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Social Advocacy Committee

The TBS Social Advocacy Committee was formed to provide congregants with the resources they need to respond to pressing social issues. We have established three main areas of focus — combatting racism and social injustice, immigration and gun safety. The committee has developed contacts with national and local leadership of several organizations including HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society) and Moms Demand Action so that we can provide our community with engaging programming and activities. In the future we will add more topics of interest.

In response to current events, the Social Advocacy Committee will be developing programming to support those who wish to join the movement and address racial justice in keeping with Jewish values. Our goal is to craft a three-pronged approach around Education and Awareness, How to Be an Ally, and Taking Action.

For more information contact Terri Oppenheimer or Zach Oppenheimer. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive notifications about Social Advocacy activities and initiatives, please email us at tbssocialadvocacy@gmail.com

Upcoming Events

June 5 - Wear Orange Day, a national observance of National Gun Violence Awareness Day

On this day, allies across the country wear orange to honor the victims of gun violence and show support for the gun safety movement. Wear Orange is supported by Moms Demand Action, a group that Social Advocacy has been proud to partner with. 

To honor the day, the Social Advocacy Committee will be leaving orange ribbons at the synagogue prior to June 5th for congregants to pick up and wear, whether while attending service in person or via Zoom, or as you go through your day.  We will also be posting photos of congregants wearing orange in the week prior to Wear Orange day on our Facebook page. Please send them to us at tbssocialadvocacy@gmail.com.

Wear Orange was started in 2013 after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago just one week after she performed at President Obama’s second inauguration.  After her death, her friends and family chose to wear orange on her birthday, June 2, to honor Hadiya and the tens of thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year.  They chose orange because it was her favorite color, and because it is the color hunters wear to protect themselves from gunfire. 

We hope that you will support our efforts by wearing orange!  We will be hosting additional gun safety events as part of next year’s programming.

June 16 at 7 pm - Harriet Tubman Museum of Cape May - Register here

Resources

Books

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl by Marra B. Gad

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

The Racial Healing Handbook by Annaliese A. Singh, Tim Wise, and Derald Wing Sue

 

Movies

When They See Us – The story of the Central Park 5

Dear White People – The experience of a group of black students at an Ivy League College

Just Mercy – Legal drama profiling racial disparities in the justice system

Fruitvale Station – The last day in the life of a 22-year-old black man trying to live a clean life.

3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets – Examines the shooting of a 17-year-old black youth after an argument over loud music.

Brian Banks – The true story of a high school football star wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit.

 

For children

PJ Library resources on talking to your children about racism.

Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults

PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month

Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race

100 RACE-CONSCIOUS THINGS YOU CAN SAY TO YOUR CHILD TO ADVANCE RACIAL JUSTICE

A Jewish Anti-Racist Reading List for Children of All Ages

PBS Learning Kit with Daniel Tiger

Raising Race Conscious Children

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice

 

For Adults

ADL - Anti-defamation League

ADL - Anti-Bias Tools and Strategies

Teaching Tolerance

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Campaign Zero

75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice

Anti-Racism project—list of books, movies and articles to learn more about racism

Zin Education Project

Tri-County Board of Jewish Clergy Statement on Pursuing Racial Justice

“Morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

We, the members of the Board of Jewish Clergy of Southern New Jersey, remember with sadness, outrage, and shame the memory of George Floyd and other African Americans, our fellow Americans, whose lives were cut short at the hands of the police in recent years. Our hearts go out to their families, their communities, and all those torn by their deaths.

Once again, their pain and tears are crying out, as they have been for centuries, demanding their dignity be as valued as any other one of G*d’s precious creations.

Jewish tradition, history, values, and memory does not allow us to be quiet while racism continues to pervade our society. Our Torah forbids us to remain silent. The Book of Leviticus commands: “do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” (19:16).

We have fallen short, whether wittingly or unwittingly, in perpetuating the racist structures of our society and by turning our eyes from the suffering of people of color within the Jewish community and within our larger society. We have failed as a community to properly address racism. Now, each of us and our institutions must assume responsibility to create a more just and equitable society.

Fundamentally, we believe that all people are created in G*d’s image and, thus, each human life is of infinite value. Therefore, it is our responsibility as a Jewish community to listen, to learn, and to stand with and for those whose lives and well-being are threatened by racism and hatred. This begins with solidarity and continues by striving to dismantle the systems of oppression embedded into the fabric of our nation.

So, today we rededicate ourselves to promote the Jewish understanding that oppression, inequality, and prejudice hide G*d’s presence in our lives. Over the next year, we will seek to educate ourselves and the leadership of our communities on how to acquire the insights, knowledge, and tools necessary to guide us down the paths of peace toward an anti-racist future.

We will follow the lead of Jews of color and the wisdom of other communities of color to learn what we need to know, what we need to do, and how best to do it - learning when to listen and when to speak; when to step back and when to act.

Today we invite our Jewish community and all communities to join with us as we stand up and commit ourselves to systemic change, working for racial equality and justice.

Today we dedicate ourselves to being voices of love and hope while working to rebuild all that is broken.

Today we say to our black brothers and sisters: We hear you. We see you.

And today we stand with you; grieving and praying together, and pursuing peaceful and powerful ways to make all our voices heard and our impact felt.

In commitment and hope,

The Tri-County Board of Jewish Clergy

Fri, July 23 2021 14 Av 5781