The Edlavitch DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service not only offers direct volunteer opportunities, but aims to educate the public about the systemic social justice issues present in our city that impact our neighbors.
Programs include workshops, trainings, panels, and other experiential learning opportunities on topics including affordable housing, food deserts, the #METOO movement, gun violence prevention, immigration and refugees, and structural racism in our legal system.
While we are not an advocacy-focused organization, we strive to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools to engage with social justice issues they care about and make change.
Upcoming Social Justice Events
There is a rich body of literature examining the cross-section of Judaism and social justice. Whether you’re newly interested in these topics or an avid scholar, we recommend a few titles from movement leaders in our community.
Where Justice Dwells
A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community
By Rabbi Jill Jacobs
Judaism and Justice
The Jewish Passion to Repair the World
By Rabbi Sid Schwarz
Pirkei Avot: A Social Justice Commentary
By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Be the Change: An Activism Workshop
In an ever-changing world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by both local and global issues. This training will break down the basics of activism, including strategies for effective storytelling, lobbying, and digital media, plus tips for planning or participating in a rally. Learn from experienced activists, and connect with others who want to make positive change in our community. This event is in partnership with 6th and I.
On My Mind/In My Heart: the Voices of Women in Public Housing
Join us for a unique evening of advocacy and theater. On My Mind/In My Heart: the Voices of Women in Public Housing invites you into the lives and experiences of real women living in DC’s public housing. Developed by playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings (Queens Girl in the World) and set to a soundtrack by DC’s own DC RBI, this play includes themes of housing justice, disability, loss, and leadership. This is the only performance scheduled for Northwest Washington.
The Global Refugee Crisis: Out of the Headlines and into our Hearts and Haggadot
With more than 65 million refugees and displaced people worldwide, the global refugee crisis is worse than any time in history as victims of persecution and violence around the world flee home in search of safety. Learn about this staggering crisis and how the US is responding. We will also explore the stories of today’s refugees and find ways to weave their stories into our upcoming Passover celebrations. This interactive program will be facilitated by Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, Director of Education at HIAS. In partnership with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corp.
To the Rescue: Providing Legal Aid to DC’s Underserved
Meet Tzedek DC, a new Jewish organization providing legal services to low-income individuals, and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless for an evening of dialogue and learning on the issue of legal access and racial justice for DC residents. The Washington Legal Clinic will facilitate a workshop on gentrification and the sources of power in our city, and participants will have the opportunity to get involved in fighting for the rights of our DC neighbors. In partnership with the JCRC and AVODAH.
Ending Chronic Homelessness: The Way Home
On a given night in the District, approximately 1,500 people are experiencing chronic homelessness. Join the EDCJCC, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and Moishe House DC to hear a personal account of homelessness in DC, learn more about the issue, and find out how you can take concrete action to end this social injustice through the work of Miriam’s Kitchen.