Har Sinai Congregation’s Social Action Committee combines justice with doing for others. This combination provides us with four pillars: Tikkun Olam (repairing the world); Tzedakah (justice; acts of caring and kindness), G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) and caring for our community.
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, said, “The heart of the argument is that there is no such thing as ‘Social Action Judaism,’ that the thread of social justice is so authentically and intricately woven into the many-colored fabric we call Judaism that is you seek to pull that thread out, the entire fabric unravels, that the Judaism that results is distorted, is neutered, is rendered aimless.”
As Jews, it is inherent for us to seek out activities that will help others and make the world a more just place. Our committee strives to involve Congregants from all ages. We are partnering with other Har Sinai Congregation committees and organizations, such as Sisterhood, to strengthen our temple relationships as well as our potential for positive outcomes. We are working with our Director of Congregational Learning to deepen the concentration on social justice in our Religious School curricula. Committee members are involved in specific Shabbat Services in an attempt to renew Congregational commitment to Tikkun Olam, Tzedakah and G’milut Chasidim.
Some of our activities include supporting area shelters (CHANA, Sarah’s Hope, Paul’s Place) through clothing drives, blanket-making, gift cards, prepared food deliveries and other needed items. We sponsor two major food drives each year to provide foods for The Maryland Food Bank and The Crisis Center. Our Adopt-A-Highway program cleans up Brooks Robinson Drive. We provide dinners and activities for families at The Ronald McDonald House. We participate in run/walkathons like PurpleStride Maryland. We reach out to the international community by participating in The Birthday Angels and (anti-malaria) Nothing But Nets programs. Our ECYCLE paper shredding events and High Holy Day gifts of reusable canvas bags and water bottles keep us in touch with Tikkun Olam. Flowers for Powers is supported by our plant sales so that the young ladies who founded it can continue to provide flowers to the seriously ill and elderly. We also sponsor educational programs via organizing CPR and AED training, providing speakers on energy saving and saving our planet’s resources. Our BJEN representative is a member of our Social Action Committee and strives to heighten awareness about decreasing all sources of energy use and preserving natural resources. Come join us!
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The following websites provide information relevant to many of the projects supported by the Har Sinai Congregation Social Action Committee, as well as broader social issues relevant to the Reform Jewish Community.
- Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network www.bjen.org
- Maryland Food Bank (High Holiday Food Drive) www.mdfoodbank.org
- Nothing but Nets www.nothingbutnets.net
- Reisterstown Community Crisis Center (One Can/One Community Food Pantry)www.communitycrisiscenter.org