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Social Action/Social Justice

The Social Action-Social Justice Committee 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.

FTJC has called Washington Heights & Inwood home since our founding in 1938, when a group of Jewish refugees put down new roots in this neighborhood. Today, we are revitalizing this historic congregation; some of us are longtime residents, while others are new arrivals seeking community. We are concerned that changes in the neighborhood are negatively impacting our neighbors and members of our own congregation. Therefore we build relationships and partner with other organizations to ensure that the neighborhood we love remains welcoming, diverse, and affordable for all who live here.

Using a well-established method known as Congregation-Based Community Organizing, our initiative builds 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 share our stories, build bonds, and lay the groundwork for focused, effective action in partnership with our neighbors.

• 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).

Current Teams:

  • Environmental Justice Team - addressing climate change through advocacy, local cleanups, and promotion of green practices within our congregation.
  • Housing Justice Team - advocating for affordable housing and housing stability in our neighborhood, city, and state.
  • Immigration Team - lifting up our congregation's immigrant histories, supporting local families in sanctuary, and exploring avenues for advocacy. 
  • Racial Justice Team - working with our congregation's plan toward becoming a more anti-racist community, both internally and through external partnerships.

Interfaith Partnerships: We are members of Faith in New York, a citywide interfaith coalition of congregations. We also partner with our neighborhood's congregations and faith-based institutions through the Upper Manhattan Interfaith Leaders Coalition.

The Social Action-Social Justice Committee is chaired by Zach Cohen and Jessi Thompson.

More questions? Please e-mail

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784