SOCIAL JUSTICE

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Annual Mini-Walk
for Micah House

Each spring, Micah holds a "mini-walk"
to support Micah House, a transitional
residence for homeless women
in recovery from substance abuse.

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Our Partnership with
Friendship Place

Temple Micah’s Annual Underwear
Drive provides new underwear to
Friendship Place, helping them supply
the dignity of fresh underwear.

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Sukkot in Spring

Temple Micah participates in Yachad’s
annual housing rehabilitation program for
DC residents in need, preserving
affordable homes and
revitalizing neighborhoods.

We know when we are at Micah that there is such a thing as the sacred, that our good deeds count for something – Rabbi Zemel

The pursuit of social justice is fundamental to Temple Micah. As a community, we engage in a range of service projects, we support advocacy efforts to promote social justice, and we work to educate ourselves on important social justice issues. The Tzedek (“justice”) committee is the umbrella for these projects. All members of the community are afforded an opportunity to help. Please join us!  We are currently looking for a Tzedek chair.  If you are interested in being the Tzedek chair, want more information about our projects, or how to get involved, contact the Temple Micah office.

 

Our Projects & Partnerships

DC Paid Family Leave Advocacy Campaign

Temple Micah has endorsed a campaign to create a paid family leave program in DC. The campaign is led by Jews United for Justice (www.jufj.org).  According to the campaign site:

Thanks to the JUFJ community, the DC Paid Family Leave Coalition, and every person, family, business, and organization who lent time, energy, passion, and creativity to the campaign, the DC Council passed a precedent-setting policy in December, 2016 – and it became law on April 7.

The campaign isn’t over yet: now we need to make sure the city doesn’t water down our program or deny start-up funding! Within just a few months, the program is already under attack from big business.

We must ensure that the program isn’t replaced by a watered-down version that leaves out DC’s most marginalized communities. Big industry lobbyists are gunning for the replacement, but we have the people power to push back and win –– again

Unfortunately, our law is still at a high risk of being repealed and replaced. Some time in September or October, there will be a hearing to debate replacement legislation, and we want to keep the pressure up to protect the Universal Paid Leave Act. You can sign up to testify in this upcoming hearing! Please sign up here or share this link with anyone you know who might want to: http://bit.ly/LetsProtectUPLA.

To learn more about this campaign, contact us.

Fall Underwear Drive

The Temple Micah underwear drive is the major source of new underwear for homeless people in Northwest Washington who are served by Friendship Place .  While many people donate coats and
Underwear drive prep other used clothing, it is all too common for homeless people to lack new underwear and the dignity it can provide.

This year Temple Micah collected over 15,595 pieces of underwear!  The goal for 2017 was to collect at least 15,000 new pieces of underwear.  This allowed Temple Micah to help prevent Friendship Place from running out of underwear for its homeless clients before the next drive. We needed to up the game to keep Friendship Place stocked throughout the year.

Good Faith Communities Coalition

Temple Micah is a member of this faith-based coalition (www.goodfaithdc.org) that advocates on issues of poverty, affordable housing, and homelessness in the District of Columbia. Good Faith organizes congregations to engage in educational activities to better understand these issues. Good Faith members also participate in a range of advocacy activities, from letter-writing to testifying at the DC Council. Most recently, Micah joined with Good Faith to support Mayor Bowser’s plan to close the DC General family shelter and replace it with a series of smaller, more humane shelters throughout the city, including one close to Temple Micah.

To learn more or join Micah’s chapter of the Good Faith Communities coalition, contact our coordinating team.

Mazon Micah

Mazon Micah EditedOnce a month volunteers from Temple Micah will gather on Sunday afternoon to break bread together, and then assemble mazon, food, for our neighbors in need at Friendship Place. This sandwich-making and donating initiative helps us deepen relationships within the Micah community, and simultaneously reminds us to turn our awareness outwards. See the calendar and weekly emails for upcoming Mazon Micah Sundays. Bring your own lunch, and then help us make lunches for those less fortunate!  If you would like to be involved please contact us

Micah House

Micah HouseMH Miniwalk kids signs is a transitional, supportive residence for homeless women in recovery from substance abuse that was founded by Temple Micah members in 1989. Each spring, our community comes together for a “mini-walk” to raise money to support Micah House in what is consistently Micah House’s single largest fundraiser. This year’s Mini-Walk raised over $10,000!  Learn more about their remarkable work in their newsletter and find out how you can support them.

Partnership with Jubilee Jobs

Help Unemployed People Get Jobs

Since 1981, Jubilee Jobs, based in Adams Morgan, has prepared and secured employment for over 24,000 people, including low-income job applicants, immigrants with limited job skills, individuals with prior criminal records and those recovering from addiction. Helping them work for “sustenance, dignity and hope,” the program’s retention rate (applicants who find jobs and remained employed after a year) is an impressive 80%.

You can help applicants prepare or upgrade their resumes and conduct mock interviews.  If you are interested in doing this for a single day or more please contact jubileejobs@templemicah.org.

Purim-to-Pesach Food Drive

Temple Micah collects non-perishable food between Purim and Pesach to help fight hunger in the Washington region. This project is led by a Machon Micah class. Please bring non-perishable items with you every time you visit Micah during this period.

For more information contact Rabbi Beraha.

Share Your Hanukkah, Spread the Light

Every December, the Micah community participates in “Share Your Hanukkah, Spread the Light.” Through this project, launched in 2004, Micah members provide holiday gifts for adults and children in needy families in conjunction with a local social service agency. This project is run each year by the 5th grade students.

Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace)

How Can We Help Refugees and Immigrants?
In an effort to support new refugees as well as immigrants at risk of deportation, a group of Temple Micah congregants have created Sukkat Shalom, whose goal is to explore and facilitate related volunteer and fundraising opportunities. Find out more information and how to get involved here.

Sukkot in Spring

Yachad HammeringWhile springtime brings Passover, it also signals preparation for Yachad’s Sukkot in Spring — a week when hundreds of Washington-area Jews repair the homes of area residents who, through poverty, age or disability, are unable to make the repairs necessary to keep their homes clean, dry and safe. Temple Micah sponsors and participates in minor to moderate repairs on a family’s home. For more information email sukkotinspring@templemicah.org. Read about our impact here.

Temple Micah Gun Violence Prevention Working Group

This informal group at Micah was established with the goal of fostering the conversation about gun violence, both on a national scale and within our own community. With a focus on raising awareness and cultivating intergenerational education, the group has executed several initiatives since its founding in 2016. The group maintains the Micah tradition of reading a list of victims lost to violence in DC each week when we prepare for the Mourner’s Kaddish, and facilitates our congregation’s participation in the national Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath each December, as well as marking Wear Orange Day each June. Rabbi Landau spoke about Judaism and gun violence at an interfaith gathering at the National Cathedral in 2015, which led to our current participation in the interfaith GVP initiative in DC.

Looking to get involved.  We have an easy to use source sheet with links to help you find areas to focus on.  Meg van Achterberg and Elsie Klumpner are the current co-leaders of the group, and can be reached at gvp@templemicah.org.

Temple Micah & the Environment

Temple Micah recognizes that environmental issues are an essential part of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Therefore, Temple Micah devotes attention, resources, and energy to apply this principle to itself, its members, and the broader community in order to preserve, sustain, and repair our environment.  We strive to operate and maintain our facilities in an environmentally sound manner, and we incorporate environmental principles into our Jewish education.

Temple Micah’s Green Team helps the Micah community apply these principles and explores projects such as installing solar panels on the roof or developing a ride-sharing forum. Contact the Green Team chair.