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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 leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on 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

Current Programs:

   “Through an Indigenous Lens: Looking at the History of Brighton, Penfield, and Pittsford”

  Zoom presentation by Michael Galban, Ganondagan Site Manager
   Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 PM
 
  The Social Action Committees of Temple Sinai and Temple B’rith Kodesh are collaborating to offer a series of opportunities for learning about Indigenous communities, beginning with this program on the history of the    Haudenosaunee people who have lived in our region for hundreds of years and are very much present today.

Calling on Reform Jews to Engage in Action to Address Climate Change

You are invited to the RAC-NY regional retreat at Temple B'rith Kodesh on Sunday, May 22 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Part of RAC-NYs Climate Covenant Campaign. Participants will have a chance to meet and learn from climate activists, and leaders in other congregations, and develop plans for moving our congregations and communities into action. Click here to sign up.


Democracy Under Threat: Finding Our Way Forward- A Speaker Series 

David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, co-founder of DCReport.org, and best-selling author of several books presented "The Way Forward: What’s Needed For Our Democracy to Endure" on March 27, 2022. 

Cherie Brown, founder and CEO of the National Coalition Building Institute, an adjunct faculty member at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and an internationally recognized leader in building alliances across all divides presented “Healing and Bridging Our Divides: A Path to a Democracy for All” on April 18. 2022. Click here for Cherie Brown's transcript of her presentation.

For further background see this blog by congregant Joyce Herman.

View past presentations:

Perspectives on Policing Series

  • A Day in the Life of a Black Police Officer and a Black Community Activist with Moses Robinson, community liaison officer of the Rochester Police Department, and Anthony Hall, community activist. Though they may stand on different sides of a community protest, learn how Mr. Robinson and Mr. Hall work out their differences peacefully and with respect. View recording.
  • Re-imagining Policing with Danielle Ponder, Esq., community activist and R&B/soul artist. Supported by statistics and facts, Ms. Ponder will look at serious crimes (5%) vs. less serious ones (95%), the size of the police force today, and what it might look like to shift some of the current funding into community-based and community-led support services. View Recording.
  • Understanding the Role of The Police Accountability Board
    Executive director Conor Dwyer Reynolds will explain the role of the community-led board in bringing accountability and transparency to the Rochester Police Department.
    View recording.

 


Support Afghan, Ukrainian, and other Refugees!
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.

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. 

 

 

 

 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. 
Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyar 5782