• Social Justice at CBE

    Tikkun Alliance

 

HEALING THE WORLD

The Jewish value of tikkun olam, healing the world, is at the heart of CBE’s identity. From our rapid response to Hurricane Sandy, which spurred our CBE Feeds program, to our study series on systemic racism in America, which led to our Dismantling Racism Team, to our partnership with Council member Brad Lander that led to the #GetOrganizedBK initiative, which has led thousands of our Brooklyn neighbors to work to protect human rights, stand with vulnerable communities, and defend democracy.

If you would like opportunities to do good and create change in the world, from acts of kindness to service, from giving to mitzvot, from advocacy to community organizing, CBE is a place to get involved. We welcome you to bring your skills, commitments, and heart to any or all of our social justice initiatives.

Neutrality when life is at risk is not a Jewish value. Silence in the face of injustice is not a Jewish value. The Jewish thing to do is to take a stand, to speak, to act. —Rabbi Rachel Timoner

ONGOING INITIATIVES

CBE Respite Bed Shelter

CBE operates a Homeless Shelter for 11 weeks, in the evenings, from April 1 through June 14, 2024. It is in the Rotunda of the Sanctuary Building and provides a warm, safe place to sleep, along with a hot meal, for our homeless guests. The Shelter is an entirely volunteer effort, coordinated by CBE congregants and supported by members and non-members alike. Guests are brought to the Shelter by bus from a drop-in center operated by CAMBA, the largest social service agency in Brooklyn. We provide a hot, protein-based, evening meal each night. Volunteers may bring dinner or a dessert or they may sleep overnight.

The signup calendar link is here: 2024 CBE Homeless Shelter sign up

Questions: Please contact shelter@cbebk.org or Carol Shuchman at carol.shuchman@gmail.com.

Climate Team

Will 100 CBE members take one simple action today?

In New York state, critical bills like the HEAT Act and Superfund Act must be included in the state’s annual budget bill, which will be passed by April 1. Lawmakers need to hear from their constituents NOW that acting on climate is a priority for us as Reform Jews. CBE’s Climate Team is asking 100 CBE members to ask our elected officials to protect our children for generations to come. Will you please say yes? Use this form to email your legislators today.

To get involved, email climate@cbebk.org.

Democracy Team

2024 will hold one of the most consequential elections in history—and there’s no time to waste. CBE’s Democracy Team has worked hard to identify organizations that are making a real impact, and encourages you to join us in the following actions: 

  • Send postcards to key voters in key states with Reclaim our Vote
  • Deep canvas to connect with voters through storytelling, empathy, and respect
  • Protect election integrity and access with A More Perfect Union: The Jewish Partnership for Democracy:
    • Legal professionals are in particular demand to offer pro bono support to election officials
    • Volunteer as a poll worker
    • Join Rumor Guard to push back against mis-information
    • Resist toxic polarization by having a conversation with someone of the opposing political party

Please email democracy@cbebk.org to let co-chairs Gale Kaufman and Karen Levenberg know what you sign up for and to join the team.

Dismantling Racism Team

The Dismantling Racism Team (DRT) is part of CBE’s larger history and commitment to pursuing social justice for all. We have two main working groups that we warmly welcome all interested members of the congregation to become part of. The group is open to non-members as well. If you are interested in learning more and/or attending please email: cbedismantlingracismteam@cbebk.org

-The Antiracism Working Group focuses on CBE’s own congregational norms, practices, and policies, with the goal of making CBE an antiracist congregation and a more inclusive community for all, including congregants, worshipers, family members, guests, and students.

-The Advocacy Working Group is actively engaged in advocacy, in alliance with more directly impacted groups, for reforms of the state and local criminal legal system. The group’s efforts have included participating in the Raise the Age coalition to sharply curtail the prosecution of teenagers as adults, helping pass laws eliminating cash bail, and more recently, advocating for police reforms to end police brutality.

On March 1, 2021 as part of CBE’s speaker series “Member Mondays,” the DRT presented “#LessIsMoreNY: A Conversation on Combating Racism Through Parole Reform”. Click here to watch our presentation

Poor People's Campaign

About the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
(From Souls of Poor Folk)
“In 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. launched the Poor People’s Campaign. It was an evolution of his work leading the Civil Right Movement. He connected those affected by the interfunctioning evils of poverty, race, and the war economy. He was killed while organizing a mass mobilization and encampment in Washington DC for the summer of 1968. Still, that summer, a “’freedom church of the poor’ gathered by the thousands in Washington. They erected “Resurrection City,” their encampment on the National Mall, to demand that their government address bitter poverty in the wealthiest nation in the world. They confronted fundamental questions about America’s moral and Constitutional vision for all of its people, regardless of their wealth, race, gender or national origin. They demanded attention to the hungry children and inadequate schools from Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta to the devastated inner cities across America. They made moral witness against America’s long, pointless, and immoral war in Vietnam, and tried hard to be heard as they carried their testimony forward into public life. The hard history that compelled them to “pray with their feet,” as Rabbi Abraham Heschel said, also compelled many Americans to ask whether the republic for which they stood would ever stand for them.”

In 2018, the Campaign was relaunched by Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis. It calls us to understand now five interfunctioning evils: deepening poverty, ecological devastation, systemic racism, and an economy harnessed to seemingly endless war, and the perpetuation of false moral narratives.

“The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is rooted in a moral analysis based on our deepest religious and constitutional values that demand justice for all. Every major religious tradition places challenging oppression and criticizing systems of injustice at the center of its moral considerations.”

Click here to read a d’var Torah Rabbi Timoner wrote for the RAC about the Poor People’s Campaign in 2018.

Click here for a video from the URJ about the Poor People’s Campaign.

In the coming year, the Poor People’s Campaign is focused on their MORE Campaign: mobilizing, organizing, registering, and educating voters as fundamental to combating the inter-functioning evils of poverty, racism, etc. At CBE, we will be working with members participating in other social justice efforts to build connections and support for all this critical work.

Refugee Task Force

As Jews, we remember that we were once refugees who needed the world to take notice. It is our duty now to help other refugees. The Refugee Task Force builds coalitions with other New York City synagogues to advocate for legislation to protect refugees, directly support refugees who have settled in the U.S. and in refugee camps abroad, and educate the community.

Over the next year we will focus on political advocacy involving relief to excluded workers, the release of detainees, the end of family separation, refugee resettlement restrictions, and DACA repeal; direct action projects including supporting families who have settled in NYC and supply drives for refugees abroad; and community education including film and book events. We also invite you to participate in the following:

Warm Clothing and Toiletries Drive for Asylum-Seeking Kids and Families 

Many recently arrived asylum-seekers and immigrants who have been in NYC for a while are in need of warm clothing, diapers, and toiletries. Some of these families are living in shelters nearby, and some are living in neighboring communities. All of them can use some love this season! CBE’s Yachad Program and Refugee Task Force have mobilized around this need, and you and your family can help starting on November 27.

Please bring the items listed below to the front desk of the Temple House before Saturday, December 9:

  • Gloves, hats and socks (warm) for all members of the family (children, women, and men)
  • Diapers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, Dove or Ivory bar soap, period pads, Advil, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, chapstick)

We hold monthly meetings and would love to see you there, or hear from you at any time! Check out our website and our Facebook page.

To get involved, email cberefugeetaskforce@cbebk.org.

Support K'far Aza

Thanks to our community’s generosity, the CBE K’far Aza Healing Committee has raised $300,000 for our sister community in Israel. But our support—and prayers—are still needed.

More information: https://cbebk.org/kfar-aza/


GET INVOLVED

Click the button below to stay in touch with the Tikkun Alliance and learn more about social justice opportunities with CBE.

GET INVOLVED

 

Are you interested in becoming a member of CBE? Click here to learn more about membership.