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Social Action/Social Justice

The Social Action-Social Justice Initiative works to channel the tremendous energy of our growing community to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood and city for all its residents.

• To strengthen our community by building relationships, internally and externally ;
• To become a partner in the well-being of our neighborhood and city; and
• To create opportunities to fulfill mitzvot relating to tikkun olam (sacred Jewish obligations to repair the world).

The initiative kicked off in Spring 2015 with a series of individual conversations among the FTJC community, based on a well-established method known as Congregation-Based Community Organizing. Our initiative builds on relationships and shared narratives to seek consensus-based, community-driven approaches to social action and social justice. We aim to participate in both direct service and advocacy projects related to issues that matter to the members of the FTJC community. Together we will share our stories, build bonds, and lay the groundwork for focused, effective action in partnership with our neighbors.

After a busy summer of planning, the SA-SJ Organizing Team is reaching out to the wider FTJC community to help generate our future directions. We want to listen to your motivations, passions and interests and to hear you answer questions such as: Which issues of justice and injustice concern you most? What’s your experience of living in Washington Heights/Inwood? What stories, encounters and motivations in your own life drive your sense of what’s broken and needs repair?

Current Phase: Living Room Conversations
Please sign up here to participate in a living room conversation during the period of October 18 – 30.
Sign-up deadline is Friday October 9.

Timeline and Goals:

October 2015: Series of “living room conversations” in the homes of FTJC members, including one conversation with our teen community. These conversations will be an opportunity to hear members’ input as we explore what service projects and advocacy issues to take on as a community.

December-January 2016: Community Reportback and launch of issue-based Research Teams

February-April 2016: Exploring potential partnerships with non-profits, community groups, local government, and/or other religious organizations.

May-June 2016: Community Reportback and board approval of two broad issue areas that our community decides to address together, with a direct service and/or advocacy campaign for each of the two issue areas.

The SA-SJ Organizing Team includes FTJC members Aaron Elstein, Emily Greene, Ray Levi, Adam Masser, Michael Pershan, Madeline Richer, Jessica Thompson, Joan Warner and Sarah Wolk, and is advised by Rabbi Guy Austrian.

More questions? Please e-mail

Wed, January 22 2020 25 Tevet 5780