To learn more about our Social Justice initiatives, please contact Rabbi Freedman.

In a broken world, we commit to be a voice of conscience and to engage in the work of social justice. From our doorstep to our neighborhood and beyond, we welcome the stranger and embrace our responsibility to connect with and learn from others.

 

Voting Rights

Meet Virtually with Senators Casey and Toomey to Protect Voting Rights in PA and Across the Country

Tuesday, July 27 at 1:30 p.m. with Sen. Toomey; Monday, August 2 at 10:30 a.m. with Sen. Casey
 
A core component of the Religious Action Center’s Racial Justice Campaign is focused on protecting the freedom to vote at the federal level. As a Movement, we are engaging in a strategy to meet with U.S. Senators to advocate for two bills that will protect the right to vote. Rodeph Shalom joins with many Reform congregations and communities on these calls to express to Senators Casey and Toomey our values and support for the bills.
Register here for Sen. Toomey’s meeting; Register here for Sen. Casey’s meeting. 
 

Hunger & Homelessness

When students have to worry about where their next meal will come from, reaching their full potential can feel inconceivable. The Philadelphia Inquirer published Fuel Higher-Ed Pennsylvania op-ed about Pennsylvania’s Hunger Free Campus Act penned by Haley Schusterman and Rachel Sumkh from Swipe Out Hunger. Click here to learn more. 

 

Breaking Bread on Broad

Breaking Bread on Broad began in 2017 as a summer program to provide neighborhood children with free breakfast and lunch, along with a program of fun and learning, within the walls of Rodeph Shalom.  The advent of the pandemic required us to redesign our program to serve the ongoing needs of our neighbors suffering from food insecurity and lack of basic supplies for daily living.  Breaking Bread on Broad (BBoB) now provides food, diapers, and feminine hygiene supplies to up to one hundred families in need each Wednesday morning outside our Green Street entrance.  BBoB partners with a variety of Philadelphia non-profits and our own RS members to obtain and distribute these necessary items.  We fulfill our RS mission to create profound connections within our RS community as we join together in this sacred work of tikkun olam and within our neighborhood through our partnerships with other organizations and our relationships with the families we serve.      

Our volunteers find working with BBoB a deeply moving and enriching experience. For more information on Breaking Bread on Broad, or to volunteer, contact bbob@rodephshalom.org. Click here to read the Breaking Bread on Broad Prayer by Ellen Poster. 

BREAKING BREAD ON BROAD DIAPER DRIVE

All parents want their children to be fed and comfortable.  This is a challenge for our neighborhood families with severe food insecurity.  Food and diapers come at a cost that is more than these families can pay.  The Breaking Bread on Broad social justice program at RS helps meet this need every Wednesday for at least 100 neighborhood families.  While BBoB receives wonderful donations of food, we are unable to meet our families’ need for diapers without your help.  Please take a look at our Target Registry and buy some diapers to help a family in need.  Thank you so much for this act of loving kindness.  If you would like to volunteer for Breaking Bread on Broad, please contact us at  bbob@rodephshalom.org.  Thank you for helping us repair the world, one baby at a time!  

Whether you are shopping at Target.com, through the Target Registry app, or in person at a Target store, use the link to purchase from the Registry. Special thanks to the Snyder Plaza Target store for their continued support.

 

Hunger ReSponse

Rodeph Shalom has launched a new project to respond to hunger in our neighborhood called Hunger ReSponse. Our main initiative is preparing and delivering meals to our neighbors down the street at Bethesda North Broad (722 N. Broad St). Rodeph Shalom has, for many years, cooked Sunday breakfast there, and will now start preparing dinners using our kitchen and delivering meals directly to Bethesda’s residents.

Meals will be prepared the last Tuesday or Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to help shop, plan meals, cook, bake and/or deliver. We also would be grateful for financial contributions. A donation of $200 would cover the cost of 50 meals. A generous contribution has already been made to kick off Hunger ReSponse. Questions? Contact: Stacey Spector.

 

Bethesda on Broad

Cook and serve breakfast on the second Sunday of each month. For more information, contact: Stef Zeis (or 856-357-3484).

 

Anti-Racism 

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR STATEMENT ON BLACK LIVES

Centering brown and Black voices, we commit to the sustained work of anti-racism in ourselves and in our world.  God creates a single person first, for the sake of peace among humankind that one should not say to the other, “My lineage is greater than your lineage; my race is greater than your race” (Talmud). Please click here if you are an RS member and would like to participate in this group. 

Education

MENTOR (Mitzvah, Encourage, Nurture, Tutor, Outreach, Reassure) Program

Be a part of this amazing initiative that changes lives. The RS MENTOR (Mitzvah, Encourage, Nurture, Tutor, Outreach, and Reassure) program is relaunching at the start of the new calendar year. Work with children who read below grade level or need math help. Your support, guidance and assistance to a young person facing challenges can make a world of difference. Now is the moment to learn more. There is a pressing need today! All it takes is two free hours one day per week along with your respect for youth, active listening skills and empathy. For more information, contact: Liz Holzman. 

 

POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild)

An Interfaith initiative transforming the social and economic policies that are impacting our families and neighborhoods. This year POWER will be specifically focusing on a statewide education campaign. Help us work for a Fair Funding Formula to ensure that every child in Pennsylvania has access to a proper education. For more information, contact chairs: Jamie Kudera and Terrilyn McCormick.

 

Rodeph Shalom Gun Violence Prevention Task Force

“If 30,000 Americans were dying in a war every year, we wouldn’t just stand idly by, we wouldn’t say, ‘This is what it means to be an American. This is the price we pay for being an American.’ We would have done something…It’s inexplicable, it’s inexcusable, it’s unacceptable.” –Rabbi Joel Mosbacher (donotstandidlyby.org).

Discuss ways in which Philadelphia can partner with the national Do Not Stand Idly By campaign to leverage purchasing power to expand gun reform. For more information or to join the conversation, contact Doug Rosenblum.

 

Our Closet

Our Closet, powered by Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS), is partnering with Rodeph Shalom to distribute free clothing and shoes for adults and children in need. Donations can be dropped off on Wednesdays between 8:00am and 6:00pm. Contact Carol Blank Barsh (carol@baprop.com).

 

Immigration Task Force

Join us as we work to support refugee and immigration justice in our city and beyond. Contact Susan Behr (susanr8382@aol.com) or Fran Martin (fmartinphd@gmail.com) for information.

 

LGBTQIA (pRiSm)

The mission of pRiSm is to strengthen Jewish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Allied (LGBTQIA) life and identity at RS and in the world. pRiSm strives to create an inclusive congregation through education, advocacy, and celebration.

Equality Act:

The Equality Act (H.R. 5/S.393) recently passed the House of Representatives. Now, it is time for the Senate to guarantee federal civil rights protections to all LGBTQ people. Please urge the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act. Currently, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming (LGBTQ) people face discrimination in a wide variety of areas. Aligned with our Reform Jewish values, The Equality Act will address discrimination against LGBTQ people by amending existing civil rights laws to include protections based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.Call your Senator’s offices or The Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or call SAGE at (833) 774-0717 to get connected to your Senators automatically. Write your Senators or use the line on the The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism website to contact your Senators on the Equality Act.Contact Chip Ellis and Heshie Zinman for information.

 

Clergy Beyond the Walls of Rodeph Shalom