The Shomrei Torah Social Action Committee continues its fifth annual award-winning film series on February 25. This year the theme is “Sparks of Hope: Healing Through Innovation and Creativity.” Download the film series flyer.
“Catching the Sun”
Saturday, February 25
in which vivid personalities take on the threat of climate change head on. See how democratized and decentralized solar power fosters greater social, racial and economic justice.
March 25: “Homes for the Homeless: A Better Way.” Homeless is not only about a lack of sticks and bricks–a variety of solutions can work, including tent villages, sanctuary camps and “tiny house” communities. Local challenges and opportunities will be discussed.
Each film includes a panel of experts and information from community organizations. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted. The series is sponsored by Shomrei Torah’s Social Action Committee. Co-sponsors include Catholic Charities, Restorative Resources, Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), Center for Spiritual Living, Social Concerns Group of Christ Church United Methodist, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Advocates for Social Justice of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa, Outreach and Service Commission of First United Methodist Church, Redwood Forest Friends Meeting, North Bay Organizing Project, Homeless Action!, Congregation Beth Ami, Congregation Ner Shalom, Congregation Shir Shalom, and Community Housing Sonoma County. Many of the sponsors will have materials to hand out.
CST’s Social Action Committee’s Film Series Wins RAC Award
Presented by the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism at its annual Conference, “Consultation on Conscience.” In the photo at left, SAC’s Asher Sheppard, right, and Larry Carlin, center, are pictured with Isaac Nuell, manager of the Congregational Social Action for RAC in Washington, D.C.
Click here to read a recent article in the Press Democrat about this year’s Film Series
Join the Soup Brigade to Help Feed Local Homeless
For the fourth consecutive year, the Social Action Committee is mobilizing in support of Sonoma County’s homeless, partnering with Catholic Charities to provide to provide soup for about 40 people on eight Thursday nights through January and February, 2017. There are two ways to help: make soup and deliver it to the shelter, and help serve between 7:30 and 9 PM. Samuel Jones Hall at 4020 Finley Avenue (south of Sebastopol Road (west of Stony Point) during the day and put in the refrigerator for the Emergency Winter Shelter program. For more information and to sign up, click here. Please make about 5 quarts of soup in your own home; chicken noodle and other wholesome soups are welcome; no matzoh balls since the soup is served in tall paper cups. Contact Peter Copen at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Message from the Social Action Committee Co-chairs
A large and lively committee, we express our Jewish identity through tikkun olam, actions to heal the world. Our passion for social justice leads us to be social activists. From clothes-sorting pizza parties to film-screening sessions, SAC members have a strong camaraderie. We welcome interested CST members to attend a SAC meeting or join the committee!
SAC meets the first Monday of the month from 7-8:30 pm, Please see our Calendar.
Speak Out About Sensible Gun Control
In response to the December 14th school massacre in Connecticut, some congregants may want to send a message to Congress regarding sensible gun control laws. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has made it easy to send an email message:
To contact President Obama, you can submit comments online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact or phone 202-456-1111.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is circulating a petition about gun control:
Ongoing and Annual SAC Projects
Elisha’s Pantry: In partnership with Christ Church United Methodist Church and Bethlehem Lutheran Church, distribute food to residents in need in Rincon Valley and Bennett Valley. Every week 70 bags of food are handed out to feed approximately 200 men, women and children, roughly 10,000 people each year. The pantry is open on Thursday afternoons at 1717 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa. To volunteer, contact Stephen Harper, email@example.com
Giffen House: Preparation of dinner meal for women and children living in transitional housing (most were formerly homeless). Once a month on Tuesdays. To volunteer, contact Flo Hoffenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Warm Clothing Drive: Warm clothing and blankets are donated by CST members and friends in the community. SAC distributes these at Elisha’s Pantry November-December. To volunteer, contact Ann Sterin, annandpaolo@ att.net
Annual Posada Toy Drive: Annual toy drive that results in hundreds of toys collected and handed out in December at Sheppard Elementary School in Roseland at a big community event. SAC members work with the Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County (CIRSC) to give away the toys. To volunteer, contact Ann Sterin, annandpaolo@ att.net
Yom Hashoah: Every spring SAC hosts an observance of the Holocaust Day of Remembrance and invites the public to attend. A candle lighting ceremony remembers the six million Jews and others (Gypsy/Roma, LGBT, Righteous Gentiles, political prisoners, the disabled) who were killed by the Nazi regime. SAC also remembers victims of genocides in America, Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur, with candle lighters and speakers.
Walk to End Genocide: This annual community event is spearheaded by a CST teen, Gabe Ferrick. The Walk raises money for an international charity, Jewish World Watch, fighting to end genocide around the world. Last year, over 300 people participated in the Walk, including CST members, SSU students and faculty, and local politicians. Visit the website here.
Rabbi Michael Robinson Memorial Lecture: This annual lecture honors CST’s founding rabbi, Michael Robinson. In honor of his inspirational social activism, we present speakers who share Rabbi Michael’s passion for human rights and social justice.
Social Action Goes to the Movies: Last year, we debuted a very successful film and discussion series on social justice. This year we have selected another three compelling films, which will be followed by panel discussions with activists on the front lines. See Upcoming Events.
Immigrant Rights: Several SAC members are active in the Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County (CIRSC) and are involved with the North Bay Organizing Project. We have worked with these groups to find ways to reduce deportations, which tear apart families and the community. SAC was an early supporter of the Trust Act, legislation that would limit detentions and deportations to immigrants who have committed serious felonies.
Muslim Jewish Dialogue Group:
In 2009 SAC formed an alliance with a group of North Bay Muslims led by Imam Ali Siddiqui, to learn more about each other’s religions and cultures. We meet in people’s homes and talk about our backgrounds, practices and beliefs. Occasionally, knowledgeable guest speakers present information about relevant topics. Last April, we held our first MJDG seder at CST. SAC has written two articles in the Press Democrat about the group. See:
SOCIAL ACTION RESOURCES
The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC) http://rac.org is a valuable resource with up to date analyses of key social justice topics through a Jewish lens. The RAC also has action guides for urgent social issues.