Two years ago, Rabbi Amy Schwartzman followed in the footsteps of legendary theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel by marching for civil rights. After protesting with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma in 1965, Heschel wrote “…our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”
In keeping with these Jewish values, the TRS Board and clergy have made social justice a priority for our congregation this year through a new initiative called “Eighteen in ’18.” The name reflects our goal: the Temple as a whole taking at least eighteen significant acts of advocacy or activism during fiscal year 2018.
TRS continues its work of tikkun olam (repairing the world) with financial and volunteer support for many charities and causes. This new initiative aims to expand our advocacy towards more lasting, societal change for justice, compassion and peace. Our efforts are guided by the Reform Movement, and other groups with which TRS is affiliated, which help us identify appropriate advocacy opportunities to alleviate suffering and injustice in the US and around the world.
Through Eighteen in ’18, all segments of our congregation will have opportunities to engage in one or more social justice activities. In the spirit of the Jubilee Mitzvot Project, which tallied 50,000 good deeds done by congregants in 2011, there will be something for everyone in this effort. TRS staff and the Social Action Committee will help all parts of the TRS community find ways to get involved: committees, affinity groups, etc. Individual members are also invited to join the Social Action Committee to help with this effort. We would be delighted to hear from you! Contact the Eighteen in ’18 co-chairs for more information.