Justice, justice, you shall pursue (Deuteronomy 16:20)
For the past half century, the Jewish community in North America has centered “Repair of the World,” the pursuit of social and environmental justice. The principle of Tikkun Olam has become essential to North American Jewish identity and agenda, complementing, and in some communities superseding, matters of faith and performance of religious ritual. Tikkun Olam is a core component of our congregational Vision which also includes, Avodah, Chavurah, Talmud Torah, and K’lal Yisrael. For many members of Temple Beth El, the pursuit of justice is a compelling mitzvah, a sacred obligation that constitutes their primary connection to Jewish tradition.
In support of these values, in 2017 Temple Beth El joined over 200 other Reform Jewish synagogues in signing on to the URJ Religious Action Center’s Brit Olam—Our Covenant with our World. The Brit Olam reminds us of the words from Pirkei Avot: "Study alone is not enough, our tradition demands action."
Through the Brit Olam, TBE has pledged to support many important efforts such as immigration justice, gun violence prevention, environmental justice, racial justice, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and more.
In pursuit of this, TBE has an active Social Justice Committee which regularly participates in local activities such as Women’s Marches, MLK Day gatherings, and Pride Parades. It has circulated petitions, written letters, and co-sponsored community events. A sub-committee provides food to the homeless each week.
Marching with Martin Luther King, Rabbi Abraham Heschel spoke of praying with his feet.
Social Action Committee at Eureka Women's March, 2018