Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities

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2013 Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day Monday, February 11

By Sally Kinney, Temple Beth Am

We hope to have a vocal contingent of Temple Beth Am members join  the Housing Alliance on February 11 in Olympia for Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day.

Are you passionate about ensuring that everyone in Washington has the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, and affordable home? Do you want to unite with others to end homelessness in our state? Are you ready to join over 500 other advocates from around Washington to tell your elected officials how you feel?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then please join the Housing Alliance on February 11 in Olympia for our annual Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day!

The day includes:

  • Inside information and timely updates on affordable housing and homelessness legislation.
  • Workshops on how to talk to your elected officials and be the most effective advocate possible.
  • Meetings with your lawmakers for which you’ll be armed with key messages, supporting documents and facts to help share your story.
  • And an opportunity to feel the power of a strong and growing movement for affordable housing and an end to homelessness.

This year’s theme is “2-11: Hear the Call for Housing and an End to Homelessness.” HHAD will help connect powerful advocates to elected officials in order to make the call to increase access to affordable housing and services and programs that prevent and end homelessness. This year’s theme was chosen in recognition that our date (2-11) is the same phone number (2-1-1) that struggling individuals and families call when trying to get connected to critical resources. This year lets all come out to Olympia and make the call together to ensure our message is heard loud and strong!

 For more information:


Together we can make our voices heard!

If you are interested in joining other Temple Beth Am members or in receiving additional information as plans are made please contact:  Randy Simon at rsimon28@comcast.net

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A Cause for Optimism

By Barak Gale, Temple Beth Am Green TeamImage

Dear Chevra,

Occasionally I have bursts of real optimism regarding the ability of humanity to make it’s voice heard to save our planet from folly. One such burst of optimism was earlier this evening at the Coal Export Hearing at the Convention Center.
A little background….
Big coal companies want to ship dirty Montana and Wyoming coal through our state to be burned in Asia. The Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Council and Washington Dep. of Ecology hosted this hearing, one of six around the state, to define issues, public concerns, and alternatives to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement regarding the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, near Bellingham, WA.
The cause for optimism….
It wasn’t just that hundreds of people dressed in red rallied in Freeway Park , or that I’d guess over a thousand people packed two enormous halls at the hearing, or that those dressed in red with the slogan “Beyond Coal Exports”  greatly outnumbered those dressed in green t-shirts supporting the coal terminal.  It was the breadth and depth of the statements from teenage boys and girls talking about their future, fishermen talking about the danger to our waters and fisheries, a Muslim woman sharing a legend and speaking of the sacredness of the earth from a Muslim perspective, Prof. Jaffe of the U.W.  talking very specifically about the known dangers of coal and coal dust, etc., etc.   Every person was so articulate.
I was fortunate to be able to speak as well.  I identified myself as a member of Beth Am.   Last moment I decided to chant instead of speak.  Here was my testimony….
Ladies and Gentlemen (I like the formality of this.)
I believe wholeheartedly that we are destroying our Garden of Eden.  I would like to share a dirge from my Jewish tradition.  (This is a part of the keenah or dirge composed by Chazan Richard Kaplan, and based on the Lamentations text and melody.)
Vi konen Yirmiyahu o’oh.  Ka’asher shama otah shara.  Hakinah l’churban gan eden..
Jeremiah wept, o’oh.  Hearing her song.  Lamenting her Temple so wounded.
Alas my forests are dying.  I hear my waters crying.  When will they learn?
O’oh that I, o’oh that they were pure again.
I urge you to evaluate the impacts of this project on creation.
Thank you.
People still have until Jan. 21 to comment at www.eisgate waypacificwa.gov.
For more information about the Temple Beth Am Green Team please contact Barak Gale barakgale@gmail.com

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Faith Action Network News

Dear Friends,

To those of you who joined Jean-Loup and me at the TBA table last Saturday at the Annual FAN Celebration dinner many thanks for your support of FAN.

Our membership in FAN and how we will work together is taking form in preparation for the 2013 State Legislative Session as well as longer term strengthening of our congregational advocacy activity.

Rabbi Jonathan Singer has joined the FAN board of governors.

Contact me at drbaer11@hotmail.com with questions or suggestions regarding our work with FAN.

Visit the FAN website to learn more: fanwa.org.  In addition to our congregational work with FAN you can sign up as an individual FAN member to receive email updates.

And please pass this along to anyone who might be interested in FAN’s work.

All my best and Happy Chanukah and holidays,

Diane Baer

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Green Interfaith event on December 8 in Redmond

What on Earth are we to do?
Green Interfaith: An Islamic Perspective on Caring for Creation

There will be opportunity to learn about and discuss:

  • Causes and effects of global warning
  • The Qur’an, the Earth, and us
  • Meeting this challenge together

The event details are as follow–

When:  Saturday, December 8th, 2012
1:30PM – 4:00PM
Where: At MAPS 17550 NE 67th CT, Redmond WA 98052

MAPS community  invites all to  join them and continue exploring together what we can do to meet this world challenge.

Entry is free, everyone is welcome.

To register  go to http://tinyurl.com/MAPS-Earth-Meeting; for more information email outreach@MAPSREDMOND.com.

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TBA Joins in Greenwood/Phinney Faith March to Approve R. 74

On Sunday, over 250 faith leaders and church goers marched more than a mile through the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods of Seattle in support of Referendum 74. The all-ages crowd waved signs and carried banners as passing motorists waved and honked in support of the right of marriage for all.

The march was organized by Broadview United Church of Christ, St. John United Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, and Woodland Park United Methodist Church.
Dozens of people spontaneously joined in as the marchers walked from Woodland Park UMC down Greenwood and Phinney avenues to St. John United Lutheran across from Woodland Park Zoo.

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Advocacy 101 Training – June 2nd

  If you were not able to attend Advocacy 101 Training at Temple Beth Am in March – here is another opportunity.  Nancy Amidei is a wonderful teacher!

The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH) and Faithful Action in Transforming Homelessness (FAITH)  present the next:Homelessness Advocacy 101 workshop!

Each spring, as Congress considers important bills and budget proposals, we organize to strengthen the federal government’s commitment to a safe, housed, and healthy United States. In order to house people and prevent and end homelessness, we need MUCH more affordable housing, strong supportive services, and fair and helpful laws. At this workshop, we will discuss the bills and policies being reviewed currently at the federal level and practice the steps that everyone can take to make sure housing and homelessness concerns are prioritized in the national Capitol. 

In just two hours, we take you through “Advocacy 101,” a FUN training with the incomparable pro-democracy cheerleader Nancy Amidei. Together with other local experts and allies, we present the facts about 3-4 important proposals, along with simple actions and sample messages. You will leave informed and inspired with tools for engaging your classmates, fellow congregants, neighbors and others to speak up and make a difference.

Join us Saturday, June 2 from 10am to Noon at the Keystone United Church of Christ.

Please register for this FUN and FREE workshop here at http://homelessinfo.org




Membership and Fundraising Coordinator

Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness

77 S. Washington St.

Seattle WA 98104

(206) 357-3144



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Faith & Public Values in the Public Square Lecture Series at Seattle University

Faith & Public Values in the Public Square Lecture Series Kicking Off This Week!

The Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue team at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry is hosting:

Wednesday April 4th — PART 1 of the series hosts Karen Armstrong on the topic of “Business and Compassion — Exploring an Ethical Center.”  The presentation will take place in Campion Ballroom on the Seattle University Campus. Armstrong’s poignant and captivating talks have sparked worldwide discussion. Her bestselling books, including Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and A History of God, examine the differences and the profound similarities between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and their impact on world events. In 2008, she was awarded the TED Prize in recognition and support of her call for a council of religious and spiritual leaders to draw up a “Charter for Compassion” that applies shared moral priorities to foster greater global understanding based on the principles of justice and respect. Free tickets can be found  here:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/236465

April 30thPART 2 of the series covers the issues of ‘Faith and Active Citizenship’ today. Rabbi Jill Jacobs (Rabbis for Human Rights- North America), Professor Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (Seattle University Department of Theology and Religious Studies) and Mr. Tarek Dawoud (Council on American-Islamic Relations) will engage in an interreligious conversation. The event is hosted by Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry and sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation. The panel begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. in Pigott Atrium featuring displays of local faith-based advocacy and action organizations. Free tickets can be found here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/236633


Leaping Lizards! It has been an AMAZING leap-week!

From our friends at SKCCH, the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness.

February 29 2012
Dear SKCCH Members and Friends:
Leaping Lizards!  It has been an AMAZING leap-week!
Last Wednesday our Advocates in Olympia Day brought 100 passionate people together to deliver key housing and  homelessness advocacy messages and hundreds of bright yellow postcards to the offices of every legislator in King, Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston counties.  Huge thanks go to our partners in this adventure: Catholic Community Services, FAITH, the Housing Alliance, and the wonderful folks who showed up and spoke up and made it happen. Our two youngest advocates, Denny and Nat, stole the show, as you can see!
To read more, click here.

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An Interfaith Pilgrimage

If you thought there were a lot of new faces in the sanctuary last Friday evening (Nov. 4), you were right! TBA was host to about 150 visitors on the second leg of an interfaith pilgrimage to houses of worship of all three Abrahamic faiths.

It started with the Interfaith Women’s Conference last spring, convened by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC). The conference brought together 300 women and men from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations to begin a dialog that would lead to better understanding among our faith traditions. Continue reading