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Social Action/Na'aseh

 

The Social Action Committee reflects the spirit of Tikkun Olam and Tzedak within the CBE community by encouraging participation in a wide range of activities, including direct assistance to the poor, community service projects, and social justice initiatives. For more information email  Sarah Coletti at socialaction@bethelohim.org

Na’aseh

Na’aseh means ‘we will act’ in Hebrew and is the name of our social justice group. We support social justice initiatives through education, direct action, and advocacy.

Our Values

In the spirit of r'difat tzedek (pursuing justice), we believe unequivocally that all human beings are entitled to equality, freedom, and physical and emotional safety. We promote respect, justice, and inclusion; we reject the suppression of our constitutional rights, and bigotry and hatred in all its forms.

Focus areas

Our issue areas are:

  • Racial Justice
  • Immigrant Justice
  • Environmental Issues
  • Food and Poverty

Racial Justice

The racial justice working group of Na’aseh supports anti-racism work within CBE through workshops, discussion groups, and educational forums. It is a resource to all of CBE as we strive to live up to our anti-racism statement agreed to at the Annual Meeting of 2020. The statement:

We commit to building and maintaining an anti-racist Jewish community. We commit to working in an honest, transparent and inclusive way to continually assess and improve our CBE practices and programs and infuse anti-racist practices into all that we do.

The annual Martin Luther King breakfast at CBE is a long-standing tradition , now hosted by Na’aseh. The well attended event brings speakers on racial justice issues and the history of the civil rights movement to Acton each January. We also, throughout the year collaborate with local civic, religious groups, and town and school officials to pursue the goal of making our communities welcoming and safe for all.

Immigrant Justice

Recent years have been a brutally challenging time for immigrants seeking refuge and opportunity in the United States. Na’aseh has been involved in direct action opposing increasingly restrictive and punitive measures taken against newcomers. We have attended Jericho walks at the ICE building in Burlington, attended rallies, written to and met with our legislators. We provide accompaniment to immigrants through MISN (Metrowest Immigrant Solidarity Network) and BIJAN/ Beyond (Boston Immigrant justice Accompaniment Network). We assist neighbors in Sanctuary. We advocate for state legislation to provide a safer environment for newcomers to the Commonwealth. Our legislative priorities are informed by partners, JALSA (Jewish Alliance for Social Action) and Metrowest Worker Center. We strive to welcome the foreigner.

Environmental Issues

Our environmental team’s signature success is bring solar panels to CBE. This multi-year effort saw its ground-breaking in 2020 and will benefit CBE and the earth for years to come. In addition, the environmental team has spear-headed CBE re-cycling efforts, hosted educational forums, and advocated for environmental and climate legislation. Members stay connected with other groups working on these issues, such as JCAN (Jewish Climate Action Network) and Green Acton.

Food and Poverty

Social Action has long been involved in local food efforts. Volunteers serve dinner at Community Supper every fifth Wednesday at Mt. Calvary Church. During the COVID-19 crisis community supper continued as a takeout affair and Na’aseh also helped to distribute funds raised for food relief. On Christmas and Easter CBE volunteers provide relief to the regular volunteers at Cor Unum, a not-for-profit meal distribution center in Lawrence, by preparing and serving dinner to hundreds. Local food pantries receive donations from CBE members from our High Holiday food drive.

How to Get Involved

We welcome all participants – CBE members or non-members – who share our values to join with us. To receive our weekly newsletter of actions, email socialaction@bethelohim.org.

Monthly Meetings

Check the calendar or the Star-Lite to find out when we next meet. At a meeting you can expect to be introduced to 10-15 people who are engaged and interested in social justice. We strive to support each other in this work and provide opportunity to connect with one another even as we plan an active program. If you have questions or need any special accommodation to participate, send us an e-mail at socialaction@bethelohim.org .

Donations

DONATE ONLINE and select either the Na'aseh Social Justice Fund or the Alex Young Social Action Fund from the dropdown list.

Social Action needs funds to run its food programs. Donations may be made to Alex Young Social Action Fund for this purpose.

Na’aseh’s Social Justice Fund is used to support its social justice work, including hiring speakers and supporting educational programming.

Sat, October 31 2020 13 Cheshvan 5781