Social Advocacy and Activism
Social advocacy and activism involves partnering with and volunteering for organizations who are doing the word and need our help, as well as educating Temple members on the issues and how they can be addressed.
Religious Action Center (RAC)
The national RAC provides support for Get Out the Vote organizing. Recently, temple members came together for a post carding party under the tent. We wrote to hundreds of registered, but infrequent, Florida voters encouraging them to vote in their primary election.
We partner with RAC NJ in support of state-wide legislative campaigns on issues of meaning for Temple Emanu-El. Recent examples include advocating for legislation prohibiting discrimination of convicted felons (returning citizens) who are applying for housing. We also helped gain bi-partisan support for a bill that will grant same day voter registration that many other states already have in place. This work includes organizing temple members for calling campaigns and in-person lobbying of our local Trenton representatives on the issues, as well as participating in rallies at the state capitol.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Temple Emanu-El is an ADL “signature” synagogue. As such, we have a congregation-wide commitment to raising awareness of and speaking out against antisemitism and hate. Our signature status allows us direct access to ADL’s programs, resources and learning opportunities.
Temple Emanu-El’s Civil Rights Journey will educate, empower and inspire you! Meet with organizers and participants who worked and strategized with Martin Luther King, Jr in the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. Walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a part of Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Institute. Worship at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and tour the King Center. Learn how Jews were involved in the Civil Rights struggle and why Jews, as people who have known oppression, must care and act when others are oppressed. Turn your interest in social action into social activism!
The Kol Tzedek Lecture series features leading speakers focused on the human condition, the roots and causes of racial tension, prejudice, and injustice.
The 2023 Kol Tzedek Speaker is Author and Historian Erika Lee who will present on Xenophobia in America.
One of the nation’s leading immigration and Asian American historians, Lee is Regents Professor, the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, the Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and the President of the Organization of American Historians. The granddaughter of Chinese immigrants, Lee grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, attended Tufts University, and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Recently awarded an honorary degree from Tufts University and elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Lee also testified before Congress during its historic hearings on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans. Beginning July 1, 2023, Lee will join the History Department at Harvard University as the the inaugural Bae Family Professor of History.
Special Shabbat Services
From time to time, we present Shabbat services that relate to our Tikkun Olam objectives, that celebrate our work and that of our partner organizations.
The Annual Martin Luther King Shabbat Services bring together neighboring churches and mosques in partnership, to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King.
GOTV stands for Get Out The Vote! GOTV is not a single activity but coordinated activities that encourage people to vote. Recently, the Tikkun Olam Committee wrote non-partisan post cards urging registered Georgia voters to vote in November’s midterm election in 2022.