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Social Justice

Sukkat Shalom as a congregation, families, and individuals are quite active in our local community and in the greater Chicago-land area supporting social justice causes.

Social Justice Pilars

While Sukkat Shalom supports numerous social justice opportunities throughout the year, we’ve chosen four areas to focus on through 2022:
 
Economic Justice Equality
Environmental
Stewardship
Immigration

 

►Economic Justice

If there is a needy person among you...do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kin. Rather, you must open your hand and lend whatever is sufficient to meet the need. (Deut. 15:7-10).

Judaism teaches that it is our responsibility to help the poor, disenfranchised, and the stranger among us. Together we can make a difference in our local community by supporting those experiencing food and housing insecurity.
 
Equality

You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman, but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the Eternal. (Leviticus 19: 17-18).

Jewish tradition teaches that we must accept others without prejudice or bias. Together we can live out our values by engaging in learning about racial injustice and LGBTQ inequality and promote advocacy and action on behalf of policies that mitigate those inequalities.

►Environmental Stewardship

Do not destroy My world, for if you do, there will be nobody after you to make it right again. (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13).

The Torah teaches that human beings were created to care for and protect God’s creations. We will work to conserve and protect our environment through changes in personal behavior, education, and action in our local and regional communities.

 

Immigration

You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress them, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 22:20).

Jewish tradition places great importance on just the treatment of immigrants. No less than 36 times, the Torah commands just treatment of strangers.

Featured Social Justice Opportunities

Connections for the Homeless (connect2home.org) is a non-profit agency whose mission is to end homelessness, one person at a time. Sukkat Shalom has long supported Connections work to provide essential services to this vulnerable population with our annual Tzedakah activities for Tikkun Olam. We are now partnering with Connections to provide meals on a sustained basis throughout the year.

Beginning in April, Sukkat Shalom congregants can sign up to provide meals for families and individuals sheltering at The Margarita Inn on the following Thursdays: April 8, April 22, May 13, May 27, June 10, June 24.

Families are encouraged to pair up with other families. If you need help connecting, please contact us. Families who sign up may either prepare and package meals at home or they may choose to support local restaurants. For more information on how you can help, please consult this checklist.

Click HERE to volunteer through Signup Genius.

Refugee One Book Bag and Gym Shoe Drive (refugeeone.org)

Sukkat Shalom congregants who wish to support those children and teens participating in RefugeeOne's Active Learning Program may drop off any of the following items at Sukkat Shalom on Monday, June 28, Wednesday, June 30 and/or Wednesday, July 7 between 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.

  • New children shoes (girls and boys)  - sizes 1-3, 4-6, 11-13
  • New adult shoes (women and men)   - sizes 7-9
  • Assembled bookbags containing 2 spiral notebooks, 2 folders, 2 loose packages of looseleaf paper, 1 package each of pens & pencils, 1 package of crayons, colored pencils or markers, scissors glue sticks, graph paper, and headphone with a microphone.
  • For elementary and middle school add bubbles, chalk, jump rope, or Uno.
  • For high school add a protractor, playing cards, or journal.
Volunteers are needed to deliver items to RefugeeOne's collection site at Unity Lutheran Church, 1212 W. Balmoral Ave. Chicago, IL on Saturday, July 10 between 9:30 am - 1:30 pm.
 
Please email Adam Siegel or Darlene Zamansky (dzamansky@gmail.com) if you are able to deliver the collected items.

Additional Social Justice Opportunites

 

Environmental Stewardship Monthly Shabbat Box Challenge
 

The Social Justice Committee is introducing a monthly environmental stewardship challenge. This month’s challenge is to minimize our meat consumption by trying to eat at least three vegetarian meals a week! 

Why eat less meat? Meat production greatly contributes to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing meat consumption is a perfect way for individuals to lower their carbon footprint. Email any number of pics of your fam eating meatless meals to Sammy Obel (
obelsammy@gmail.com), a Madrachim and Social Justice Committee member by March 31 for a chance to win our inaugural Shabbat Box.

 

Stock the Shelves

Stock the Shelves provides what food stamps won't and what stretched incomes can't cover by giving Chicago area refugees and their families the household and hygiene supplies they need to lead thriving lives. Despite their best efforts, many refugees strain each month to stretch their earnings to purchase the indispensable household and hygiene supplies food stamps don’t cover. Striving to close that gap, every fourth Wednesday of the month, Stock the Shelves drives a truck filled with the 15 items refugees need (and the only items we accept!) to the Indo-American Center in Rogers Park, where volunteers set up a mini-store stocked with new, unopened items.

Click here to register to volunteer, or click here to donate much-needed items. 

 

The Night Ministry

The night ministry connects with Chicago’s most vulnerable by providing basic supplies, free health care, housing, and self-care resources. Sukkat Shalom partners with Night Ministry each year to provide hygiene bags to those in need. 

 

Share the Harvest

Annual Thanksgiving Collection
Our congregation will be sponsoring families in need (identified through local agencies) during the Thanksgiving holiday. The STH committee will collect your baskets, bags, or gift cards prior to the Family School before Thanksgiving. Your generous donations will be distributed to families in need. Questions? 
Contact us.

 

Maot Chitim

Maot Chitim refers to the custom of gathering wheat and providing the poor with matzah to observe Passover. This mitzvah has been expanded to provide food for families in need on Passover as well as Rosh Hashanah.

To learn more or add your name to the volunteer list email sukkatshalom@sukkatshalom.org.

Sat, July 24 2021 15 Av 5781