Show mobile navShow mobile nav
236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

Social Justice

photo_mom.noahRepairing the World 

The Social Justice Committee is dedicated to tikkun olam, repair of the world. The committee facilitates Kane Street’s participation in community service and advocacy. We organize and provide short and long-term volunteer opportunities for members to support change in our community and beyond. To get involved with tikkun olam at Kane Street contact Social Justice Committee Chairs Bronwen Haskel and Flora Margolis.

Current Projects

Responding to the Murder of George Floyd and Racial Injustice

– ‘Me and White Supremacy’ Book Circles: join a group to reflect with other community members on our biases and prejudices, and work towards contributing to change (sample from first group, contact us to form or join another book circle this summer)
George Floyd, and what we can do: our Social Justice Committee Co-chair offers some initial steps toward contributing to the movement for racial justice.
Kane Street Joins 400+ Jewish Organizations to say Black Lives Matter, in a letter published on Medium
Doing Our Part for Racial Justice: Rabbi Val suggests a selection of resources to help Hebrew School-age children at this time.
Yizkor, Shavu’ot and Our Burning Cities: from Rabbi Weintraub
Juneteenth and how Jews can fight racism: from Rabbi Weintraub
Nurturing racial justice in young children: Preschool director Rivka Seeman offers ideas.
– For Our Children’s Sake: Rabbi Jason Gitlin encourages parents of young children not to feel helpless and to embrace the change they can engage.

Cobble Hill Health Center Visits and Coronavirus Support

Our community is heartbroken at the devastating toll the Coronavirus has taken on our friends, both residents and staff, at the Cobble Hill Health Center, which we have visited monthly on Shabbat for decades, and where there have been several dozen deaths since the Covid-19 outbreak. During this difficult time, we have supported the residents with calls and service recordings, and raised near $8,000 to purchase meals for the Health Center’s staff, frontline medical and healthcare workers.

For over twenty-five years, Kane Street has made monthly Shabbat visits to the Cobble Hill Health Center. 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 minyanim often join the visits as well. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to make in person visits and are instead supporting residents with phone calls and service recordings.

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

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. Over fifty Synagogue members have signed up for various volunteer activities, including the following opportunities:

  • Drivers and Translators: The Brooklyn Synagogue Coalition Refugee Task Force is looking to compile lists of volunteer drivers and foreign language speakers – Arabic, Spanish and others. Drivers would help with a variety of tasks, based on needs (renting and driving vans or small trucks, picking up donations etc.) and availability.  Please email CBE Direct Assistance to be added to the list for volunteers.
  • 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. Please contact Janna Diamond, [email protected] and cc [email protected] 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.  Please contact Janna Diamond, [email protected] and cc [email protected] to indicate your interest and find out about the next scheduled program.
  • Brooklyn Synagogue Coalition 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 Street representation in the coalition. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in helping assist them in organizing these advocacy efforts for the greater synagogue.

Contact campaign co-chairs Flora Margolis or Bronwen Haskel at [email protected] for more information.

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.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

Top
Content ©2008-2020 Kane Street Synagogue | Website by Springthistle
Website photography: Paul Bernstein | Hank Gans | Rich Pomerantz | Harvey Wang