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Interfaith and Intercultural

It is imperative to our rabbis and our temple's community that we stand up with our neighboring communities of faith against all forms of discrimination. We support freedom and respect for all people, no matter if we share the same history or culture. Under our traditions of tikkun olam, Temple Beth Am has held lasting friendships with a variety of temples, mosques, and churches. Our interfatith and intercultural committees and programs are leading the way in bridging the gaps.

Our vision to build meaningful relationships with other faiths and cultures also extends to provide help and assistance when needed. For ways to do this, please refer to this resource list from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS).

 

Upcoming Events: 

Tzedek Shabbaton
Saturday, February 9, 9:15 AM - 4:00 PM
Temple Beth Am  

To re-envision the social justice work of our congregation, we will devote an entire day – a Shabbaton – to the theme of Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof: “Justice, justice, you will pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20).  Starting with Torah study and a Shabbat service in the morning and ending with Havdallah late in the day, the afternoon will be devoted to coming together to learn about and provide feedback for a proposed vision for social justice work at Temple Beth Am.

Building on and supporting the successful work that’s already being done in so many different areas, the goal is to create a congregation-driven social justice structure that will cultivate inclusive, bold, and unprecedented action, and engage more of our congregants in social actions that are an essential part of Reform Judaism.

There is no charge to attend the Shabbaton, but lunch will be served and you do need to sign up for lunch, so we can be sure to order enough food.  Please come, and help garner the collective power of the congregation to make meaningful change in the world.

See the homepage for our complete Shabbaton schedule.

Interfaith and Intercultural Initiative (I3)

Our congregation has a long history of engagement in interfaith and intercultural activities. To support the many ways in which our rabbis and members engage with people of other faiths, this group fields requests and undergoes committee-oriented work toward opportunities for interfaith collaboration. 

Through education, advocacy, collaboration, communication, outreach, and engagement, the Interfaith Cultural initiative strives to:

  • Foster the establishment of a committed, strong, active network of congregation members,
  • Cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships with other faiths and cultures, and 
  • Be a resource for the understanding of Jewish values and religious practices by other faiths and cultures.

Established in 2015, Temple Beth Am's Interfaith and Intercultural Initiative has already organized a variety of presentations by noted guest speakers, took part in the annual Faith Action Network Summits, represented Temple Beth Am at religious and cultural observances located at other communities of faith, and is planning many more engagement opportunities.

In the process of reaching out to our neighbors, we hold open, vibrant conversations where every participant's ideas and experiences help expand our vision. Are you interested in joining us? For more information on this initiative, please contact Diane Baer.

Refugee Resettlement Task Force (RRTF)

Maimonides taught that the greatest level of tzedakah is giving, so that a person can become self-sustaining. The Refugee Resettlement Task Force (RRTF) brings together members of Temple Beth Am who want to support international refugees as they work to rebuild their lives in the Seattle area.

The greater Seattle area is the new home for refugees from the world over. Many more refugees will continue to arrive. These men, women, and children have fled a variety of horrors and hardships - from drought and other natural disasters to war, discrimination, and oppression. They urgently need housing, household goods, jobs, education, and other basic necessities as they begin the next chapter of their lives in our community.

The RRTF supports international refugees in the Seattle area and collaborates with other organizations that support them. Our efforts are based on four pillars:

  • educating the community about refugees’ situation and needs
  • advocating
  • building community by bringing together Temple Beth Am members who are interested in supporting refugees; by welcoming refugees to Temple Beth Am and the larger Seattle community; and by forming connections between Temple Beth Am members, the refugee community, and other supporting organizations
  • collecting and distributing resources, working with organizations such as Jewish Family Service (JFS) and/or the International Refugee Committee (IRC) to identify what resources are needed, who needs them, and where and when to provide them. 

We encourage assistance, ideas, and participation from anyone and everyone with a desire to welcome and support refugees and contribute to their well-being and independence. The Jewish people have been refugees many times during our history. We welcome the opportunity to improve the lives of international refugees in our community.

Contact Brenna Louzin to learn how to participate.

Wed, January 23 2019 17 Sh'vat 5779