For WES members, Judaism is a call to pursue justice in our society and our world. We take seriously the Hebrew phrase Tikkun Olam, which literally means “repair of the world.” At WES, we apply Jewish tradition and values to injustices within and beyond the Jewish world.
Our Social Action Committee (SAC) initiates and coordinates our social action projects, which involve members of all ages, and allow our members to spend a few hours, days, or more volunteering in meaningful ways. On a regular basis, the Yad Mordecai Social Action Committee organizes collection of food for low-income adults and families through Project Ezra and City Harvest. In addition, each spring before Pesach we organize the collection of kosher-for-Passover food baskets for delivery to needy Jews on the Lower East Side. Our children often initiate new social action projects in conjunction with their bar/bat mitzvah preparation and commitments.
We work with advocacy projects for the homeless such as the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing (IAHH), cook and provide support for local soup kitchens and anti-hunger programs, and participate in human rights campaigns organized by Amnesty International and Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. We join each year in Human Rights Shabbat, and highlight a major social justice activist at our annual Rabbi Avi Winokur Lecture (this year, our honored guest was Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America).
We are a participating congregation in Manhattan Together, a consortium of religious congregations and nonprofit organizations thatwhich focuses on critical local issues such as affordable housing, public education, immigrant rights, public safety, and accessibility for seniors and the disabled.