Social Justice

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 Isaiah Committee

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:

  • Reproductive Health and Rights – Temple Isaiah has been a member of a cohort of Reform Jewish congregations across the U.S. working together on reproductive health and rights. Our TI group has been researching issues and policies in Maryland and locally regarding abortion rights, access to contraception, sex education and more and checking out Maryland advocacy and action organizations who might be useful allies. Contact Sue Tafler if interested.
  • Climate JusticePower for Purpose: The Reform Movement’s 2023 Campaign for Climate Justice is our opportunity to bring the full strength of the Reform Movement together to address the climate crisis and deliver a clean, healthy, and livable future for all communities, particularly those most impacted by climate pollution. In November 2022, a team of lay and clergy leaders from across the Movement began researching potential federal action campaigns on urgent issues. This Leadership Team met with partners who are experts in these issues to learn about their strategies for the year. The team’s goal was to identify potential campaigns that:
    • Presented a clear opportunity to have a positive impact,
    • Included specific actions our communities could take anywhere,
    • Approached the issue through a racial justice lens, and
    • Would enable us to build towards the long-term transformation we seek, while recognizing what steps we can take now.
    • Given the many opportunities for action and the clear impact Reform Jews can have, the team selected Climate Justice as the 2023 Power for Purpose campaign. We have a significant opportunity this year to protect our health, air, land, water and wildlife. One of our key partners in this work, the Climate Action Campaign, has identified 20 actions the current Administration can take that would cut climate pollution in half by 2030 and advance environmental justice.
  • Freedom to Vote – In 2021, as part of a nationwide effort by the RAC, TI joined with Reform synagogues across Maryland in a Zoom call with the staff of Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin to lobby in support of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Over 150 leaders from across 20 Maryland Jewish congregations participated in this event, including 33 from Temple Isaiah.


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

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.

JCRC of Howard County

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.