The Mission of the Tikkun Olam/Social Justice Committee is:
To strive to be a body of lifelong learning, a bridge bringing communities together and a catalyst engaging communities to respond to current societal conditions and contemporary issues through Jewish values, grounded in the mitzvah of “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof – Justice, justice shall you pursue!”
This committee is currently focusing their work on the following priorities:
- Climate Action – led by Liba Zweigbaum Herman & Nancy Joseph-Goldfarb
- Institutional Racism (Anti-Racism) – led by Dani & Alex Fisher
- Food Justice – led by Cindy Witkin & Jeffrey Schein
- Gender Inequality – led by Aklilu Dunlap
Read the full Social Justice Committee mission statement HERE
We need your help engaging in these areas!
To get involved with the work of the Social Justice Committee, please contact Aklilu Dunlap at Aklilu@adunlaplaw.com, Jeffrey Schein at email@example.com, Dani Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alex Fisher at email@example.com, or Nancy Joseph-Goldfarb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazon Seal of Sustainability
Beth El is proud to be applying for the Hazon “Seal of Sustainability”: This is a 12-month program designed to support organizations and communities working to create a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable world for all – through education, action, and advocacy. As the Jewish lab for sustainability, Hazon effects change through immersive experiences and inspires individuals and communities to make specific commitments to change with a particular focus on food systems.
More information at https://hazon.org/
Organics, Recycling & Landfill
Our new tri waste management program at Beth El is a pivotal step in linking our Jewish values to substantive action toward sustainability and our climate-centered goals.
Food waste represents the single largest component of the waste sent to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities. According to Hennepin County’s 2016 waste sort, food is the largest proportion of our trash by far – compromising 19 percent of the trash by weight.
Wasted food is an environmental and social problem. Environmentally, food disposed of in a landfill quickly rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas. Landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.
Adding a Tri-Waste System to our campus that include Organics Recycling, delivers food waste to area commercial composting facilities. Our specific organics recycling will be brought to Hennepin Country transfer stations, then delivered to the Mulch Store in Rosemount and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Organics Recycling Facility.
Beth El’s Green Team
Beth Els Green Team takes bold strides in learning to address the issues of climate action; building a healthier, more equitable and sustainable world for all. Protecting our planet is not just a scientific or political issue. It is a religious, spiritual imperative. We find this truth embodied in three core Jewish values.
Join us as we engage in this work! Learn more about upcoming events HERE
In the spring of 2021, Beth El’s social justice committee convened an antiracism team to explore the ways that our community can better educate ourselves and take concrete actions toward antiracism. Members of the Beth El community gathered over zoom for facilitated meetings, and engaged in discussions centered around two books: How to be an Antiracist, and Caste.
In the spring and early summer of 2022, Beth El is participating in the Building the Beloved Community Public Safety project, an initiative of Interfaith Action. The project engages faith communities in a series of 3-4 conversations with Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington, walking through real-life scenarios that police officers face on the job. Participants asked to consider conflicting values present in each scenario, and to consider how Jewish texts may inform our perspectives. Discussion dates are March 8, April 10, and June 9. Each session will consider a different scenario. Choose one or all!
Register HERE at least two days in advance of each session to receive the materials and zoom link.
Israel is not just the land of milk and honey, but the land of seven special species of plant foods: wheat, barley, pomegranate, fig, date, olive and grape. In 2022, the Beth El Food Justice Committee will provide the congregation with recipes featuring one of the species, paired with a particular holiday. To enhance holiday celebrations, the Committee will also include information about both the species and the holiday. There is a Chassidic teaching that says, when we are judged at the end of our lives, we will be equally judged for the sins we committed as well as our failure to celebrate when celebration is called for. We hope this project will bring added joy to the holidays.
We will start in January with Tu B’shevat and dates, the fruit. Along with the celebrating, we hope you will find balance by bringing joy to others through acts of loving kindness. We will provide you with suggestions of volunteer opportunities that reflect the holiday as well as charitable organizations that tie to the mission of food justice.