One of Dorshei Tzedek’s Core Values is that of Tikkun Olam, Repairing the World. Our congregation’s name means “seekers of justice,” and, as that name implies, we strive to create a just and kind world by pursuing a variety of social action initiatives and projects both within our congregation and in conjunction with the broader community. We view such actions to end injustice and oppression as core to our spiritual journey and as a cornerstone of our ethical and moral tradition.
At Dorshei Tzedek, pursuing justice takes place in many different forms including personal, social and political. We welcome all and encourage individuals to pursue existing efforts or bring new ones to explore. Join one of the events or meetings, or, for more information, contact us at tikkunolam [at] dorsheitzedek.org.
Current congregational focuses:
- CDT’s Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) participates in a statewide Campaign for Criminal Justice focusing on replacing the carceral state with programs that treat people as human beings no matter their transgressions. We work to change unfair and ineffective laws, such as mandatory minimums for drug offenses. The CJTF also affiliates with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the Jobs Not Jails Coalition.
As part of the CJTF, Dorshei Tzedek members volunteer at the Prison Book Program (PBP) in Quincy every two months, sending reading material in response to incarcerated citizens’ requests from across the country.
- CDT’s Understanding Race (UR) group was formed to provide a supportive environment for CDT members to explore issues of racism and white privilege, to educate ourselves and our congregation, and to listen to each other as we unwrap our own misunderstandings in these areas.
- Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO): Since 2003, Dorshei Tzedek has been a member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). GBIO is a broad-based coalition of area churches, synagogues, mosques, unions and community organizations that have built a loving and action-oriented community on the basis of shared values and a strong commitment to economic justice. GBIO is one of the only organizations in the area that brings people together across racial, ethnic and religious lines in relationships of equality to work together toward a common vision of justice.
- Ongoing supporting of the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute by participating in the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace.
In addition to these efforts, CDT continues to support the Food Matters initiative begun in 2009 through the following:
- Garden Project: CDT and FUSN to grow food for Local Food Pantries CDT maintains a community garden in conjunction with First Unitarian Society in Newton (FUSN) to grow produce to donate to the Newton Food Pantry and Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen in Waltham. There are opportunities for involvement by adults and kids, for any amount of time you wish.
- In partnership with Sindyanna of Galilee, CDT members have the opportunity to make regular purchases of Sindyanna’s certified organic, fair trade and kosher (for Passover) olive oil and za’atar which supports this non-profit organization led by a team of Arab and Jewish women working to create social change from the ground up. Sindyanna’s goals are to produce outstanding olive oil and other premium food products, while enhancing Arab-Jewish cooperation, promoting Fair Trade, creating economic opportunities for Arab women, and assisting local growers and producers.
- Participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) through Red Fire Farm. Since 2010, Dorshei Tzedek, together with other area congregations, has partnered with Red Fire Farm to serve as a “drop off site” during the Farm’s CSA season. CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, is a growing and inspiring alternative model of interaction between farms and consumers. Consumers join CSAs as members, and buy a “share” of the farm’s harvest at the beginning of the season. These memberships allow the farmer to pay for seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment and labor, and the consumer thus shares both the risk and the bounty of the growing season with the farmer. In return, the members get a weekly share of the farm’s harvest throughout the growing season. CSAs are a way to connect consumers with the source of their food, and to promote local, sustainable and organic agriculture. Shares are available through Red Fire Farm’s web site at http://www.redfirefarm.com.
- Supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. CIW is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work. Built on a foundation of farm worker community organizing starting in 1993, and reinforced with the creation of a national consumer network since 2000, CIW’s work has steadily grown over more than twenty years to encompass three broad and overlapping spheres: The Fair Food Program, The Anti-Slavery Campaign, The Campaign for Fair Food.
See the CDT calendar for upcoming Tikkun Olam meetings and related events.