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. Live, virtual events are listed below as well.

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

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)

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Events

Feb
28
Sun
Sandwich-making Pop-up
Feb 28 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


What: Join us (in person) to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for neighbors experiencing food insecurity. This activity will take place in the EDCJCC parking lot. All CDC guidelines will be observed. Please note we request volunteers to be at least 10 years old to participate.

Why: Food insecurity has risen exponentially due to the pandemic. The District’s food insecurity rate was estimated to be at least 16% in 2020, up from 10.6% before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by the D.C. Office of Planning.

When: Sunday, February 28 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM. In case of inclement weather, this activity will be canceled.

Registration:

  • Please register for each individual in your party. Tables can hold up to 6 people, and each table will hold one family or pod unit. If you are registering as an individual, you will have your own table.
  • We only have 10 spots for this activity – so sign up today!
  • Children must be 10 years old to participate.
  • Please note that we request a tax-deductible donation of $8 per person to cover the costs of this program in order to ensure that we are able to purchase high-quality ingredients. Please contact Sonya if this poses a barrier to participation.
  • Click the “Sign Me Up!” button or the ticket icon to the right to continue to registration.

Safety measures we are taking:

  • We are limiting the number of participates to 12 including staff.
  • Everyone must wear a mask at all times.
  • Everyone, including staff, will have their temperature taken that morning.
  • All tables will be spaced 6 feet apart, and social distancing will be maintained as strictly as possible.
  • All participants will also be asked to sign a community health pledge in advance, which can be found here.
  • Please note that if you will be traveling outside of MD, DC, VA, WV, or DE less than two weeks prior to February 28, you must self-quarantine for two weeks and therefore unfortunately cannot participate in our in-person event.

Questions? Contact Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org.

Mar
2
Tue
(Refugee Shabbat) Community Reads: The Melting Pot
Mar 2 @ 7:00 pm

Join the Edlavitch DCJCC in a week of events celebrating HIAS’s Refugee Shabbat from March 2-6, 2021. We will kick things off with a Theater J Community Reads!

Theater J and the Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility invites you to a fun, relaxed, and supportive reading of the play The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill where you can play a part. Community Reads requires no acting experience – this is not a performance, but a chance to hear a play out loud and in community via Zoom. All are welcome, even if you just want to listen.

About The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill
First performed in Washington, DC in 1908 to great acclaim (President Theodore Roosevelt cheered on opening night), Israel Zangwill’s landmark play introduced a new idea of immigrants’ essential place in the US and popularized the phrase “the melting pot.” The play tells the story of David Quixano, a Russian Jewish émigré, endeavoring to write a symphony about his vision of an America free from ethnic divisions. Will he be able to achieve his dream, or will the effects of his own history of persecution, pogroms, and escape stand in the way?

We invite you to a post-reading conversation to unpack the themes of the play and hear how you can help refugees in our community today.

In lieu of charging admission, we ask you to consider supporting HIAS, which works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. Guided by their Jewish values and history, HIAS brings more than 139 years of expertise to their work with refugees. Learn more at: https://www.hias.org/

The event is free and open to everyone but registration is required. Every participant must register individually, including those in the same household. Information on how to join as well as access to a digital script will be distributed to registrants in advance of the event.

Mar
4
Thu
(Refugee Shabbat) Taste of Syria with Ed Beetar: Live Cooking Demo
Mar 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Join the Edlavitch DCJCC in a week of events celebrating HIAS’s Refugee Shabbat from March 2-6, 2021. 

Refugees are stereotypically seen as downtrodden people in need of our resources and help. But refugees come to the US with a wealth of knowledge, skills, and culture to share. They enrich the fabric of America and influence everything from food, to music, art, science, and industry. In honor of Refugee Shabbat and in celebration of individuals who came to the US as refugees, join us for a live cooking demo with Ed Beetar, who will offer a (virtual) taste of Syrian cuisine! Ed Beetar came to the US on a refugee visa from Aleppo, Syria.

Cook along so you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian Syrian dish for dinner or add it to your Shabbat meal the next day – an ingredients list will be shared in advance.

Nikki Salzman, a member of the HIAS national staff, will also join us to discuss the current state of the refugee resettlement program in the US and how you can get involved.

Registration: Tickets are $7. Please register for each individual person in your household who will be attending. If the ticket cost is a barrier to your participation please email Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

Questions? Email Sonya at sonyaw@edcjcc.org

This program is brought to you in partnership with KAMA DC, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, and HIAS Action DC

 

 

Mar
6
Sat
Refugee Shabbat Services at Sixth & I
Mar 6 @ 10:00 am

Join the Edlavitch DCJCC in a week of events celebrating HIAS’s Refugee Shabbat from March 2-6, 2021. 

On Shabbat morning, March 6th, the EDCJCC will join Sixth & I for a service celebrating HIAS Refugee Shabbat.

This come one, come all Shabbat offering has something for everyone, whether you’re looking to dive deep into the week’s teachings, get more acquainted with Saturday morning services, or introduce kids to Shabbat rituals in a way that feels accessible and relevant. This month, in honor of HIAS Refugee Shabbat, explore texts that lift up the Jewish value of welcoming the stranger and learn more about how to support refugees and asylum seekers.

This event is free but registration is required in order to receive the link to access the event.

Mar
14
Sun
Handmade for the Homeless – March 2021
Mar 14 @ 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!

Please email Chana at chanaengel@gmail.com to register and receive the link to this event.


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 sonyaw@edcjcc.org 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 chanaengel@gmail.com.

 

Apr
7
Wed
Spring Blood Drive – Bloodmobile Edition
Apr 7 @ 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 Spring 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.

 

Apr
11
Sun
Handmade for the Homeless – Good Deeds Week Edition
Apr 11 @ 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!

Please email Chana at chanaengel@gmail.com to register and receive the link to this event.


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 sonyaw@edcjcc.org 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 chanaengel@gmail.com.

 

May
4
Tue
VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Raising Anti-Racist Children
May 4 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Raising children to build a just world is a life-long process, as well as a difficult challenge for parents to navigate. Join us for a two-part series with expert educator Dr. Nabina Liebow, who will take us through the learning and practical steps necessary to raise anti-racist children and help us create a cohort of race conscious parents in our community.

This workshop is designed for anyone who wants to understand how white supremacy and white privilege affect all parts of our lives and how to bring these ideas into conversation and action in parenting. It is meant as a beginning, and not to be comprehensive or all-encompassing.

Although we understand that life is unpredictable, we request that you commit to both Part 1 and Part 2 of this workshop in order to honor the learning process and receive the full benefit of this workshop. Attendance will be capped in order to create an intimate cohort of parents.

Part 1 (May 4, 8:00-9:30 PM): Discussing race and racism with your children is a vital part of antiracist and race conscious parenting. But some people might feel a little rusty on the basics! In the first part of the workshop, Dr. Liebow will give a “Crash Course in Racial Literacy” to provide an important framework and context for race conscious parenting. This session will go over the basics of anti-racist thought and ideology, as well as challenge participants to explore their own biases and thought processes before they are able to address these ideas with their children. By the end of this session, participants will gain a deeper understanding of race, white supremacy, white privilege, and antiracism.

Part 2 (May 11, 8:00-9:30 PM): In the second part of the workshop, parents will learn strategies for helping their child develop an antiracist consciousness and how to apply concepts learned in the first session to raising their children.

Part 3 (optional): As follow-up to Dr. Liebow’s sessions, we are offering a monthly 1-hour meeting for parents who have participated in this workshop to come together and follow up with each other, insure accountability, share thoughts and resources, and continue the work of anti-racist parenting. This monthly meeting will be facilitated by Sonya Weisburd, MSW, EDCJCC’s Director of Social Justice and Volunteer Programs.

This program is brought to you by the Edlavitch DCJCC Parenting Center and Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility