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 how to bring about change on a systemic level. 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.

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. Both in-person volunteer opportunities as well as virtual learning events are listed below.

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

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

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Events

Sep
13
Mon
EDCJCC Sukkot Shoe Drive
Sep 13 – Sep 30 all-day
EDCJCC Sukkot Shoe Drive @ Edlavitch DCJCC
This year, help us make Sukkot not only an opportunity for gathering and celebration, but also an opportunity for community building and giving back.

As part of our Sukkot celebrations, we are collecting children and adult size shoes to benefit the clients of Martha’s Table, a local organization dedicated to supporting children, families, and communities in Washington, DC. Adult-sized shoes appropriate for professional work settings or those good for everyday wear are particularly requested. Shoes can be dropped off in the EDCJCC’s front vestibule from Monday, September 13 through Thursday, September 30. Shoes must either be new or very gently worn. Each pair of shoes should be tied together or donated in separate bags.


This shoe drive is presented as part of the installation of A. Robert Zweig Architecture & Design’s Sukkah City x DC installation, located in the EDCJCC’s Q Street, NW Parking lot.

“Based in traditional definition and function — primitive hut, temporary shelter — the Sukkah honors its roots as a simple structure by using readily available, standard building elements configured with a modern sensibility and current-day purpose. The open walls and ceiling provide a clear view inside, welcoming the visitor to enter – not only to enjoy, but to participate in its transformation…”

“As each inhabitant arrives, they are invited to leave a pair of shoes for the wanderer who may soon be passing through. Each box of shoes becomes a building block which, when placed within the exterior grid of the ‘hut’, transforms the character of the structure, changes its texture and alters both the view in and the light within. Perpetually evolving, the Sukkah becomes a place of gathering for celebration while also serving as center of community building.”


About Sukkah City x DC

In collaboration with the Capital Jewish Museum and the National Building Museum, the EDCJCC is proud to co-host Sukkah City x DC, a free public display of creative sukkahs designed by notable architects, on view at the National Building Museum’s West Lawn and at the EDCJCC from September 18 – October 3, 2021. Featuring seven sukkahs, each structure will interpret the theme of “welcoming the stranger” while exploring the traditions of Sukkot.

In addition to taking part in the EDCJCC’s Sukkot events listed at edcjcc.org/holidays, enjoy these other events as part of Sukkah City x DC:

Community Day
National Building Museum’s West Lawn
Sunday, September 19, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Meet the architects and explore the public display of creative sukkahs on view outdoors while you learn about and celebrate the holiday of Sukkot. Free, but registration is encouraged.

Panel Program
Virtual
Thursday, September 23, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Hear from the notable architects behind Sukkah City x DC, their inspiration and design process, and how the built environment can impact and inspire a community to reconsider who is welcome. Free, but registration is required.

Sep
22
Wed
EDCJCC Urban Gardening at LAYC
Sep 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


WHAT: Join the Edlavitch DCJCC for an exciting new partnership with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and Urban Beet to bring fresh herbs and vegetables to youth at the LAYC Drop-in Center throughout the summer. Urban Beet has put in a brand-new urban garden at the LAYC Drop-in Center and we need volunteers to help maintain it on a weekly basis.

You don’t have to have any gardening experience – just the desire to get your hands in the dirt and help grow some plants! Come down at the end of a long day to relax, unwind, and get closer to Mother Nature. Children of all ages are welcome but must be supervised closely by an adult.

WHEN: We are looking for volunteers on a weekly basis so you can sign up to volunteer once or as many times in a month/over the summer as you would like. We plan to volunteer through the month of October.

Volunteer days will occur every Wednesday from 6:00 – 7:00 PM starting with Wednesday, May 5. After you register, you will receive a google spreadsheet to choose which Wednesdays throughout the month/over the summer you would like to come garden with us.

WHERE: The LAYC Drop-in Center is located in Columbia Heights. The exact address will be provided upon registration.

Questions? Email Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

Sep
23
Thu
Community Cares Night with Housing Up
Sep 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Community Cares Night with Housing Up

Housing Up, a new partner of the EDCJCC, builds thriving communities in Washington, DC by developing affordable housing and offering comprehensive support services to homeless and low-income families.

What: Spend an evening playing games, doing arts & crafts, and leading programs for children and parents living at a Housing Up apartment complex! Volunteers will work with Housing Up staff to run activities and build relationships with the apartment residents. Program supplies will be provided by Housing Up.

Where: This opportunity is in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC. The exact address will be provided upon registration.

When: Thursday, September 23 from 6:30-7:30pm.  This opportunity will occur monthly and volunteers must register for each event.

Please note that volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate, no exceptions. Please reach out to Mira Smith if you have any questions!

“Chocolate City” Reading and Discussion Group
Sep 23 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

WHAT:
The Edlavitch DCJCC is partnering with our neighbors at Foundry United Methodist Church for a series of events surrounding the book Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in our Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove. In September, join a reading group with other EDCJCC community members as we take a deep dive into the history of our neighborhoods, city, and region through a reading of Chocolate City over the course of a few months. As we learn together, we’ll pay particular attention to the role of local faith communities in organizing, participating in, or stifling the many local and national political battles which have played out in our streets.

Each group will be limited to 12 people. Groups will have a facilitator and discussion questions to take them through this journey. We encourage you to secure your copy of the book at Mahogany Books. Groups will have the option to meet virtually or in person, either in someone’s home or at the EDCJCC. The decision to meet in person must be unanimous.

In November, authors Chris Myers Asch and Derek Musgrove will join us for the Foundry United Methodist Church’s Kirk Symposium, offering two days of learning and interaction with the authors. Details and registration for the Kirk Symposium will be provided separately.

WHEN:
Reading groups will meet every other week for an hour starting on September 23rd. After the first meeting, the meeting day and time can be determined by each reading group. If the date and time selected does not work for anyone who registers, you will have the opportunity to join one of Foundry’s reading groups following the same reading guide and schedule.

REGISTRATION:
Participation is free but registration is required. If multiple members of your household would like to participate we ask that you please register each person individually and appreciate your cooperation in advance.

QUESTIONS? Email Sonya Weisburd at sonyaw@edcjcc.org.

This program is brought to you in partnership with the Foundry United Methodist Church.

Effective September 1, all visitors entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination. Participants at outdoor events will not be checked for vaccination status, but it is our hope that regardless of where we gather, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. All individuals regardless of vaccination status must be masked indoors. For more information, visit edcjcc.org/covidsafety.

Sep
26
Sun
Handmade for the Homeless – September Sukkot Edition
Sep 26 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

We are so excited to be back together in person for the September Handmade for the Homeless! This month, we will be knitting and crocheting in the EDCJCC’s sukkah!

Join fellow knitters and crocheters 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 bring?

Please bring 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 bring:

  • #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 in person, 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

Knitted items and yarn donations can be dropped off at the EDCJCC. Contact Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org to make arrangements. 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 chanaengel@gmail.com.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: If your plans need to change due to COVID concerns or local ordinance changes, we will work with you to exchange or credit your ticket toward a comparable program or activity on a future date. We know life is unpredictable these days, and the EDCJCC is here for you!

MASK & VACCINATION POLICY: Effective September 1, all visitors entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination. Participants at outdoor events will not be checked for vaccination status, but it is our hope that regardless of where we gather, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Additionally, mask wearing inside of the EDCJCC will also be always required by everyone, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.

For more information, visit edcjcc.org/covidsafety.

Sep
29
Wed
EDCJCC Urban Gardening at LAYC
Sep 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


WHAT: Join the Edlavitch DCJCC for an exciting new partnership with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and Urban Beet to bring fresh herbs and vegetables to youth at the LAYC Drop-in Center throughout the summer. Urban Beet has put in a brand-new urban garden at the LAYC Drop-in Center and we need volunteers to help maintain it on a weekly basis.

You don’t have to have any gardening experience – just the desire to get your hands in the dirt and help grow some plants! Come down at the end of a long day to relax, unwind, and get closer to Mother Nature. Children of all ages are welcome but must be supervised closely by an adult.

WHEN: We are looking for volunteers on a weekly basis so you can sign up to volunteer once or as many times in a month/over the summer as you would like. We plan to volunteer through the month of October.

Volunteer days will occur every Wednesday from 6:00 – 7:00 PM starting with Wednesday, May 5. After you register, you will receive a google spreadsheet to choose which Wednesdays throughout the month/over the summer you would like to come garden with us.

WHERE: The LAYC Drop-in Center is located in Columbia Heights. The exact address will be provided upon registration.

Questions? Email Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

Sep
30
Thu
A Journey of Faith: Jews Joining Native Americans Protecting Climate, Water, and Treaty Rights
Sep 30 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm


WHAT: In June, a delegation of Jews from the DC area joined American Indian water protectors to protest the proposed Line 3 pipeline that would run from Alberta to Wisconsin. This pipeline threatens Anishinaabe livelihoods and culture, the Mississippi River, and the global climate. Join folks from around the country to learn about the Line 3 pipeline and why you should be part of the efforts to halt its construction. Hear from Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, Program Director for Racial Justice, Minnesota Council of Churches, and DC-area Jews about the hopeful resistance to Line 3 and what you can do to stop its destructive path.

WHEN: Thursday, September 30, 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time

REGISTRATION: Participation is free but registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar.

ABOUT REVEREND JIM BEAR JACOBS:
Born in St. Paul, Reverend Jacobs is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently he is parish associate at Church of All Nations Presbyterian Church. He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is founder/convener of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education, and healing, particularly within faith communities. He is currently the Director of Racial Justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches.

We are pleased to bring this program to you in partnership with:

Adat Shalom Climate Action Team, Bethesda, MD
Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community Rockville, MD
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Bay Area Jewish Earth Alliance
Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh
Climate Action Sea Turtles, FL
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)
Colorado Jewish Climate Action
Congregation Beth Shalom Creation Care Task Force, Bloomington IN
Congregation Shir Hadash Milwaukee, WI
Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action 
GreenFaith
Hazon
Higher Ground Initiative, FL
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
Jewish Climate Action Network-MA
Jewish Climate Action Network-NYC
Jewish Earth Alliance
Jewish Earth Alliance Southern California Chapter
Moishe House Pittsburgh
Pearlstone Retreat Center and Education Campus, Reisterstown, MD
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association 
Shalom Center
Shir Tikvah Climate Justice Minyan, Minneapolis, MN
Temple Rodef Shalom Dayenu Circle, Falls Church, VA
Tikkun Ha-Ir, Milwaukee, WI

QUESTIONS? Please e-mail Sonya Weisburd at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

Oct
5
Tue
Fall Blood Drive – Bloodmobile Edition
Oct 5 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 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.

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.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: If your plans need to change due to COVID concerns or local ordinance changes, we will work with you to exchange or credit your ticket toward a comparable program or activity on a future date. We know life is unpredictable these days, and the EDCJCC is here for you!

MASK & VACCINATION POLICY: Effective September 1, all visitors entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination. Participants at outdoor events will not be checked for vaccination status, but it is our hope that regardless of where we gather, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Additionally, mask wearing inside of the EDCJCC will also be always required by everyone, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.

For more information, visit edcjcc.org/covidsafety.

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.

Oct
6
Wed
EDCJCC Urban Gardening at LAYC
Oct 6 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


WHAT: Join the Edlavitch DCJCC for an exciting new partnership with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and Urban Beet to bring fresh herbs and vegetables to youth at the LAYC Drop-in Center throughout the summer. Urban Beet has put in a brand-new urban garden at the LAYC Drop-in Center and we need volunteers to help maintain it on a weekly basis.

You don’t have to have any gardening experience – just the desire to get your hands in the dirt and help grow some plants! Come down at the end of a long day to relax, unwind, and get closer to Mother Nature. Children of all ages are welcome but must be supervised closely by an adult.

WHEN: We are looking for volunteers on a weekly basis so you can sign up to volunteer once or as many times in a month/over the summer as you would like. We plan to volunteer through the month of October.

Volunteer days will occur every Wednesday from 6:00 – 7:00 PM starting with Wednesday, May 5. After you register, you will receive a google spreadsheet to choose which Wednesdays throughout the month/over the summer you would like to come garden with us.

WHERE: The LAYC Drop-in Center is located in Columbia Heights. The exact address will be provided upon registration.

Questions? Email Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

Oct
11
Mon
Anacostia River Clean-Up
Oct 11 @ 9:45 am – 1:00 pm

Join us on Indigenous People’s Day to learn more about the Anacostia River’s ecological and environmental challenges and participate in a trash clean-up to make it safer for all to enjoy. We will meet at The Yards Marina and then take a boat tour with the Anacostia Riverkeeper to learn more about the river and the communities on its banks.

We will provide everything you need to do the trash clean-up but please wear layers to stay warm. Please also only wear clothing you do not mind getting dirty. We recommend that you bring a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat.

This program is open to children of all ages, but please register everyone who will be participating, including young children, as there is limited space on the boat. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

This program is in partnership with PJ Library.

Please email Mira Smith at mirasmith@edcjcc.org with any questions!

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: If your plans need to change due to COVID concerns or local ordinance changes, we will work with you to exchange or credit your ticket toward a comparable program or activity on a future date. We know life is unpredictable these days, and the EDCJCC is here for you!

MASK & VACCINATION POLICY: Effective September 1, all visitors entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination. Participants at outdoor events will not be checked for vaccination status, but it is our hope that regardless of where we gather, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Additionally, mask wearing inside of the EDCJCC will also be always required by everyone, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.

For more information, visit edcjcc.org/covidsafety.