Social Justice at TBS

The Tzedek (Social Justice) Committee offers opportunities for our congregants to learn, advocate, and take action on current policy issues based on Jewish values.  Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is a central principle of Reform Judaism and one of the core values of Temple B’nai Shalom. It is based on the values of “love of neighbor” and the “pursuit of justice” as articulated in the Torah. Our approach to Tikkun Olam is generally informed by the work of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center and Commission on Social Action.

The Tzedek Committee coordinates TBS’s active participation in URJ’s non-partisan civic engagement campaign, Every Voice, Every Vote, to strengthen our democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation. Congregants have sent thousands of postcards, made phone calls, and sent texts to get out the vote.

Other programs we have participated in include the DC Day of Action, where we had the opportunity to advocate on Capitol Hill for legislation to protect our environment and send comments to the EPA, and Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day in Richmond, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, where we met with state legislators. We have attended rallies, read, studied, discussed, and brought in dynamic speakers on various current issues. 

We offer ongoing opportunities to contact legislators to have our voices heard on topics that reflect our Jewish values. We are currently working to further “green” our temple building and look for more ways to limit our environmental footprint as a community.  We partner with the Gimilut Chasadim (Social Action) Committee in the important work of Tikkun Olam. We look forward to working with other TBS committees and organizations in our community to amplify our concerns locally and globally, helping to create a world filled with justice and compassion.

We welcome congregants of all ages to join our programs and projects throughout the year. As we live our values with active participation in caring for our world, we support the tenets of our faith and contribute to making TBS the special community that it is.

Interested congregants are encouraged to reach out to Sue Kohn for information or to join our working group email list.