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Justice Central

 JUSTICE AT TAS 

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World. Members of our community work individually and together to advocate for better laws, policies, and programs that can make the world in which we all live healthier, kinder, stronger and fairer. 

Our Tikkun Olam Committee works on racial and economic justice and civic engagement campaigns both outside of New Jersey and within our local communities.  We have worked closely with RAC-NJ, a state project of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (https://rac.org/take-action/rac-your-state/rac-nj), since its formation in 2020.  Our Tikkun Olam work is non-partisan

Our recent activities include:

  • 2020 Postcard Campaign – Members and their friends sent nearly 4500 postcards urging low propensity voters of color to vote in North Carolina, Texas and other states and then into Georgia in early 2021 in connection with the Georgia Senate run-offs.  Many members also engaged in texting and phone banking both with the RAC and with other non-partisan and partisan organizations. 
  • Book and Movie Discussions, such as 13th, the movie, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander on which the movie is based; Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Trainings, including a two part workshop, Examining Racism, Examining Ourselves led by facilitators from Not in Our Town Princeton. 
  • Legislative Forums, where we have heard directly from our state representatives
  • Lobbying for racial and economic justice – As part of RAC-NJ, working with lead partner Fair Share Housing Center, we wrote letters, called state legislators and held zoom “lobby meetings” to help push passage of the “Fair Chance in Housing Act” (S250/A1919) over the finish line.  At a 12:1 rate for adults, New Jersey has the highest black/white disparity for rates of incarceration in the country, which makes this legislation a racial justice issue.  This first-in-the-nation legislation takes steps to disrupt the vicious cycle of incarceration, housing instability, and recidivism, which deepens racial inequity and makes our communities less whole and less safe. The Fair Chance in Housing Act would prohibit most landlords from asking whether a potential tenant has a criminal history on an initial application for housing. Landlords would still be able to run a criminal history check after making a provisional offer to enter a lease, which gives potential tenants the chance to tell their stories to landlords-for example, how the apartment will have an impact on their family or their job opportunities.

In the 2021 New Jersey Election cycle, we will be working, together with RAC-NJ to Double Our Impact.  In 2017, the last year the entire legislator and the governorship were up for election, only 39% of the registered voters voted.  Our goal is to make sure at least 80% of TAS eligible voters vote in November.  The voting process has again changed in 2021, and we will make sure our members know how to vote and we will help them make a voting plan.  We also plan to hold a forum for candidates running for the Senate and Assembly seats in the 38th District in which TAS and most of our members are located.

See our Gender Identity and Expression Initiative subpage for information about the work our Tikkun Olam Committee accomplished in 2017-2019 in the area of LGBTQIA+ rights both at TAS and our broader community as well as some helpful related resources.

For up-to-date information about our Tikkun Olam activities, see our weekly email blast, our biweekly Tikkun Olam on Tuesday (TOOT) email and our monthly Bulletin.  You can also email justice@avodatshalom.net for more information or to offer new ideas for programming.

"It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either."  Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21



 
Fri, January 28 2022 26 Shevat 5782