The mission of the Social Justice Action Committee at Temple Emek Shalom is to serve those in the Rogue Valley who are in need of help meeting their most basic human needs: food, clothing, shelter, education, safety, and health care.
Temple Emek Shalom recognizes that there are many areas that comprise Social Justice actions such as economic, racial, environment, immigrant, housing, and food justice.
Our goal is to have our social justice work be an expression of our most abiding Jewish values: Chesed (loving-kindness), Tzedek (justice), and Tikkun Olam (helping mend the planet). Practicing social justice provides many ways to take on the work of building a more just world.
To fulfill those values we are working on the following issues:
Tikkun Olam: Climate justice opportunities in the Rogue Valley
Tikkun Olam: Exploring racial justice issues by watching films and reading texts and then coming together in a safe space for our members to explore and discuss this issue. After these focused discussions, which will give us an opportunity to learn and reflect we will move into the action phase of this focus group.
Tzedakah: A way to do this work is to donate funds to various non-profit organizations in the Rogue Valley,
Chesed: We support the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and many other organizations offering support to unhoused individuals, our Hispanic neighbors, and victims of the Almeda fires on an ongoing basis.
One of TES’ Value Statements speaks of collaboration with community partners. We are privileged to have created Community Partnerships with two wonderful organizations that serve our Rogue Valley. They are:
La Clinica is a local healthcare organization that serves all people in the Rogue Valley, especially those who face barriers to care, such as our immigrant population. Beginning in May, TES began hosting one of La Clinica’s mobile health care units near the front of our parking lot entrance. They are coordinating their schedule with the dates GracePoint Church hosts Access, an organization that distributes food.
Ashland Emergency Food Bank – We have supported the Ashland Emergency Food Bank over the years with our High Holy Day food drives, and now we have established our relationship with them as a Community Partner. We will continue to find strategies to highlight them to our community, to support them with food drives and to include them in our community activities, as we did with our Earth Day celebration.
The following is a list of social justice resources:
– Confronting Anti-Semitism and Racism (podcast): https://evolve.fireside.fm/7
– Thoughts on Racism and Antisemitism (article by Rabbi Mordechai Liebling): https://evolve.reconstructingjudaism.org/thoughts-on-racism-and-antisemitism/
– A Brief History and Update on Antisemitism (article by Rabbi Mordechai Liebling): https://evolve.reconstructingjudaism.org/history-and-update-antisemitism/
– Negroes are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White (article by James Baldwin): https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-antisem.html
– Evolve website, an initiative of Reconstructing Judaism: https://evolve.reconstructingjudaism.org
– Evolve’s adult education programs: https://evolve.reconstructingjudaism.org/adult-education/
– Hashivenu, a podcast about Jewish teachings on resilience: https://hashivenu.fireside.fm/about
– Skin in the Game (article by Eric Ward): https://politicalresearch.org/2017/06/29/skin-in-the-game-how-antisemitism-animates-white-nationalism
– Addressing Antisemitism While Keeping Our Eyes on Collective Freedom and Racial Justice (article by Rachel Hall): https://reformjudaism.org/blog/addressing-antisemitism-while-keeping-our-eyes-collective-freedom-and-racial-justice?utm_medium=email&utm_content=2022_2_10
– Being Antiracist (article suggested by Liora Gale): https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/being-antiracist
– Six Ways to Help Bridge the Racial Wealth Gap (article suggested by Liora Gale): https://www.planning.org/planning/2021/winter/6-ways-to-help-bridge-the-racial-wealth-gap/
– An Imam Blows the Whistle on Muslim Antisemitism (podcast suggested by Liora Gale): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/an-imam-blows-the-whistle-on-muslim-antisemitism/id1570872415?i=1000549160493&fbclid=IwAR0lllILekreM3r6yk8gxSIkJpW1aj45ysVRF7BBXgrOb0jnkV1AhOgYD5k