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Community Issues - Social Action

We open dialogue and strengthen relations with our interfaith neighbors, connect our Congregation to social justice issues in our own communities, and work toward a more just society.

Members of the committee are the Temple’s liaisons with community religious and social service organizations. We plan and run several major annual congregational events, including Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat and Day of Service and the Interfaith Freedom Seder, both of which bring our interfaith neighbors from across the metropolitan area to WHC to celebrate our common experience and further tolerance and understanding.

We present lectures on social action issues and organize the Congregation’s participation in rallies and demonstrations — including the 9/11 Unity Walk, Rally Against Genocide in Darfur, vigils at the Sudanese Embassy, and political forums. To aid the vulnerable within our own community, we support efforts, such as the Second Sunday cooking project, through which Temple members provide meals for the homeless in Montgomery County.

Whether you are looking for stimulating discussion or direct involvement in projects and activities, we hope you will join us.

Supporting Refugees and Providing Sanctuary

“Sanctuary” can include legal assistance, material or financial support, advocacy, education, or temporary physical shelter. Different than sponsoring refugees and asylum seekers in cooperation with the U.S. government and relief agencies, “Sanctuary” — in this context — refers to providing support for undocumented individuals (including “DREAMers”). The legal issues surrounding “Sanctuary” are both unclear and evolving.

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, we explored the critical questions that need to be asked and answered concerning Sanctuary, including, “where does civil disobedience end and obstruction of justice begin?” and “what concerns do individuals and religious institutions need to consider if they wish to provide Sanctuary and how do they differ?”