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economic-justice

Join the Economic Justice Committee:

If you are interested in social and economic justice work, we invite you to join us. The Economic Justice Committee (EJC) generally meets at the synagogue from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Usually, we meet at 6:30 for a potluck dinner.

To keep abreast of our activities, please read our monthly blog in Kol Kehilla. Also, please note specific EJC and other opportunities in Rabbi David’s biweekly “Social Action Opportunities” email.

For more information, please contact interim chair Mandy Bratt at mandybratt2002@aol.com or call her at (510) 383-9918.

History: the EJC Joins OCO

Kehilla has sponsored committees doing Tikkun Olam (healing the world) work since its formation. The Economic Justice Committee was formed in 2005 to represent Kehilla’s economic Tikkun Olam efforts in the greater community. Seeking a wider community connection in our work, in 2006 Kehilla joined Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a large, multi-ethnic, interfaith, intergenerational group of congregations and schools, working together to improve the quality of life in Oakland. OCO is a powerful force for local social and economic justice and is the oldest member of the PICO National Network, a federation of faith-based community organizations in 17 states and Washington, DC. (PICO stands for People Improving Communities through Organizing.) The EJC is a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and serves as liaison between Kehilla and OCO.

Current Action Areas We Participate in:

  • Affordable housing
  • Violence intervention programs
  • Immigration rights and support – including the new Sanctuary Movement to shelter refugees who are under threat of deportation without due process

Recent and Ongoing Actions:

  • Presented a “Political Engagement Workshop” with over 100 neighbors and Kehilla members, April 2017
  • With the Interfaith Movement for Human Dignity, hosted an information session about immigrant support work, which also recruited new members for support teams, February 2017
  • Ongoing participation in vigils at the West Contra Costa County Detention Center in support of immigrants who are separated from their families and denied legal recourse
  • Support Kehilla’s monthly participation in the Oakland Ceasefire walks in East and/or West Oakland, generally the 2nd Friday of the month, to offer support for neighborhoods dealing with high murder rates
  • In October, 2016, with Kehilla’s Greening Committee and Anti-Death Penalty Action Group, hosted a “Ballot Night” event
  • Canvassed in El Cerrito and Richmond to ask residents to put up “Refugees Welcome Here” and “Stop Profiling Muslims” posters in their windows on January, 2015, as well as with Jewish Voice for Peace and the Lighthouse Mosque, in Oakland, on April, 2016.
  • Presented workshops after morning Yom Kippur services on immigration work, and rights for domestic workers
  • Volunteered at the Alameda County Community Food Bank
  • Take part in Accompaniment Teams to support refugee children and families

 Examples of Past Areas and Actions We Have Participated in:

  • Creation of green jobs as a pathway out of poverty for at-risk young people
  • Bank accountability and foreclosure prevention
  • Encouraged participation in the “Move Your Money” campaign to local banks and credit unions.
  • CA’s Proposition 30 electoral campaign (2012) to raise much-needed funds for education and the state through a progressive tax
  • Campaigned for state and local ballot measures in the areas of criminal justice and police reform, the environment, health, affordable housing and rent board reforms, and raising the Oakland minimum wage to $12.25/hour
  • California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights campaign (enacted in 2014)
  • Homeowners’ Bill of Rights Campaign (enacted in 2013)
  • Rebuilding Together – upgrading housing of low-income residents of Oakland and Berkeley, in partnership with Rebuilding Together Oakland and other congregations
  • Film showings of “Inequality for All,” “Heist,” and “John Brown’s Body at San Quentin Prison”
  • Work against mass black incarceration

Other Affiliations:

  • East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition (EBIIC): advocates for comprehensive, values-based immigration reform and supports local undocumented workers and families caught in the immigration system
  • East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE): works to improve economic conditions for low-income workers
  • East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO): supports efforts to increase affordable and secure housing
  • Interfaith Movement for Human Dignity: Immigrant support work – Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Accompaniment Teams; public witness, policy advocacy, leadership development and education
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Refugee Program: Welcome teams for individuals and families, including special LGBTQ program

Again, we invite you to join us. We are an active, dedicated committee and always welcome new input and new energy.

  • Canvass Effectively and Joyfully in Modesto with Working America Right Now! from the Economic Justice Committee
    The Economic Justice Committee is offering a “Working America Training” on February 3, 2018, from 4pm to 6:30pm at Kehilla. Work is needed now, however, so anyone ready to jump in right now can!
    Working America, the community arm of the AFL-CIO, has been working nationally for 15 years to engage workers … >>
  • Economic Justice Committee Report by the Economic Justice Committee
    At the request of Kehilla’s Economic Justice Committee (EJC) the synagogue joined Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) in 2005 after surveying the congregation to learn which issues were most important to members. Even though about half or our membership did not live in Oakland, we felt that Joining OCO would magnify our … >>
  • Economic Justice Committee: A Political Engagement Workshop by Karen Rachels
    On April 2, Kehilla’s Economic Justice Committee (EJC) presented a “Political Engagement Workshop.” The aim was to provide a venue where, in the aftermath of the November election and in a sense of shared community, neighbors and members of the Kehilla congregation could gather to discuss and commit to future actions regarding pressing … >>

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