“Justice, justice shall you pursue.”
Throughout its history, the First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland has been committed to social justice and support of the community. For more about the congregation’s history of social action see “100+ Years of Social Action at Temple Sinai.”
Sinai Social Action serves as a hub for the congregation’s commitment to the pursuit of justice and repair of our world. The committee initiates and facilitates opportunities for congregants to provide direct service to those in need (tzedakah) and to work for social justice (tzedek) through educational and advocacy activities.
Meetings are generally the second Wednesday of the month from 6:30 -7:30 following dinner in the chapel at 5:30 for all committees meeting that evening. The committee does not hold regularly scheduled meetings June, July and August. All are welcome but attendance at meetings is not required for participation in Social Action activities.
We publicize mitzvah opportunities, social justice activities, and information about committee meetings through the Social Action e-mail list, the Sinai Social Action Facebook page, the monthly bulletin and the weekly e-news.
Check us out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sinaisocialaction/
Some current and recent activities sponsored or supported by Sinai Social Action
- Anti-hunger/anti-poverty fund – Distributes financial support, including Toby Berger’s legacy gift, to organizations that feed the hungry and help people dealing with poverty.
- Assisting with First Presbyterian Church Food Ministry to provide free meals, sack lunches, and other services to needy and homeless individuals.
- Ballot Education -- forums for mayoral candidates and information sessions on ballot measures.
- Drives for items donated to organizations that serve people in need.
- Films and Speakers on topics of social justice.
- Holiday Break Food Drives for Greenleaf School.
- Housing and Homelessness Task Force.
- Immigrant and Refugee Support – support for immigrant rights, advocacy and helping newly settled refugees.
- Interfaith-Muslim Outreach – programing and collaboration with the ICCNC and Pacifica Institute.
- Oakland Pride Parade – Temple Sinai contingent to support the LGBTQ community.
- RAC and RAC-California – Joining with other Reform congregations to advocate for federal, state and local measures that address social justice issues such as immigrant rights, housing and homelessness, climate change and criminal justice reform.
- Social Action e-mail list – information about social justice actions, meetings and activities.
- Social Action Shabbat – Speakers on social justice topics.
- Synagogues Around the World – Annual exhibit of photos taken by congregants to show support and encourage connections with other Jewish communities plus a donation where a small amount can make a large difference.
- Support for First Place for Youth Holiday Dinner.
- Teen Spring Break Food Drive for Roosevelt School.
- Unity Seder – Outreach to the non-Jewish community.
- Volunteer shifts at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, MedShare, and Meals-on-Wheels.
Sinai Social Action collaborates with the Religious School, Preschool, Sixty, WRS, Brotherhood and other Temple groups to schedule, motivate and facilitate congregants' engagement in social action and social justice activities.
Social action and social justice activities are also organized and sponsored by other individuals and groups within the congregation: These should be links of they have their own pages.
Yom Kippur Food Drive
Jewish organizations that work for social justice include:
All send out e-mail notices of important actions and events.