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Change the World - Overview

About our work

We're passionate about changing the world through individual and communal acts of gemilut chasadim (loving kindness), tikkun olam (repairing the world), and shomrei adamah (guarding the earth). "You are not required to complete the work of tikkun olam (repairing the world), but neither can you desist from it." -Pirkei Avot

At Shir Hadash we have many active committees working toward this important work. All interested members are invited to join these committees and everyone is welcome to attend and participate in the important projects they organize. We encourage you to learn more and get involved!

Gemilut Chasadim - Loving Kindness

Below are some of the programs that our Social Action Committee (SAC) coordinates. Find out more by checking our calendar for upcoming events, and watch for promotions about each approaching event. Contact us by email for more information or to join this committee!

  • Backpack DriveGive backpacks and essential school supplies for children in the community.
  • Food DriveDonate food, gathered for Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • Blood Drive: Give blood during our on-site blood donation events.
  • Mitzvah Day: Engage in a multitude of service opportunities during our major community service day, with hundreds of participating members and youth from our congregation.
  • Healthy Living Fair: Participate in our annual event serving underserved members of the community with general, dental, optical, and other health screenings and on-site care. 
  • Project Cornerstone: Connecting interested volunteers with this program to read with elementary school classrooms in underserved local schools.

Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World

Our Shir Hadash Organizing Committee (SHOC) meets monthly for grassroots organizing and advocacy around a number of issues important to the members of our congregation. Everyone is welcome, so please check the calendar and attend the next SHOC meeting to learn more! Contact office@shirhadash.org with any questions. 

  • Advocacy on Immigration: Our congregation is a sanctuary space able to house asylum seekers in urgent need. We provide this and other support to asylum seekers and others throughout the immigration process. 
  • Advocacy on Community Issues: Housing, gun violence prevention, and combating antisemitism are among some of the issues we are currently engage with. The SHOC periodically conducts listening campaigns to ensure that we continually address emerging issues facing our local community.

shomrei adamah - Guarding the Earth

Our Shir Sustainability Committee provides programs to improve our environmental practices, to mitigate climate change and to strive for a better world. Committee Activities focus on:

  • Modeling green practices, e.g. use of solar power, recycling, compostable supplies for oneg, garden.
  • Educating congregants to adopt environmentally friendly practices, e.g. workshops on composting, purchasing electric vehicles, social value investing
  • Impacting environmental policy in our community, state and nation. e.g. partnership with RAC-CA, JCRC, Interfaith Power and Light to influence legislation.

Interested? For more information on our green and environmental sustainability initiatives, email environment@shirhadash.org or contact the office.

Interfaith & Community Efforts to Change the World

By collaborating with other faith communities and other community groups more broadly we are able to connect on common ground and achieve important progress toward social change. Contact Interim Senior Rabbi Riter if you are interested in learning more about this work!

  • People Acting in Community Together (PACT): this network promotes tikkun olam in our local community. Through PACT, our congregation is connecting with other religious groups in our community to pursue similar goals for social change through community organizing.
  • Local Jewish Consortia: Shir Hadash is active in local Jewish community consortia, including the Jewish Community Relations Council. We are proud of our members who have stepped forward to take leadership positions in the local community.

State & National Efforts to Change the World

State Level: Through the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) we are active in our state section, RAC-CA. Through RAC-CA we periodically meet with elected officials for advocacy, including making annual trips to Sacramento to lobby our state senators and state assembly members on important issues. 

National Level: Shir Hadash is a proud member of the Brit Olam Network of the Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism. The 150+ congregations in the network collaborate on programs and share knowledge for the greater good. The RAC offers the Brit Olam Congregation Network, an online space for members of Brit Olam Congregations across North America to connect about social justice work. The Union for Reform Judaism also offers an online collaboration space called the Tent - click here to learn more and create an account.

Sat, April 17 2021 5 Iyar 5781