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Social Justice Committee - December

Save the date!! Our annual MLK Shabbat on January 14 will feature music and stories by Urban Voices. Thanks to the magic of Janice Markham and Leeav Sofer, we will be enjoying an innovative way to celebrate the vision of Dr. King and our Jewish spirit from which he gained inspiration.

Please remember to access the online brochure and nomination form for the Rabbi Marvin Gross Social Justice Award. Nominations are due by December 5 and the recognition will include a donation of $500 to the non-profit of the awardee’s choice.

While the Social Justice Committee has addressed issues from the very local to the national and global, our efforts on the local front benefit from partnerships with community organizations whose activities and missions align with ours.

We have had some success in pressing for remediation of housing issues  that plague our area. These are challenges that spill across boundaries and affect all of our neighborhoods. There is an enormous deficit in permanent supportive housing for the homeless, “missing middle” housing for the middle-class employees on whom we depend, and subsidized housing for those in poverty. The SJC has been active in promoting affordable housing across this spectrum  through our participation in the Affordable Housing Coalition and other groups. We are pleased to report that significant progress has been made in these areas, and the State of California tailored its response to the City of Pasadena’s “Housing Elements” to require revisions that address the points we raised.

HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, has an initiative calling on Synagogues and Jewish organizations to participate in the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States. We are exploring ways that our committee can join in this effort. PJTC has a history of stepping up to the challenge of resettling refugees and immigrants. The end of the war in Afghanistan, like the conclusion of many conflicts, creates opportunities to provide a new start in Southern California for some of those displaced. Please watch for our programs and calls for action in the near future.

While subcommittees pursue the work of justice on immigration, housing and homelessness, climate change, and other issues, the focus, the main theme for our committee in 2022, is voting rights and voter participation. Building on previous programs looking into voter suppression, we anticipate a year of vigorous activity in our own backyard and in our nation as a whole to promote voter registration, access to the polls, and turnout at elections.

We welcome participation by PJTC members whose interest in justice transcends political or ideological boundaries. Please lend your voice and perspective as we fulfill our mission: to respond to societal conditions and contemporary issues based on traditional Jewish values and the prophetic admonition: “Tzedek, tzedek, tirdofe- justice, justice you shall pursue!”

Our meetings are scheduled on the following Sundays at 10:00 a.m.: December 5, December 19, January 16, and January 30. And, as mentioned, the MLK Shabbat on January 14 at 7:30 p.m. For information, email

by Carl Selkin
Co-chair Social Justice Committee


Thu, January 20 2022 18 Shevat 5782