Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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Interfaith leaders release statement deploring “Gun Appreciation” event

Hundreds of faith leaders from Washington State have signed a statement deploring the ‘Gun Appreciation Event’ scheduled in Olympia on MLK holiday weekend, January 19.  Rabbis Beth and Jonathan Singer together with hundreds of other faith leaders have signed the letter which can be accessed at http://fanwa.org/interfaith-leaders-deplore-gun-appreciation-day/.

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The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI)

Submitted by Jessica Trupin, Temple Beth Am Member

On Friday, December 14th, after hearing about the shootings in Newtown, I posted a notice to Facebook.  I would open my living room every other Sunday at 3pm for the foreseeable future to anyone who wanted to “do something”.  On Sunday the 16th nine people gathered.  The Come Home Alive Initiative was created from that first meeting.

Our founding mission is this:  The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI) is committed to a violence-free America so our children come home alive from school or play, soldiers come home alive from our wars, and each of us finds in our minds a place to which we may come home alive. CHAI is a group of parents, educators, and activists who came together in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings to lobby for legislation, dismantle our nation’s culture of fear and violence, and raise awareness of peaceful alternatives.

On December 30th we were fortunate to have the executive director of Washington CeaseFire come speak with us.  This Sunday, January 13th, we will be joining the march from Westlake Park to the Seattle Center: StandUp Washington : Turning Anger in to Action.  

We will be supporting the assault weapons ban this session, but beyond that, we’re committed to a broader view than the us v. them paradigm that’s kept a grip on our national dialogue.  Sensible, responsible gun owners are more than welcome and are, in fact, crucial to this conversation.

If you’re interested, we currently exist only on Facebook as the Densmore Working Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/485572574828611/?bookmark_t=groupand in my living room, so please email me either at jtrupin@comcast.net or connect with me on Facebook.  The name CHAI was a lucky accident. 

Best,

Jessica

Jessica C. Trupin
jtrupin@comcast.net ∙ 206-992-6684

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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


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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:

https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2685/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=76591

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.
*************
Barak
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.