Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities

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Mary’s Place Families return to Temple Beth Am December 24-31, 2013

We are delighted to offer homeless families a cozy place out of the cold at our Family Shelter at again this December. Thanks to everyone who made the summer stay so successful; we hope we can count on your help again.

Volunteers are needed to provide dinner, drive the brand new 15 person van and stay with our guests. We’d love to have a group of teens help with the children! Because of Mary’s Place holiday schedule, families will be staying all day at TBA December 25 and we will need some extra volunteers and activities that day.

Orientation for NEW Mary’s Place Volunteers will be Dec. 18 7:00 pm at Temple Beth Am.

Contact Tamara Bailey (tamara@weinbail.com) or Sue Covey (susancovey@comcast.net) for more information.

LARGE TENTS NEEDED! If you have a large family size tent we could use in the social hall for the week, please contact Tamara Bailey.

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Interfaith Memorial Vigil to Remember Victims of Newtown Tragedy

As the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown approaches, the community is coming together for an interfaith memorial vigil for the victims of Newtown on Saturday, December 14th from 5:30 to 6:30 at First United Methodist Church. Please join us as we remember the children and adults who were lost as a result of this senseless tragedy.

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Signature Gatherers Needed for I-594!! We are in the Final Countdown…

Looking for something worthwhile, and non-shopping related, to do on BLACK FRIDAY? Come gather signatures for I-594!  If you’d like to help make sure that anyone buying a gun in Washington State passes the same background check regardless of where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from — join us. 
 We must gather 325,000 signatures by January 4, 2014. As of October 31st, we had over 275,000 signatures. We are steadily marching toward our goal but we could use your help. If we are successful, the legislature will consider the initiative in its 2014 session beginning in mid-January. If the Legislature fails to act, the initiative will go to the people in November 2014.
WHEN: Friday November 29
TIME: 8:00 am to 10:00 am
WHERE: Northgate Mall. Volunteers will gather at 8:00 at Panera between JC Penny and Best Buy
We will have petitions, clipboards, pens to distribute.
Please come prepared for the weather, whatever that may be.
Questions: contact Nancy Sapiro at nsapiro@nwjustice.net or Jessica Trupin atjtrupin@comcast.net

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Voices: Reflections on Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day

Reposted from the Faith and Family Homelessness Project

Voices: Reflections on Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day

Posted on 02/21/2013 by 

Published in the Mukilteo Beacon | By Glen Pickus | Feb 20, 2013

It’s our obligation to advocate an end to homelessness

As the world’s first ethical monotheistic religion, Judaism is more than a means for individuals to fulfill their spiritual needs.

Many of us believe it is incumbent on Jews to introduce our ethical values outside of our community. Photo Courtesy of: Glen Pickus More than 650 housing and homeless advocates were given a red scarf to wear at a rally on the steps of the capitol on Feb. 11. The advocates represented 43 out of the 49 legislative districts, which made this Advocacy Day the largest ever.
Because our core ethics are similar, if not identical to those of other faiths, it was logical that Temple Beth Or would partner with the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry’s Faith & Family Homelessness Project.

Which is why last week, on Feb. 11, 11 Temple Beth Or members were on a bus with 25 other people of faith from Everett First Presbyterian, Arlington United Church and Temple Beth Am on our way to Olympia to take part in Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day, organized by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.

In Olympia we joined more than 650 other advocates whose goal was the same as ours – to call for an end to homelessness. We learned about the connection between housing and education needs and the importance to advocate for revenue dedicated to housing programs. We also attended a workshop on how to be effective advocates.

At noon we rallied on the north steps of the Capitol Building with the hope our state legislators would take notice of our numbers.

After lunch it was time to do some face-to-face advocacy. We grouped together by legislative district and met in three separate meetings with our state representatives and senator. As a Mukilteo resident I live in the 21st District, so I joined about 15 others to meet with Rep. Marko Liias, Rep. Mary Helen Roberts and Sen. Paull Shin. Nearly half of us were Temple Beth Or members.

We are fortunate in the 21st District in that all three of our elected representatives are very supportive of the call to end homelessness.

In our meetings we urged them to fund the Housing Trust Fund at $175 million, vote in favor of the “Fair Tenant Screening Act” to eliminate unfair barriers to housing and to fully fund the “Housing and Essential Needs” and the “Aged, Blind and Disabled” programs which ensure people with disabilities can meet their basic needs.

We pointed out it was not about choosing between education or housing programs because children who don’t have safe and secure housing are not going to be good learners. So we asked them to pursue new, smart and innovative revenues to allow both housing and education programs to be properly funded. (See this HTF Education Factsheet 2013 to learn more.)

As I mentioned in this space last September, for Jews, helping those in need is not simply a matter of charity, but of responsibility, righteousness and justice. We are not to just give to the poor, but we are instructed to advocate on their behalf – to “speak up, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).

On Feb. 11 that’s exactly what my fellow Temple Beth Or members and I were doing.

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What’s Next for Gun Control? YOU ARE!

The Come Home Alive Initiative (CHAI), formed by TBA members Jessica Trupin, Shelly Cohen, Randy Simon, and many others, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, is delighted that Council member Tim Burgess, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and others will be joining us at our next meeting, which we’re co-hosting with the amazing One Million Moms for Gun Control.Nick Federici, advocate for nonprofit causes in Olympia, will be leading an advocacy training after the speakers. Other prominent leaders are also signing up to join us!We hope that each of you is in this struggle for the long haul. Come to share, learn, lobby, or just listen.

Next Sunday, 2/24, 3-4:30 at First United Methodist, 180 Denny. We’ll have you out in time for the Oscars. Childcare available.

RSVP to february24rsvp@gmail.com – but don’t let a lack of RSVP keep you away.

First Church (First United Methodist Church, Seattle)
180 Denny Way, Seattle, Washington 98109
View Map · Get Directions

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Petition to Encourage Elected Officials to Act on Gun Control

We  encourage you to sign this petition against gun violence.

Jewish Petition to End Gun Violence

December 14, 2012’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has reminded us that the issue of gun violence in our nation must be dealt with immediately.

Please sign this petition to encourage our elected officials in Washington State to support comprehensive action, including legislation requiring background checks (closing the gun show loophole), mandating guns be stored safely around children and robust efforts to ensure that every person in need has access to quality mental health care.