Congregation Sukkat Shalom

May 26, 2017

The First Six Months

The Social Action Working Group (SAWG) is approaching its 1/2 year birthday. It has been an extremely busy six months with SAWGers working collectively and individually to further our mission of pursuing the ideals of tzedek and the mitvah of tikkun olam.

In the last six months we have:

  • Written a letter in opposition of the CBJ Assembly’s anti-camping ordinance and submitted it in the public record. The letter was also published as a My Turn article in The Juneau Empire.
  • Sent a letter to our local, state, and federal representatives detailing the rise in anti-Semitism in the United States and requesting our representatives respond to us with the steps they would be taking to stop this wrong. This letter also appeared as a My Turn article in The Juneau Empire.
  • Organized and hosted a Tu BiShvat seder.
  • Worked with other faith-based groups to look into the Sanctuary City movement and what we would be willing to do to protect our immigrant community. This group, in cooperation with the Juneau People for Peace and Justice, has met with JPD, CBJ, and Juneau school district to encourage them to follow the outline as established by the ACLU to protect the immigrant community.
  • Initiated and organized an ACLU Citizen Activist Training workshop that was held for the benefit of the entire Juneau community.
  • Helped with the Purim Children’s Carnival and hosted the Adult Purim events.
  • Participated in a round table with U.S. Coast Guard personnel on Yom HaShoah as part of the USCG’s civil rights and affirmative action programs.
  • Adopted a week in JPD’s Year of Kindness. Our acts of kindness included handing out gratitude cards and hosting an Ice Cream Social for our temple neighborhood.
  • Individually, SAWGers have advanced our mission by being active representatives in the Interfaith Group, the Juneau People for Peace and Justice, 350.org, have attended a workshop on effective lobbying, and penned On Living and Growing articles for the paper.

We have worked tirelessly the last six months and feel we deserve a bit of a pause. SAWG will take the summer off from formal meetings and will start meetings back up again in August. Have no fear though, if something arises that needs our attention we stand ready to flex our social action muscles at a moment’s notice!

We are looking ahead to the fall and already have in the planning an anti-Semitism workshop to be offered to faith-based and community groups and the possible visit by Dr. Jessica Zitter, the author of Extreme Measures, whose Judaism informs her work and writings.

We will post the date and time of our next meeting when we start up again in August. If you would like to join us in SAWG, we would love to have you!

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