The mission of the Social Action committee at Bet Shalom is to educate congregants about social justice issues related to Jewish values, and to promote congregation-wide engagement in the work of tikkun olam, the healing of our world.
Listed below are our five pillars of Social Action.
Domestic Gun Violence
Every day in Minnesota, three or more people are shot. Often it falls on faith communities to lead the public mourning for those lives lost. But with nearly 40,000 Americans dying by gun violence every year, it’s time for people of faith to do more.
Congregations, faith-based organizations and individuals are invited to participate in “Faith Is Stronger than Fear,” brought to you by Protect Minnesota’s Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety and Bet Shalom Synagogue in Minnetonka. This free event will motivate, educate and activate people of faith to work together to pass sensible gun laws in Minnesota. It will begin with an interfaith service featuring readings and music from diverse faith traditions. Clergy are invited to wear vestments and gather on the bema for the final prayer. The service will be followed by an activist training featuring Orange Star elected leaders who are committed to gun reform.
1:30-2:00pm: Sign in for those who didn’t pre-register
2:00-2:45pm: Interfaith Service
2:45-3:00pm: Break with snacks
3:00-4:00pm: Activist Training
Here are some ways that you can support this important event:
Free childcare is available during the event. To register, CLICK HERE.
Racial and Social Disparities
The Social Action Committee would like to distribute information urging the Israeli government’s support of the migration and care for Ethiopia’s remaining Jewry.
Harlan Jacobs ( founder and president of Genesis Business Centers, Ltd.) spoke a Social Action Committee meeting about the humanitarian crisis facing 8000 Ethiopian Jews who are left in Adis Ababa.
Harlan’s request is to have people write letters and send them by “snail mail” to Israel’s Counsul General in Chicago to help advocate for Israel to support accepting these Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
Bet Shalom as a collaborative congregation with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative is supporting Beacons effort to build an affordable housing complex in Hopkins. Please read Vista 44 Materials and come to either or both the Hopkin’s City Planners meeting and the Hopkin’s City Counsel meeting.
Hunger and Food Insecurity
Feed-Me Farms is a local, organic farm, home-based at Bet Shalom Synagogue, starting its first season in the Spring of 2020. Made up of multiple small farm plots in Minnetonka and Hopkins, growing on yards and lots of neighbors and friends. The mission of Feed-Me Farms is to decrease chemical pesticide and fertilizer usage on grass lawns by converting them to organic, food-producing lots. Owned and operated by Jake Jarecki, a member of Bet Shalom and alumni of the religious school and confirmation class of 2007.
As a partnership with Bet Shalom, Feed-Me Farms will be donating fresh produce every week to the ICA Food Shelf. Feed-Me Farms will be providing monthly community programming hours to the congregation in the form of preschool and religious school garden field trips, gardening and cooking classes for the public, and more. Feed-Me Farms will be selling produce at local farmer’s markets as well as a special, weekly pop-up Sunday Market at Bet Shalom. Other offerings will include limited tickets to a monthly Farm-To-Plate dinner hosted at Bet Shalom, as well as Wednesday night meals for the Hebrew School in the months of September and October.
Feed-Me Farms is offering pre-season gift cards for sale, with a 5% bonus. Gift cards are redeemable for fresh produce at markets or dinner tickets all growing season and never expire. A great gift for anyone who plans to eat vegetables next year! For more info on gift cards or general inquiries email Jake.
B'nai Mitzvah Mini Grant
It is required that our b’nai mitzvah student complete a mitzvah project. If you are looking for ideas, CLICK HERE to see ideas and contacts for organizations.
If you have an original idea, or are looking for extra funding, the Social Action Committee has a small grant program that can help out. For more information and the application, CLICK HERE. Submit your application to Rabbi Crimmings.