The Social Justice Committee is dedicated to tikkun olam, repair of the world. The committee facilitates Kane Street’s participation in community service. We organize and provide short and long-term volunteer opportunities for members to support change in our community and beyond. Our goal is to deepen our social justice efforts through a congregation-based community organizing model and join a local interfaith network. To get involved with tikkun olam at Kane Street contact Social Justice Committee Chair Bronwen Haskel.
Refugee Welcome Campaign
Kane Street Synagogue, with over 200 other Congregations across the US, is part of a HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) project to welcome, and advocate for refugees. Following a large and successful Campaign kickoff during Sukkot, over fifty Synagogue members have signed up for various volunteer activities, including the following opportunities:
- Tell President Trump You Stand with Refugees: The President plans to slam America’s doors to refugees from war-torn countries including Syria, Sudan and Somalia. Send a message to the White House with HIAS to let the Trump Administration know that these policies contradict American values and history.
- English literacy tutoring. HIAS partners with the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) at the English-Speaking Union (ESU). Volunteers are first interviewed and then trained by ESU staff to tutor refugees, asylum seekers and new immigrants. If you are accepted as a tutor and decide to participate, you will meet once a week for a two-hour session of English language conversation practice with your student. There is a 4-6 month commitment required. All meetings will take place at the ESU headquarters at 144 East 39th Street in Manhattan. Potential volunteers must attend an orientation session for the ESU’s “English in Action” program. Please be a native English speaker. Please contact Janna Diamond, firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com to indicate your interest and find out about the next orientation.
- Pen Pal with an asylum seeker in a detention center. HIAS organizes this project with CIVIC, a partner organization which seeks to end isolation and abuse in U.S. immigration detention. Volunteers are matched with an asylum seeker in a center which does not have an in-person visitation program. Volunteers attend monthly program sessions where they explore Jewish perspectives on refugee and asylum issues and hand write letters to their pen pals. All letters are sent from and received at HIAS, so volunteers are not asked to provide personal addresses. Please contact Janna Diamond, firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com to indicate your interest and find out about the next scheduled program.
- Refugee Task Force. As part of the HIAS Refugee Welcome Campaign we are part of a coalition which includes several synagogues throughout Brooklyn. The Coalition is working on political advocacy steps to take locally. We have two synagogue members currently leading the Kane St representation in the coalition. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping assist them in organizing these advocacy efforts for the greater synagogue.
- Pron Bono Legal Training on Sunday, March 5, 1:30-5:00 pm at Kane Street. Please join HIAS to learn how to apply your legal skills to protect vulnerable asylum seekers seeking protection in our community. Experienced legal advocates will present on the fundamentals of asylum law and how to effectively prepare an asylum application, legal argument, declaration and supporting evidence. A volunteer application is required of all training participants. Please fill out HIAS’ online pro bono attorney application or for further information, contact Jonathon.Orta@hias.org.
Contact campaign co-chairs Flora Margolis or Bronwen Haskel at email@example.com for more information.
Building Muslim Jewish Alliances
Generation Peace Teen Fellowship
Combat religious bigotry and meet other passionate about social change. This Muslim Community Network Fellowship is open to high school teens of all faith backgrounds who live in New York City. One day each month starting in February and running through May, Fellows will meet at a different house of worship where will they will learn about the faith of their host, tour the facility, and engage in interactive discussions and leadership skill- building activities such as community organizing, effective public speaking, project management, and media training. They will work together to create and implement self-designed Peace Projects to be completed by September 2017. Click here for more information and to apply.
Cobble Hill Health Center Visits
For over twenty-five years, Kane Street has made monthly Shabbat visits to the Cobble Hill Health Center. Join us as we spend an hour with Center residents of all ages schmoozing, conversing about current events, telling stories, saying kiddush and singing songs. Our young family minyanin often join the visits as well. Meet at the Center, 380 Henry Street, in the Recreation Room. Al
l ages welcome.
Meets one Shabbat morning a month from 10:30 – 11:30, on the following 2017 dates: January 21, February 11, March 11, April 15, May 13, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16, October 21, November 18, December 16.
It’s an opportunity for residents to talk. get some one-on-one attention and eat gefilte fish. For congregants, the rewards are getting to feel a kinship with the residents and a special glow each time one of them gives you a big smile. – Barbara Zahler-Gringer
Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Homeless Shelter
For three weeks around the secular holidays at the turn of each year, volunteers from Kane Street staff the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Shelter, preparing meals and staying overnight in pairs with approximately 10 male guests. Without our help, the shelter could not stay open on these nights. If staying over, volunteers can come with a friend or we can schedule your stay with another Kane Street volunteer. We have repeat volunteers every year, and they report it is a safe and rewarding experience.
This is a great opportunity to perform the Mitzvot of M’a’chil R’ei’vim, feeding the hungry, and Hachnasat Orchim, hospitality, and to represent the Kane Street community.
Concact Bronwen Haskel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.