Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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4th Annual Light the Night: A GLBTQ Hanukkah-December 11th

Hi everyone, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and are still smiling because of our R74 victory.  Kolenu, Seattle’s Jewish LGBTQ Young Adult group(http://kolenuseattle.blogspot.com) hosts a Hanukkah party every year where they honor LGBTQ leaders in our community.  This year, the event will focus on the effort to achieve marriage equality in Washington State.  I want to encourage everyone to come and also to invite your friends, congregation, and organizational members to come also.  The event is open to the public.  There will be a program where we will honor individuals and communities.  Please come and please spread the word!  See below for more details.
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Kolenu invites you to their 4th Annual Light the Night: A GLBTQ Hanukkah
Enjoy tasty latkes, colorful dreidels, music and a beautiful candle lighting symbolizing both the miracle of Hanukkah and the idea that great leadership and community action will prevail against oppression.
This year, we are fortunate to celebrate a new “miracle” in our time: marriage equality in Washington State. In this spirit, we will be honoring community leaders who were active in Referendum 74.
FREE and open to the community. Allies, friends and family welcome. Due to the location, this is a 21+ event.
This event is made possible through the generous support of Jconnect Seattle, The Lobby Bar, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Jewish Family Service, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
What:                                     4th Annual Light the Night: A GLBTQ Hanukkah
Where:                                   The Lobby Bar (916 E. Pike Street, Seattle, Washington 98122)
When:                                    December 11, 2012 6-8 pm
Facebook Event:                  https://www.facebook.com/events/483533345003014/
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Questions About Same Sex Marriage in Washington?

Marriage for lesbian and gay couples is legal! What’s next? Legal Voice (www.legalvoice.org) created a memo, Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Washington, to answer many frequently asked questions regarding marriage in Washington. Take a look:

http://www.legalvoice.org/news/documents/2012MarriageQA.pdf


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Referendum 74 Update– Phone Bank Push

Election Day is less than three weeks away.  Ballots started arriving in the mail this week.  Washington United for Marriage and the effort to Approve R74 need your help today.  More than 100 phone banks are operating across Washington State.  Five of the phone banks are being held at Jewish locations.

Now more than ever, volunteers are needed to contact undecided voters.  Calling undecided voters will make the difference between winning and losing R74.  Please consider volunteering a couple of nights each week until Election Day.

 The following phone banks need your help!  If you can help on any of the days listed please RSVP to the contact for each phone bank.  Volunteers are trained, fed, and supported throughout. If you have a laptop and a cellphone bring both.  Weekday phone banks run from 5:30 – 8:30 pm.  Weekend phone banks have more shifts available.

Temple Beth Am: W, Th

2632 Northeast 80th Street, Seattle, WA 98115

RSVP: Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org (mailto:Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org)

Kol HaNeshamah: M, Th

Alki United Congregational Church

6115 Southwest Hinds Street, Seattle, WA 98116

RSVP: Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org (mailto:Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org)

Hillel-UW: Th

4745 17^th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98105

RSVP: Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org (mailto:Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org)

Temple De Hirsch Sinai: Everyday

1511 E. Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122

RSVP: Rhiannon@WashingtonUnited.org

Temple Beth Hatfiloh: M

201 8th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501

RSVP: Noah@WashingtonUnited.org (mailto:Noah@WashingtonUnited.org)

Bellevue Action Center: Sun-Th

13300 SE 30^th Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98005

RSVP: Joy@WashingtonUnited.org (mailto:Joy@WashingtonUnited.org)

Thank you for everything you have done to date.  In just a few weeks and with your help Washington will APPROVE R 74 and guarantee the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples.


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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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Talking Jewishly about Marriage Equality

In November, citizens of Washington state will vote on whether to approve Referendum 74 and thereby uphold the law enabling gay and lesbian couples to marry. This is a complex issue, and winning over undecided voters will require meaningful conversations on many levels – including faith-based values. TBA is hosting a training session to help you have those conversations in a Jewish context. Please join us.

Learn How to Have a Jewish Conversation
About Marriage Equality and Referendum 74

  July 24, 6:30-9:00PM
  Temple Beth Am K’hilah Center
  2632 NE 80th St.
  Seattle, WA 98115

When David Boies and Ted Olson received the esteemed URJ Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award at the URJ Biennial in 2011, they encouraged the thousands in attendance to go out and have conversations with neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members to persuade them that marriage equality is consistent with American values, with family values, with strong community and with human rights. Boies and Olson, who were on opposite sides of Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court in 2000, have since joined forces in the effort to end what they refer to as the last vestige of blatant government sponsored discrimination in our country: denial of the basic right to marry for our gay and lesbian fellow citizens at the federal level and in most states.

Temple Beth Am and the Jewish Coalition for Marriage Equality are hosting an informal event with Boies and Olson’s advice in mind. Come learn what Judaism says about marriage equality and get some pointers about how to have a Jewish conversation on the issue. Adding the Jewish perspective to the faith based conversation that is filling the air is important, and each of us can contribute to the understanding that marriage equality is also consistent with Jewish values. Each supporter persuading even one undecided voter to support marriage equality with an “Approve Referendum 74” vote in November can make an important difference in the lives of Washingtonians.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.


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Marriage Equality on the Ballot this November

While we anticipated this day was coming, it is now official: marriage equality for loving, gay and lesbian couples will be on the ballot in November.

Temple Beth Am, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and twenty-five other Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Family Service, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center and the National Council of Jewish Women, support Washington United for Marriage and the campaign to defend the marriage equality law in Washington State. We support marriage equality as a matter of basic religious liberty. Clergy should be free to decide for themselves what couples they choose to marry. Continue reading


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What does the Torah really say about homosexual acts?

We’ve all heard it too many times, with varying degrees of sincerity and textual analysis: homosexual acts are an abomination; the Bible says so. Period. End of discussion.

Fortunately, Judaism thrives on discussion. In furtherance of that, I wanted to share with everyone the d’var that was presented by a bat mitzvah on our very own bima at Temple Beth Am just a couple weeks ago:

My particular Torah portion, Achre Mot – Kedoshim, includes a multitude of rules that many people follow to the letter, word for word. Many people, scholars and lay people alike, have asked, “Should every rule of the Torah be followed to the letter?” My question is this: “Are we really reading them carefully enough? Or are we just depending upon one narrow interpretation about what they mean?” Continue reading