Social Action is a central part of Union Temple’s mission to pursue Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam. Tzedakah, which is most commonly translated as “charity,” has its roots in the word for “justice” or “righteousness” and Jewish tradition teaches that giving tzedakah is a religious imperative, even for those who have little to give. Tikkun Olam literally means “world repair” and is commonly used to refer to the pursuit of social action and social justice, although it traces back to kabbalah. Contact UT Social Action.
Our Social Action committee coordinates a variety of projects to help the community … organizes educational and advocacy programs … and brings important social issues to the attention of the Union Temple membership. We often work with local and national organizations including:
CHIPS: Food is donated on an ongoing basis to CHIPS (Christian Help in Park Slope), a local meal provider for the needy. Our religious school students, parents, and other volunteers conduct a special food collection for CHIPS during Thanksgiving outside our local Key Food.
PROJECT HOPE: This community social service agency is dedicated to teaching people how to become employable and self-sufficient. We help their clients win jobs by donating business attire, conducting mock interviews, and volunteering our expertise in educational, legal, psychological and social service areas.
MAZON, A Jewish Response to Hunger funds programs such as food banks and Meals on Wheels as well as organizations that advocate to end the root causes of hunger in the United States and abroad. At Union Temple celebrations, we give a “3% against hunger” contribution of food costs and encourage additional donations.
Every year, we push for progressive social and economic policies by meeting face-to-face with state legislators during the Reform Jewish Voice of New York State advocacy day. At our annual Union Temple Mitzvah day, various cohort groups conduct their favorite charitable projects. Plus, during Yom Kippur, we hold a Social Action Forum to discuss the most pressing issues of the day.