Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


1 Comment

Mark McDermott to speak about about living wages and economic justice at TBA

On Wednesday, October 2, Mark McDermott will contribute to our forum on living wages and economic justice at TBA.

Mark is a lifelong activist working for economic, social and racial justice and peace. He has been an active member of the Machinists, Washington State Federation of State Employees, and Steelworkers Unions.  He has served as Assistant Director at the Department of Labor and Industries, Senior Labor Policy Advisor for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Policy Analyst on the State Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee, and Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner.  He retired in 2010 after serving as U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ Regional Representative.

In his private life, Mark has served in Washington State on the boards of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, One America, Washington State Living Wage Movement, Seattle Worker Center, Washington Association of Churches, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action and the Program Committee of the statewide Faith Action Network.


Leave a comment

Rabbi for Human Rights in Seattle March 8-10

Rabbi Arik Ascherman will be visiting Seattle this weekend to spread the message about the organization that he co-founded in Israel,  Rabbi for Human Rights.  Rabbi Ascherman has visited Temple Beth Am a number of times over the past 15 years.  The NW Committee to Welcome Rabbi Arik invites you to a Fund Raiser Luncheon on March 8th, noon to 1:30 at Suite 6100 at the Columbia Tower.  Rabbi Ascherman will update about the work of RHR to support human rights of Israelis and Palestinians in Israel. There will be time for questions.  Contact Tom Buchanan if you are interested in attending at clrtom@earthlink.net.

Rabbi Ascherman will also speak at Rock the Shabbat service at Temple DeHirsch Sinai, 6pm, March 8 and will be co-leading Torah Study with Rabbi Jonathan at 9:15 AM at Temple Beth Am on Saturday, March 9.

Rabbi Arik  has always been a voice with feet on the ground, encompassing many camps whether it be  Israeli/Palestinian, Bedouin/Druze, Israelis in need of homes.  His presentations are always hopeful and  inspiring.


Leave a comment

Spirit of Purim – Mishlach Manot

by guest blogger Margo MacvVicar-Whelan

H2RGirlWebSiteThe spirit of Purim includes mishlach manot. If you, yes – you, will remember that sharing with others is central to this happy holiday, then the H2R Purim Voucher fund raising drive will be a great success. Make merry and as you do so please contribute either during the festivities or to the Temple Beth Am office or online Purim to Pesach initiative;. Hag sameach from the H2R  Committee!

Homeless to Renter (H2R)

Families fall into homelessness for many different reasons: loss of a job, huge medical bills, divorce, domestic violence, foreclosure — any one disaster can mean the loss of a home. When that happens, the first step for a family is to find temporary shelter and other supports to keep the family together and stabilize the children. Then comes the second and most difficult step: getting out of homelessness.

Here is how H2R helps familes:

  • Families are referred to Jewish Family Service (JFS) by one of more than 25 agencies, some of which provide long-term case management;
  • JFS identifies a family ready to rent their own apartment;
  • The family then locates an apartment they can afford;
  • H2R funds move-in costs;
  • H2R also provides household supplies, special afghans made by our Knitzvah Knitters, and, if necessary, helps the family with the costs of apartment supplies.

Donate online now with our Purim to Pesach initiative; your tax-deductible contribution will help continue Homeless to Renter, which has been helping the Greater Seattle community since 2004.


Leave a comment

Freedom Shabbat – January 11, 2013

Musical Performance: 7:30pm
Service: 8:00 pm

I am pleased to remind you of the annual Temple Beth Am Freedom Shabbat service on Friday, January 11, 2013.  Each year, our congregation joins in celebration and education about our relationship as Jews to the life and work of Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.

So often, it can seem that working for peace and justice involves choosing from a laundry list of “issues” that are addressed as separate concerns.  As citizens, it behooves us to examine the connections between various struggles against oppression in order to further a more just society.

To that end, we are so very pleased to have Dr. Michael K. Honey speak at this year’s service.  Dr. Honey is the Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington-Tacoma. He is the award-winning author of a number of books and a community activist. He will be speaking on the topic of, “The Interconnectedness between Racism, Poverty and War”.

We will again be honoring a number of congregants who have been involved in numerous tikkun olam actions.  While it is not possible to include everyone in reading from the bima, this year we want to invite anyone who has been engaged in this important work to join on the bima at the Torah service for a group aliyah and blessing from Rabbi Beth.  Please spread the word amongst your colleagues in action about this opportunity/honor.

New this year, we will begin our evening of celebration with a musical performance at 7:30pm with Shades of Praise/Jubilation Choir of St. Therese Parish, under the direction of Mr. Kent Stevenson.  We are honored to share this joyous evening with these exuberant singers.  Please help us to express our collective appreciation for their time by attending this part of our evening’s event.

Finally, I want to let you know that this is my fourth – and final – year coordinating this wonderful service.  I am passing on the role to Leigh Hofheimer who has worked with me on this year’s service.  Please join me in welcoming her to this important effort.

For justice!

Susan Picard – Coordinator, Freedom Shabbat Service


Leave a comment

Tikkun Olam in Tanzania

Dear Friends,

There are a lot of places to do Tikkun Olam in the world, including of course here.  We practice Tikkun Olam both here in our community, and also as many of you know in different parts of the world – most recently East Africa.

In 2013, we are going to volunteer in Tanzania to work in Massai villages in the north, around Arusha.  One of the projects that we want to do is teach children photography.  And so, we asking you, our friends to consider donating your used digital camera that we can bring along with us.  Photography is a very good way to help children communicate and bring out their creativity.  We have seen many examples of this around the world during our volunteering experiences.

If you don’t have a small digital camera to donate, you can make a small contribution which we will use to buy cameras.

We also want to bring some laptops with us for the NGO we will be working with – RISE Africa.  So please consider that also.  By the way, RISE is registered as a US 501 c 3, so any contributions, either in kind or cash are tax deductible.

Please consider helping.

Many thanks!

Peter and Hinda Schnurman