Our Advocacy Work promotes systemic social change through grassroots organizing and advocacy. Our efforts may be organized around local, regional, state, and national issues of importance to our Temple membership.
Tzedek is the Hebrew word for justice. In Deuteronomy, our Torah says “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” — Justice, justice you shall pursue. Tzedek Isaiah Committee work is directed at the root causes of injustice and is focused on promoting social change in institutions. We host periodic listening campaigns within our congregation to identify opportunities for tzedek and assess congregational engagement. We arrange educational opportunities to inform the Temple Isaiah community about the history and root causes of injustice, and ways to address them. And we join with allies to promote societal changes: this includes working with local interfaith organizations, other Jewish congregations, our Jewish Community Relations Council of Howard County, the Religious Action Center (RAC) of our Reform Movement and others. For more information, contact Chuck Koplik.
Our current campaigns include the following:
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) works through its Religious Action Center (RAC) to promote the social justice objectives of our movement. For more than six decades, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) has worked to educate, inspire, and mobilize the Reform Jewish community to advocate for social justice. The RAC mobilizes around federal, state, provincial, and local legislation on more than 70 pressing socioeconomic issues, including gun violence prevention, immigration, reproductive rights, and criminal justice reform. It’s current racial justice campaign focuses both inwardly (to examine and address our own behaviors, practices, and policies, through the lens of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion) and outwardly (to pursue targeted, strategic advocacy that could change laws and policies that impact our society) (See what’s happening at rac.org).
Temple Isaiah has joined a multitude of advocacy campaigns supported directly by the RAC. Our teens also participate in the RAC’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminars and RAC Teen Racial Justice Fellowship.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Howard County is a committee of the Jewish Federation of Howard County. Guided by our Jewish values, the JCRC advocates and promotes policies at the local, national, or international levels. The JCRC seeks to interact with religious, ethnic, and cause-based organizations and coalitions to promote and advance mutual goals.
The JCRC also interacts with local Howard County elected and governmental officials; elected officials in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate; Maryland’s Governor and administration; other state government officials; and Members of the US Congress, the Administration, and other federal officials.
The JCRC is composed of one representative of every Jewish organization and synagogue in the county in addition to at large members. Temple Isaiah is represented on the JCRC by Jessica Carmen and our own Betsy Singer, is the JCRC co-president.