Healing the World: Jewish Values, Social Justice and the Community

Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM has an on-going multifaceted program

Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, New Mexico has an on-going multifaceted program of education, action and advocacy. Projects include a Habitat for Humanity build, Mitzvah Week, Social Action Month, CROP Walk, Issues and Advocacy Weekend, support of a local Peace Camp for Israeli and Palestinian teenagers and an interfaith Ramadan "Break the Fast." Their coalition and advocacy issues include repeal of the death penalty, opposition to the Iraq War, reproductive choice, fighting anti-Semitism and environmental stewardship.

Examples of Social Action involvement:

  • Iraq Resolution: the SAC held two "brown bag suppers" open to the congregation before Friday night Services, to discuss the situation in Iraq and to develop a resolution calling for the government to end the war. Approximately 125 individuals and families voted with a majority endorsing the resolution.
  • June is "Social Action Month" at TBS- had representatives from community social services agencies to give presentations at Friday Night Shabbat Services in place of the Rabbis sermon.
  • "Women Build"- eighteen TBS congregants worked on a Habitat for Humanity project on two Sundays to build a house for a deserving Santa Fe family. Several of those volunteers have continued to build on other projects.
  • Mitzvah Week (October 6-13) highlighted community agencies and encouraged congregants to volunteer during that time. Although the response was not as great as we would have wished, we raised awareness of what was going on in the community.
  • CROP Walk 2006- TBS was one of the several religious congregations that participated in an interfaith five kilometer walk to raise awareness of and money for hunger relief throughout the world. 25% of the more than $5000 raised was earmarked for the Food Depot, a food distribution agency that serves the hungry.
  • Charter member of the Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty
  • Confronting anti-Semitism (November 14, 2006) in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League of New Mexico, workshop will use provocative situational videos and group discussion to help people respond to anti-Semitism in non confrontational and educational ways.
  • Issues and Advocacy Weekend- educational and interactive weekend encouraging congregants to become aware of issues that will be on the 2007 New Mexico legislative agenda.
  • Consultation on Social Justice March 2007- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center will speak.
  • TBS coalition member with representatives to The New Mexico Religious coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Food Depot and the Interfaith Alliance for Environmental Stewardship
  • Congregants prepared a Ramadan "break the fast" meal for a local mosque
  • Peace Camp-attracted more than 35 Temple families to prepare and deliver meals to a residential camp that provides two or three week sessions for Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls.

TBS is involved in other programs throughout the year the above highlights 2006 and some of 2007.