Social Justice

“Justice, Justice, shall you pursue” 

(Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9).

The mission of the Social Justice Network (SJN) is to repair the world (tikkun olam) by motivating and educating our congregation to serve and advocate.

Throughout the years, we have focused on issue areas such as criminal justice reform, immigration rights, gun violence prevention, and food insecurity. We have partnered with several organizations around Miami and the state of Florida to advance our mission of creating a just and equitable society. Ongoing community partnerships include the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and the American Friends Service Committee of Miami.

There are various ways to get involved in Social Justice at Temple Beth Sholom:

Social Justice Happenings in June

June Webinar Action Night – Tuesday, June 4, 2024, 7:00-8:15 pm. Topic: “Dos and Don’ts” when discussing Reproductive Freedom. Be with us as we learn with our partner Damiel Filer, Communication Director, on Yes on 4 on how to talk about Amendment 4 and Reproductive Freedom. REGISTER NOW.

RAC-FL June Phone Bank Action Night – Thursday, June 27, 2024, 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Zoom. Be with us and Temple Beth Am as we connect with Florida voters to ensure they have a plan to vote in November. Training will be provided, then calls to voters and a quick debrief before we end at 8:00 pm.  REGISTER NOW.

Send postcards to voters or host a postcard party at your home. Postcard to Florida Voters: ORDER HERE – please allow 2-3 weeks to process your order. They provide you with the language and instructions. You just need to purchase stamps.

We will continue to update you here as this work progresses. If you would like to be involved, please contact Rabbi Jessica Jacobs.

Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 pm at Temple Beth Sholom, PACT Celebration. We made a difference. Congregations from the north, south, east and west of Miami-Dade County are coming together at our synagogue to celebrate the wins we had this year on rental affordability and civil citations. Rabbi Jacobs and Jonathan Sepsenwol, along with all of our PACT leaders, led us to these victories. Come and celebrate their hard won success, which is our success.

Dinner, Dancing & Merriment

RSVP

Recording of Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Webinar with Senator Shevrin Jones & Dr. Larry Hurwitz

Join our partner, Clean Miami Beach, for their 5-Year Anniversary Party on June 1 at 5:00 pm at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, Miami Beach.

Engaging activities include:

🌊 Neighborhood Cleanup 5:30-6:30 pm: 

Roll up your sleeves and join us in making a tangible impact on our beloved city.

🗣️ Panel Discussion 7:00-8:00 pm: 

Engage in thought-provoking conversations with esteemed environmental leaders.

🎥 Documentary Showcase 8:00-8:20 pm: 

Be inspired by a powerful story of environmental advocacy and change.

🥂 Snacks & Drinks 5:00-10:00 pm: 

Enjoy a delightful selection of refreshments as we toast to our accomplishments.

🥳 Enthralling Raffles, Games, and more 5:00-10:00 pm: 

Win exciting prizes and enjoy fun-filled activities throughout the evening.

REGISTER

CLIMATE JUSTICE INITIATIVE

Starting at the end of 2022, we began to dive deeply into one of the most pressing issues of the day, climate change. This summer, we were reminded of the change happening to our climate and the environmental impacts for all of us, especially the most vulnerable in our community. Many of us have been impacted by the heat, increasing utility costs and insurance premiums, rising sea levels, burning of forests, and the death of sea life.

We are working with Adamah and the Jewish Climate Leadership Initiative, a network of Jewish community organizations that recognize the existential threat and moral urgency of climate change and commit to action. Temple Beth Sholom has committed to making and implementing a climate action plan for our campus where we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, intending to become “carbon neutral” in the next few years. Our Sustainability Taskforce, led by Steven Chaneles, Nancy Salzverg, and Doris Galindo intends to evaluate the campus and draft our climate action plan.

Our school continues actively engaging the students in learning about climate change, our community’s impact, and solutions they can implement. Our teens will engage with the Jewish Youth Climate Change Movement through Adamah. We have started a composting program in our school through Compost for Life to reduce waste and are looking to bring composting to most of the campus. Compost for Life also offers at-home composting at a discount for all Temple Beth Sholom members.

Members can go to the Compost For Life Website and use the promo code “BETHSHOLOMFRIENDS” for a 15% discount.

In addition to working with our TBS community, we will focus on climate change work in South Florida. We will partner with the Surfrider Foundation, Miami Waterkeepers, and others. Climate change is an issue that affects all of us, and we are at a critical tipping point. We welcome participation by all in our TBS community.

Meet the team

“Some religions require a leap of faith; Judaism requires a leap of ACTION.”  – Abraham Heschel


2023-2024 Temple Beth Sholom Social Justice Network Team of Representatives:

 

Social Justice Network Co-Chairs | Rachel Unger and Andrea Wagner 

Mitzvah Day Co-Chairs | Ashley Weissman and Caryn Pardo

Soup Contest Co-Chairs | Karen Sepsenwol, Dana Grodin and Jody Gross

Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Co-Chairs | Lauren Cantor and Hilary Feldman  

PACT Representatives | Jonathan Sepsenwol, Rachel Unger, Craig Berko, Rabbi Jessica Jacobs, Sofia Morales and Doris Galindo

RAC-FL Representatives – Reproductive Rights Campaign | Myra Spindel and Barbara Gelber

jLAB Representative | Sofia Morales

Innovative School Representative | Doris Galindo

BESHTY Representatives | Vanessa Levy and Matthew Clark 

Sisterhood Representative | Dana Grodin

Brotherhood Representative | Evan Marks

The Tribe Program Coordinator |   

Blessings in a Backpack Co-Chairs | Tiffany Hurwitz, Kelsey Levy and Marina Ganopolsky

Lotus House Chair | Suzanne Meltzer 

Bags of Happiness Chair | Suzanne Meltzer

Mazon Co- Chairs I | Richard French and Carolyn West

Beach Cleanup Co-Chairs Doris Galindo and Stacy Savett

Giving Back to Gibson Park Chair | Suzanne Meltzer 

The Ronald McDonald House Co-Chairs | Suzanne Meltzer and Ryan Meltzer

Buddy System MIA Community Refrigerator |

Exchange for Change Prison Visits | Nina Mandel

Freedom to Read Task Force | Val Schimel and Rachel Unger

Sustainability Task Force | Nancy Gonzalez, Steven Chaneles and Doris Galindo

Social Justice Program Director | Jeffrey Agron

Rabbinic Advisor | Rabbi Jessica Jacobs

Yes! I want to get involved