JCC Manhattan is a central address for the Upper West Side Jewish community; as such, in response to community-wide interest in becoming more active and engaged in the issues of the day, we are sharing information and events as we become aware of them. These programs are not organized or administered by the JCC, and we do not claim credit or responsibility for the content therein. If you know of an event that should be listed on this page, please contact Rachel by clicking here. This list is subject to change, and we reserve the right to remove and add programs anytime, without notification.
Thu, Apr 20-Sun, Apr 23 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn: This is Hunger
An interactive experience on wheels, This Is Hunger is a high-impact, experiential installation on wheels—literally, it’s a big rig. When the 53-foot-long double expandable trailer is parked and open on both sides, it provides nearly 1,000 square feet of interior space to take participants on a two-part journey: to understand the stark reality of hunger in America and to take action to end hunger once and for all. Participation is free, but you need to register for tickets (click link above).
Fri, Apr 28-Sun, Apr 30: People's Climate March Shabbat Bus to/from DC
The People’s Climate Mobilization, in Washington, DC on April 29, will be a major national event, exceeding the size of the 2014 March in NYC in which 150 Jewish communities, thousands of Jews, and 400,000 people, took part.
DC resources: Friday evening Shabbat services and dinner:
There are two potential Friday night Shabbat synagogue services and dinners listed. One is near Capitol Hill and walkable (6th & I), the other is a bit further (Adas Israel).
Adas Israel registration form: for environmental service, dinner, and panel discussion organized by Adas Israel Climate Action Team and Interfaith Power & Light (D.C.Md.NoVa.) with Rabbi Shoshana Friedman.
6th & I Downtown Shabbat registration form: for service and dinner. This site is walkable. Hospitality and other questions about DC logistics.
Link to hospitality arranged by Interfaith Power & Light (D.C.Md.NoVa)
UWSJ Affinity Groups
On Sunday, January 26, the UWS Jewish community came together for UWSJ's teach-in with a wonderful teacher and speakers who brought us up to date on what is happening in the areas of healthcare/reproductive rights, climate change and immigration/refugees. After the speakers, people gathered in four groups to form affinity groups to work in particular areas. Now, the work continues. If you didn't already sign up for working in an affinity group at the teach-in or would like to join an additional group, consider what the groups are thinking about (Healthcare/Reproductive Rights, Climate Change, Immigration, Refugees) and sign up by clicking the link above. One of the coordinators will contact you about the group's next meeting.
ORGANIZATIONS DOING GOOD
ACLU: FAQ on your right to protest
HIAS Action Page
HIAS Current Action Alert
Leadership Conference: Tips on calling your member of Congress
Tablet's Jewish Groups Across the Spectrum
National Council of Jewish Women's Action Alerts
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
JFREJ General Action Page
AJWS Get Involved Page
A LETTER FROM RABBI JOY LEVITT, JCC MANHATTAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND SHEILA LAMBERT, PRESIDENT, JCC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We are a community of immigrants, a mosaic of Jews and people of other traditions hailing from countries worldwide. Many of us at JCC Manhattan can trace our lineage back only a few generations. We have been refugees, asylum-seekers, and strangers struggling to fit in to a majority culture not our own.
And so we worry at the recent turn of events. We know: The closing of borders is a sign of the closing of hearts. And we refuse to close our hearts to those seeking refuge, safety, and the American dream.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) is a core Jewish value. That same chapter continues: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” The medieval rabbi Nahmanides explains: We know from our own experience that to be a “stranger” is to feel depressed and hopeless – and that we must do what we can to help.
The JCC offers, and will continue to offer, an array of programs on these issues.
- Our Nursery School has been hard at work recording the immigration stories of its families, to be shared by the children and their parents at an upcoming school-wide celebration.
- Recently, Generation R screened Stateless, the documentary on the Soviet Jewish refugees' experience of the 1980s and 1990s, and HIAS president Mark Hetfield and former NYANA executive Mark Handelman addressed the sold-out crowd. Their March 26 Traveling Suitcase will bring the National Museum of American Jewish History program to the JCC in a family-friendly exploration of immigration.
- The Jewish Journey Project brought together children to practice standing up for kindness, while their parents heard from an ADL educator on how to talk about racism and anti-Semitism with their children.
- A March 26 workshop, Researching Jewish Family History, in partnership with the Jewish Genealogical Society, will provide individuals with tools and resources to discover the immigration stories within their families.
- UJA-Federation of New York’s Engage Jewish Service Corps organizes older adult volunteers who regularly teach English to recent adult immigrants and write letters to immigrants being held in detention facilities who are seeking asylum.
- Our hundreds of math and literacy volunteers of all ages tutor in public schools every week, supplementing the ranks of teachers to help children, whose first language isn’t English, succeed.
Beyond our walls, our community partners have put out calls for lawyers to volunteer, and for all interested to join the HIAS Jewish Community Action for Refugees (see below).
JCC Manhattan believes that there are multiple ways to live in a community, and that the experiences we offer are invitations to explore, grow, and support one another. What binds us is a shared commitment to a better, fairer world.