Social Action

BJBE Relief Efforts for Houston Area

As the rains begin to subside we know that the work is just beginning. We continue to be in contact with our colleagues in the Houston area as they assess the damage and plan for the long process of rebuilding. There are two immediate opportunities for Congregation BJBE to provide needed assistance. BJBE is working with Temple Beth Israel in Skokie to fill and send at least one semi-truck that will leave for shelters in Houston on Tuesday. BJBE will also be collecting gift cards to send to Congregation Beth Israel in Houston as they assist hundreds and hundreds of families in the coming days and weeks. Details are provided below for both opportunities.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Houston as they start to rise up from this tragedy. To be in service to something larger than ourselves is true greatness. It is the work of our lives.

Gift Cards  

We are accepting gift cards of any denomination at BJBE and will be sending them directly to Congregation Beth Israel in Houston. A collection box will be set up over the weekend or you can drop them off at the office at any time. Gift cards from Target, WalMart, Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond or Visa are most useful. The collection will continue through the month of September, with the first shipment scheduled for next Wednesday.

Our thanks to Melanie Berkowitz, Chair of the Social Action Network, for her support in coordinating these efforts. Please contact Melanie at melanie.h.berkowitz@gmail.com or Arlene in the temple office at amayzel@bjbe.org or by phone at 847.940.7575 if you have any questions.

With gratitude,

Rabbi Karyn Kedar

Cantor Jennifer Frost

Rabbi Jason Fenster

Cantor Rayna Green

Social Justice Team

Our newly re-energized Social Justice Team is focused on engaging congregants of all generations in repairing the world and addressing the root causes of injustice, building and deepening sacred community, educating congregants about social advocacy issues, and empowering congregants with strategies and tools for effective and respectful communication to elected officials about local, state, and federal programs/legislation. To learn more about the Social Justice Team or get involved, please contact Susan Drucker.

Social Justice Team Charter

Congregation BJBE is mission driven and values based. The mission is to create portals to help people find meaning and purpose in their lives. BJBE's third core value is G'milut Chasadim. In our congregation's governance structure, G'milut Chasadim is chaired by the Social Action Network (SAN). The SAN structure is divided into two arms: Social Action and Social Justice. Social Action is dedicated to acts that help repair the world. Social Justice addresses the root causes of injustice.

The Social Justice Team (SJT) affirms the prophetic mandate of our Reform tradition - Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof! Justice, Justice shall you pursue! (Deuteronomy 16:20) through advocacy efforts, bringing our Jewish values to action in the public arena. The SJT works across lines of faith, race, and class and against all forms of hate and discrimination. We partner with key national and local organizations - including the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and United Power for Action and Justice, among others - in alignment with areas of deeply and commonly held concern, as identified through relational dialogue with our members.

The SJT embraces the diversity of BJBE's membership. All action is non-partisan in nature and rooted in Reform Jewish values.

We the People: Making Our Voices Heard

We the People
Making Our Voices Heard

In these politically conflicted and difficult times, Christ United Methodist Church in Deerfield wants to support and encourage active participation in the democratic process by inviting the community to three events entitled, “We the People, Making Our Voices Heard.” We believe that our nation will best navigate through the current troubled waters if every day citizens actively engage in the political process. We further believe that the religious community is uniquely positioned to help people listen to and learn from one another. Having and showing respect for those who hold differing opinions is a sign of spiritual maturity and is crucial to a thriving democracy. These events are non-partisan. Presenters will have their positions, and we will honor them as well as those who respectfully express contradictory views.

Each of the three gatherings will include presentations from people involved in a particular issue, a time of Q&A, instruction on effective ways to make your voice heard, and time to dialogue with other participants. Click here for a downloadable version of the schedule.

Christ United Methodist Church
600 Deerfield Road
Deerfield IL, 60015

The schedule is as follows:

March 15, 2017, 7pm
Immigration
Representatives from Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Common Cause, and Highland Park Legal Aid Clinic

April 18, 2017, 7pm
Education
State Representative Scott Drury and Representatives from the League of Women Voters

May 8, 2017, 7pm
Environment
U. S. Congressman Brad Schneider and The Sierra Club

The events are open to the public, but registration is required.
Registration Options:
Online at: Action Network
By phone: CUMC Office, 847.945.3040

Social Action Trip to New Orleans

BJBE families are traveling to New Orleans for our ninth annual social action mission from March 23-26. We will continue to strengthen interfaith relationships with Christian and Jewish groups in the Crescent City, form new friendships within our BJBE community, and help rebuild communities in need. Together, we will also explore and enjoy the unique city of New Orleans.

We are collecting donations to help families in the lower 9th Ward, a community that is still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Your generosity will help people purchase groceries, diapers, clothes, books, and toys.

Donate!

In addition to donating money, we will be volunteering our time to help Garden on Mars, an urban garden project growing fresh food and flowers on vacant lots throughout New Orleans.

For only $100 you can sponsor the making of a Garden Box, a 4 x 8 raised bed to grow vegetables, flowers and more. Every Garden Box will help feed and educate families to grow and sell food and flowers in their own community. With your help, we can build these raised beds with our own hands, during our time in NOLA.

Green Faith Initiative

Our Journey and Mission with GreenFaith

After acceptance into the GreenFaith Certification Program in May of 2012, our first task was to create a mission statement.

AS GOD’S PARTNERS, WE POSITIVELY AFFECT THE WELL-BEING AND FUTURE OF OUR PLANET THROUGH EDUCATION, CHOICE AND ACTION.

 

About Greenfaith 

GreenFaith's mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Our work is based on beliefs shared by the world's great religions - we believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.

MLK Day of Service

Thank You to our over 150 volunteers who helped make our 4th Annual MLK Community Day of Service a success! Check out our video to see some snapshots of our day (link will open in a new window).

And, read a great article about our Day of Service from the Deerfield Review!

Community Resources

BJBE has a relationship and works closely with the following oganizations.

The ARK provides a comprehensive array of services for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of those in need.  The ARK is committed to providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to volunteer their time and perform mitzvot (good deeds).  Since 1971, The ARK has delivered medical, social welfare, legal and similar human services in the spirit of tzedakah (charitable acts) and chesed (loving-kindness). www.arkchicago.org, 773-943-1000.

Cancer Wellness Center is a non-profit organization that provides supportive services and health information free of charge for people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones. www.cancerwellness.org, 847-509-9595.

Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE), through their commitment to Jewish communal values, is a provider of community-based and residential programs and services for older adults and their families throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. www.cje.net, 847-929-3064.

Glenkirk provides quality, lifetime supports and services that empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate fully in all areas of community life.  Glenkirk offers a variety of residential, day and employment programs, as well as respite, medical, behavioral and home-based services. www.glenkirk.org, 847-272-5111

Keshet provides educational, recreational and vocational programs for children and young adults with special needs. www.keshet.org, 847-205-1234.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) takes a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women's rights and reproductive freedom.
The Chicago North Shore Section makes an impact through an integrated program of education, community service and social action. www.ncjwcns.org, 847-853-8889.

The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC) educates and mobilizes the American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on issues from economic justice to civil rights to religious liberty to Israel. www.rac.org, 202-387-2800.

Shalva provides services to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Jewish community. Free, confidential clinical services include: 24-hour help line, individual and group counseling, legal information, referral services and court support, rabbinical. shalvaonline.org, 773-583-4673.

United Power for Action and Justice represents an attempt by thousands of leaders within diverse communities to reverse generations of division and decline in the Chicago metropolitan area. United Power provides training and development opportunities for the current and emerging generation of leaders in the region. The organization seeks to build power systematically and wield power effectively. This power - the ability to act - enables the member institutions of United Power and the organization as a whole to operate with more impact and success with other power figures and power institutions in the private and public sectors. www.united-power.org

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For other social action resources, including a list of places to volunteer, please call the Temple office at 847-940-7575.

JCARES Partnership for Safer Synagogues

BJBE is certified as a Safer Synagogue by Jewish Community Abuse Resources, Education & Solutions (JCARES), a coalition dedicated to addressing abuse across the Jewish community and perpetuating healthy, peaceful, Jewish homes, families, and relationships. Our leadership has been trained in understanding the impact of abuse across the lifespan and improving access to support for congregants experiencing abusive situations. Please call the temple office or email Sherry Rundell (sherry.rundell@gmail.com) or Margot Andersen (margotandersen@aol.com) for confidential assistance.

G'milut Chasadim Trips

Jewish Life and G'milut Chasadim Trip to New Orleans
Thursday, March 23 – Sunday, March 26, 2017
Join fellow BJBE congregants in our ninth annual social action mission to New Orleans. We will continue to strengthen interfaith relationships with Christian and Jewish groups in the Crescent City, form new friendships within our BJBE community, and help rebuild communities in need. Together, we will also explore and enjoy the unique city of New Orleans.
Contact: Mike Goldberg, mikegoldberg@mac.com

Emergency Disaster Relief Trips
Make lasting connections, learn about Jewish life and culture and lend your hands to help in communities that experience devastation through natural disaster. Together we will have the opportunity to travel to rebuild and support the affected communities with the hope of revisiting whenever necessary. Previous trips have included Joplin, MO, Moore, OK, and Washington, IL. If you would like to get involved contact Susie Selbst, sselbst1@comcast.net.

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