Tzedek: Pursuing Justice
“Tzedek” means righteousness or justice. Pursuing justice by helping others and trying to improve the world is central to our mission at TBA and part of who we are as a congregation and as Jews. We each can help pursue justice in ways small and large.
At TBA, we have ongoing projects that we are committed to sustaining, and with which we need your participation. We are excited to now be planning our next Mitzvah Day, when we look forward to having our biggest day ever of coming together as a congregation to help others and pursue justice! Please save the date (Nov 3, 2019), volunteer to help (see below), and watch for more information as the date approaches.
We also define a social justice theme every few years to enable us to delve deeply into an issue and make a greater impact. We have focused on domestic violence for the past few years. While we continue our volunteer work for a few DV organizations, we now are turning attentions to the important issue of immigration. Please watch for notices about education and volunteer opportunities, and please let me know if you have any related ideas or contacts.
Reflecting our dedication to Tzedek, TBA signed the Reform Jewish Movement’s Brit Olam, a formal commitment to help improve the world which gives us access to resources and connects us to a network of like-minded congregations.
Hopefully, one of TBA’s volunteer opportunities will appeal to you and you will join us in our efforts to pursue justice and help make the world better. Please also join us at our Tzedek meetings, which take place approximately every sixth Sunday.
Please periodically check this webpage and our blog dedicated to Tzedek for ongoing updates, schedule of upcoming events, and to see photos of volunteers having fun as they help pursue justice!
See what inspires us!
Check out our Tzedek blog, in it you will find photos (like the ones shown here) and stories about all of the projects that have taken place at TBA as well as off-site. There are many ways to get involved through Brotherhood, Women of TBA, BAYGL and the Early Learning Center. We list all of our upcoming programs here as well as in the TBA Thursday, RSVP Tuesday, Facebook and more.
* Bring your kids! Starred programs are great options for families!
Fall 2019 Congregation Wide Mitzvah Day*
Over the years, an important way we have gathered as a community to help others is through Mitzvah Day. We are excited that TBA will be holding our next Mitzvah Day on Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. In addition to asking that you save the date, we’d love to hear your ideas for projects and your help leading projects. Please contact Suzy Willard Rosenthal and Carol Kirson if you would like to help plan what we hope will be our biggest ever day of coming together as a congregation to help others and improve the world!
Cooking for Domestic Violence Organizations*
Temple Beth Avodah has made a commitment to support those impacted by domestic violence in the greater Boston community. We cook and bake for The Second Step (TSS) and REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, as follows:
The Second Step - Every month, we cook dinner in the TBA kitchen that we deliver to TSS for the approximately 35 residents of its two shelters. Please contact Jackie Dahlquist for more information or to volunteer to cook.
REACH Beyond Domestic Violence - We bake desserts and make salads for REACH’s annual holiday party, attended by approximately 350 women and children served by this organization.
Food Pantry Collection*
We continuously collect canned salmon and raisins that we donate monthly to Jewish Family & Children’s Services Family Table. Please drop off items in the bins at both TBA entrances or ship your amazon orders to the Temple office. Contact Amy Eisner with any questions.
TBA Knitting Group
The TBA knitters create shawls, lap blankets, scarves and baby caps for the poor and homeless women served by Rosie’s Place and also as part of our Caring Community outreach to our members in need. All are welcome to drop-in on scheduled Sundays at 10:00 a.m. to knit and nosh! Check the calendar for meetings dates and please just stop by one Sunday or contact Beverly Holzman for more information.
High Holiday Food Collection*
We collect non-perishable food from congregants annually between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which we donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank. We collected over 10,000 pounds of food in 2018, which is similar to our collections in previous years, thanks to our members’ generosity! Contact Hazel Sive if you have any questions about this food collection or want to help her prepare bags and shopping lists before Rosh Hashanah next year.
Twice yearly, we hold a blood drive for congregants and other members of the community to donate blood for the Red Cross. Our next blood drive will take place on March 29, 2020. Contact Bunny Aronson if you wish to sign up to donate blood, volunteer to help run the drive, and/or bake cookies for the participants to enjoy after they donate.
Christmas at Ruggles*
TBA congregants and friends are invited to volunteer on December 25 at Hearth at Ruggles Assisted Living. Help serve dinner and sing carols to the residents. Email Hazel Sive if you are interested in participating.
Holiday Gift Drive*
We buy gifts to donate to one or more organizations to give to the families and children that they serve. This year, we are sponsoring three families served by REACH. Please sign up here to shop for gifts or donate funds or gift cards (which we will use to buy gifts). Contact Debbie Hart-Klein with any questions.
Every year, we march as a group in the Boston Pride Parade, carrying a TBA banner. This is a family-friendly event that helps demonstrate that we are a welcoming and inclusive community to all. Please contact Matthew Miller if you have any questions or would like to get involved with preparations for our participation.
TBA Brotherhood Tzedek: Pursuing Justice Events
The Brotherhood participates in a number of social justice activities, particularly related to our current focus on Domestic Violence causes. They have run cooking projects for The Second Step; held a corn hole tournament to benefit White Ribbon Campaign, a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls; and their annual Retreat typically is focused on a social justice issue. Please contact Bruce Blakely or Jeremy Goldfarb to get involved.
BAYGL’s Social Action Theme
TBA’s high school youth group, BAYGL, focuses on a different social action cause each year to support. This year’s theme is the ethical treatment of animals. They are currently collecting donations and raising money for the Animal Rescue League of Dedham.
Projects for Children & Families*
TBA kids of all ages participate in numerous Tzedek: Pursuing Justice projects throughout the school year:
Early Learning Center projects including a Thanksgiving food drive, holiday collections, and other age-appropriate opportunities. Contact Heidi Baker for more information.
Visits for all ages to Newbridge on the Charles to sing songs, play games, and celebrate holidays with the residents. Contact Susan Glickman to volunteer.
Grades 6-12 education, awareness, and student-led projects on various social justice themes
Individual family B’nai Mitzvah projects. Contact Myriam Rofrano for more information.
Participation in Temple wide initiatives and programs