Much of the work of our large and vibrant Social Action Committee is carried out through working groups. We're actively seeking congregants to participate in these groups to address a variety of social justice issues. Please email the committee to get involved! 

  • Antisemitism
  • Anti-Racism Education
  • Environmental Justice / Climate Advocacy
  • Indigenous Peoples Programming
  • Interfaith Partnerships
  • Immigration / Afghan Resettlement Support
  • LGBTQIA+ / Pride Parade
  • Reclaiming Democracy
  • Voting Rights Advocacy

Many of our initiatives are coordinated with Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism at both the state and national levels.

 Anti-racism initiative

Since the May 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers—followed by the public revelation in August that a visitor to Rochester, Daniel Prude, had been killed by asphyxiation by Rochester city police officers—we have gone beyond a commitment to racial equality, joining the emerging movement for anti-racism. 

The Social Action Committee has spearheaded:

  • Listening circles, including one for the Board of Trustees, that encourage participants to explore and confront their own biases
  • Book and film discussions on select works to increase awareness of the history of Black freedom movements and the struggles that endure today
  • An anti-racist curriculum for the students and teachers in our School of Jewish Life & Learning
  • Racism and health disparities speaker series addressing impacts of racism on maternal, mental, and children’s health. 
Partnerships

We also partner with a number of local organizations to lend our hands to the collective work of building a more just community and region. Click on the box to learn more about each group. 

 

 

 

Wed, August 17 2022 20 Av 5782