Year of Social Action

With a focus on congregant’s social justice interests, synagogue provides numerous programming and advocacy opportunities all year.

Community Contact:

Temple Beth Torah
Melville, NY

Am Shalom
Glencoe, IL



  • Foster a sense of community.
  • Engage the entire congregation in acts of tikkun olam.
  • Create hands-on social action opportunities based on individual interests.



Bring together representatives from the synagogue committees (including the synagogue board, social action committee, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, worship committee, library committee, Religious School, NFTY, etc.) to develop an outline for the year. Each committee is responsible for developing programs, opportunities, etc. through a social action lens.

Am Shalom created a handbook for committee members to better understand their obligation and responsibility for the year-long initiative, as each committee member was the point-person for one mitzvah project. Meetings were held throughout the year to keep everyone updated on the projects taking place.

Project Implementation:
Because there are many stakeholders in the project, each committee can take turns stepping up and leading the congregation in the social action theme. Projects included:

  • Families were encouraged to glean the local fields by working in a nearby vegetable farm – bagging and loading foods to deliver to a local soup kitchen.
  • Partnership with local church for interfaith dialogue.
  • Sixth graders and their families were divided into cohorts with each cohort choosing a mitzvah project to implement based on their unique interests.
  • Library Committee chose book displays based on the action theme.
  • Administrative committee developed a recycling program for the office.
  • Collection of items for a sister-city in Russia.

These various activities demonstrate the importance of social justice in Jewish life. With many opportunities to get involved, more congregants were engaged in projects.