The Morris Cafritz Center for social responsibility

the Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility

The Edlavitch DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility (MCCSR) offers both hands-on volunteer opportunities as well as learning about systemic inequality in our communities. At the core of our work is Judaism’s sacred mandate to create justice and repair the world.

Our volunteer opportunities are designed to be family-friendly, flexible, and accessible whether you can commit one hour a month or a few hours a week. We offer our volunteers the opportunity to build lasting relationships with agencies and clients over the span of years, or volunteer once and try a different project the next time. Come by yourself, with a friend, or bring a group of colleagues!

In order to affect true change, we must also correct the systemic injustices prevalent in many sectors of our society, so come learn with us about the root causes of inequality and what actions you can take to get rid of them. We focus on topics including racial equity, affordable housing, food security, climate change, immigration and refugees, and many other topics.

While we are neither a social service agency nor an advocacy organization, we hope to empower you and provide you with the tools to go out and make our city a more just, inclusive, and livable place for all.

Not sure where to start? Fill out this short form and we will provide you with one-on-one support to match you with options that best fit your interests, strengths, and availability.

Resources, projects, and learning to keep social responsibility a part of your routine while staying at home

To respond to the immediate needs of our social service partners, we’ve developed several different opportunities for you and our community to address their direct requests. If you’re looking to help others from home and learn more about systemic social justice issues facing our neighbors, we hope you’ll find these resources useful. Live, virtual events are listed below as well.

At-home mitzvot (good deeds):
Welcome messages for newly arrived refugees 

Craft kits for Community of Hope
Toiletry kits for those experiencing homelessness
Food packages for Charlie’s Place
Face coverings for Catholic Charities
Trail mix for So Others Might Eat

In-person volunteering (all safety precautions strictly followed):
So What Else Inc. 
So Others Might Eat (SOME)
Martha’s Table
Donate blood at Children’s National Hospital
Donate blood at Inova Blood Services (NoVa)

Learning pieces:
Food insecurity
Homelessness in the DMV
Affordable housing in DC
The refugee crisis 

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Events

Passport DC: A Living History Experience
Sep 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

DC has over 200 years of Black history woven into the very fabric of this city. Starting with the horrors of slavery and moving through cultural revolutions, the Civil Rights movement, and the triumphs of progress and invention by African Americans who are DC natives, there is a lot to learn from walking the streets of our nation’s capital.

Join us for a self-guided exploration that takes you around the city to several important historical sites that shape our collective history. Walk in the footsteps of Black Washingtonians who marched for equality, fought for civil rights, and achieved great heights in scientific, literary, musical, and social progress.

This program will involve a virtual presentation by local renowned historian and scholar of African American history Mr. C.R. Gibbs on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 PM as well as providing a “passport” you can use to visit various historical sites around the Washington area that shaped African American history both here and around the country.

About our speaker:
Mr. C.R. Gibbs, a Howard University graduate and DC Humanities Council scholar, is the author/co-author of six books and a frequent national and international lecturer on an array of historical topics. After military service, he began giving public lectures on Black History in 1972. He has appeared several times on the History Channel, French and Belgian television, and he wrote, researched, and narrated “Sketches In Color,” a 13-part companion series to the acclaimed PBS series, “The Civil War” for WHUT-TV, the Howard University television station.  He won the 2008 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in Public Education, given annually by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. In 2015, Mr. Gibbs was chosen as one of the 50 most influential people in the city by the Washington Informer newspaper.

Please register to receive the zoom link for this program.

In partnership with the Capital Jewish Museum – check out their Groundbreaking Festival!

Taste The High Holidays: Pickling, Preserving, and Food Waste
Oct 6 @ 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

pickling and food waste

Join Manager of Jewish life, Amanda Herring, and Director of Social Justice and Volunteer Programs, Sonya Weisburd to learn all about pickling and preserving for the Sukkot harvest festival! We’ll also be talking about food waste in the DC area and what you can do to take action!

Recommended Materials:
Pickling Cucumbers or Green beans or any vegetable you want to pickle!
Water and kosher salt
A clean, empty jar
Whole Garlic Cloves
Whole Peppercorns
Bay Leaves
Mustard Seed

When Home is a “Booth in the Desert”: Youth Homelessness in DC
Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Sukkot, or the Biblical Festival of Booths, invites us to consider what it would be like if “home” was temporary, without the permanence of four sturdy walls and a roof that doesn’t let in rain and wind. As we sit in our own sukkah or that of our synagogue or neighbor, we invite you to meet Sasha Bruce Youthwork, one of the largest and most experienced providers of services to youth in the DC Metro region who are experiencing homelessness.

Learn about ways you can engage in both direct assistance as well as advocacy efforts on behalf of youth experiencing homelessness while exploring the themes of Sukkot and the various Biblical imperatives for eradicating homelessness from both the Jewish and Christian faith perspectives. This is an interfaith program and all are welcome!

Please register to receive the zoom link for this program.

In partnership with Temple Rodef Shalom, Foundry United Methodist Church, Temple Emanuel, Church of the Epiphany, Adas Israel Congregation, and Temple Micah

Handmade for the Homeless – October 2020
Oct 18 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Join fellow knitters and crocheters over Zoom to make handmade goodies for a great cause! Our goal is to contribute as many warm winter items as possible to distribute to individuals experiencing homelessness in the DC area.

All levels of knitters and crocheters are welcome.  Don’t know how to knit or crochet? We’ll teach you!

What should I have with me at home?

Please have your own needles/crochet hooks. If you are not already working on a warm winter item and are looking for a great project or just starting out, please have:

  • #8 or #10 knitting needles (circular or straight) or a size H crochet hook
  • Patterns you’re working on or want to start

What do you supply?

We provide lots of beautiful yarn, several patterns including hat patterns using #17 needles or a size N crochet hook, and experienced knitters and crocheters to teach anyone who would like to learn how to knit or crochet.

If you can’t join us over Zoom, join us in spirit by knitting or crocheting:

  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves and Mittens
  • Socks or slippers
  • Other items to keep people warm during the cold winter months

Please hold onto finished items at this time. If you do not have the space to store finished items, please contact Sonya at to make arrangements for a pick-up. Thank you!

Want to know more or join our virtual community? Like us on Facebook!

If you have any questions about this event contact Chana at


Fall Blood Drive – Bloodmobile Edition
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Help replenish the blood supply in the DC metro area!

It’s safe, easy, confidential, and extremely rewarding. The EDCJCC partners with Inova Blood Services to bring skilled technicians and top-of-the-line equipment for our quarterly blood drives. Our Fall Blood Drive will take place in a bloodmobile parked in front of the EDCJCC building (on the Q Street side). Inova Blood Services follows all CDC and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety to ensure the health and well-being of all donors and staff. 

This drive will be by appointment only and no walk-ins are available, we apologize for the inconvenience.  Please click on the “tickets” button to make an appointment.

The DC area is currently experiencing a blood shortage so please donate if you can!

A few facts about donating blood:

  • One blood donation can save four lives
  • All donations stay in the Washington, DC area
  • Every 17 seconds, someone in the DC area needs a blood donation
  • One out of 10 people will need a donation before the age of 70
  • The body quickly replaces the amount of blood given during the donation

For more information and to see eligibility requirements for donating, please click here. Please plan on your blood donation to take about an hour from start to finish.