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Social Action with Agudas Achim Congregation

Current & Upcoming Events | Our Focus for the Year | How You Can Help | Refugee Update | Photo Gallery

"If justice and righteousness define what it means to be a Jew, then we must constantly search for ways to implement our values. If it’s the foundation of our covenant, we cannot say, 'I tried, I did my share.' Rather, every day we have to wake up and ask, 'Is there something that I can do? Is there something that I didn’t do? Is there something that I could try again?'”

--Rabbi Steven Rein, Kol Nidre Sermon, 2017

Please join us and get involved! All are welcome to join our monthly Zoom committee meetings that are typically scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month. Contact Committee Chair Mark Kutner for more information.

Current & Upcoming Events

The Social Action Committee sponsors a range of advocacy, direct action, and education events throughout the year. Please see below for current and upcoming events.
 

Social Action Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 13 | 8 p.m.

Interested in learning what the Social Action Committee has in its program pipeline? Then join its members on Zoom for their monthly meeting and get the inside scoop on everything social action. You can find the link to join them on Zoom in your eNews.
 
Questions? Contact Mark Kutner.
 

Social Action Book & Movie Club

Monday, December 18 | 8 p.m.

The Social Action Book and Movie Club is on break for November, but will resume in December. Prepare in the meantime by visiting your local library or favourite bookstore to pick up a copy of Becoming Eve, My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman by Rabbi Abby Stein.
 
Zoom link coming soon.
 
Have additional questions or suggestions for a topic in future months? Please contact Deborah Rosen.
 

International Good Deeds Day - Update!

Click here to donate gift cards to JCADA

Agudas Achim's International Good Deeds Day was a tremendous success! Our amazing team of volunteers for the stream clean up worked alongside EcoAction Arlington and Temple Rodef Shalom's Climate Action team to remove lots of trash fro Four Mile Run. Items removed included a shopping cart, a toddler riding truck, plastic bags, lots of styrofoam bits, plastic bottles, beer cans, and much much more.
 
The Agudas Achim Knitting Club also had a great time knitting and crocheting hats for babies in the NICU and children in the cancer ward at Fairfax Hospital.
 
The Social Action Committee thanks everyone who donated gift cards to the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) to support survivors of intimate partner violence. Still interested in donating gift cards? Click the link above to donate online, drop the cards off directly at the shul, or mail them directly to JCADA PO Box 2266, Rockville MD 20847.
 
Agudas Achim and its Social Action Committee would like to offer a very special thank you to Lori Shapiro and Esta Miller for all of their hard work organizing Agudas Achim's Good Deeds Day 2023.
 

Save the Date

Saturday, March 21: Spring Power Pack Extravaganza


Special Focus 5783: Equity, Fairness, and Social Justice

The mission of the Social Action Committee of Agudas Achim is to create opportunities for Agudas Achim members to perform Tikkun Olam (Reparing the World), Tzedakah (Righteous Giving), and Gemilut Chasadim (Deeds of Loving Kindness). With the news events over the past year, these are needed more than ever. Our events engage congregants in:
 
  1. Advocacy: We actively promote non-partisan civic engagement and lobby for socially responsible legislative change. Topics include guaranteeing reproductive freedom, protecting democratic institutions, and reducing gun violence.
  2. Direct Action: We sponsor programs that make an impact on people's lives and the environment.  Topics include assisting refugees, food security, and protecting the environment.
  3. Education: We partner with organizations that promote greater awareness of opportunities to right the world's wrongs and the importance of equality for all. Topics include fighting racism and understanding the basic commonalities among all people.

Social Action Committee Activities Archive

Special Focus 5782: Local Community Activism
Special Focus 5781: Welcoming All Jewish Cultures
Special Focus 5780Year of Song and Service
Special Focus 5779Refugees and Immigrants 
Special Focus 5778Safe Spaces
Special Focus 5777Racial Injustice

Our Partners, Projects, and Ways to Get Involved

Below is a list of some of the Social Action Committee's primary partners. For a complete list, please click here.
 

ALIVE!

ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically) is the largest private social safety net for those in need in Alexandria. Its programs are developed and supported by volunteers from 50 congregations and the community. For more information on how to support ALIVE! and its current needs, click here.

HIAS

Originally founded to aid Jewish refugees, HIAS has since expanded to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees of all nationalities, religions, and ethnic origins. It advocates for the protection of refugees, ensures that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve, and provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers so that they can rebuild their lives. For more information, click here.
 
 

Carpenter's Shelter

Alexandria's Carpenter's Shelter serves over 750 homeless and formerly homeless children and adults each year. Agudas Achim supports Carpenter's Shelter by cooking b-monthly meals and raising money for their annual Christmas Dinner. AAC also periodically collects food for the shelter. To learn more about Carpenter Shelter's work, click here.

Refugee Response

In 2021, Agudas Achim was shocked and horrified by the images pouring out of Afghanistan as the U.S. military attempted to evacuate as many American and Afghan citizens as they could before the Taliban consolidated control over the nation. The AAC community, like many others, became determined to take meaningful action to support our Afghan allies. The AAC Social Action Committee formed a steering committee to streamline the congregations efforts.
 
Since then, thanks to the generosity of the Agudas Achim community, we've gone from supporting two Afghan Ally families to five! To read more about the impact that our efforts have had, please click here.
 

Social Justice Resources

Resources for B'nai Mitzvah Projects
 
 

Social Action Photo Gallery

Below are some photos from various Social Action events throughout the year. Photos were provided by members of AAC.
 

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784