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		                                    Social Justice		                                </span>
		                            <span class="slider_description">Or Shalom believes in Tikkun Olam, or literally “world repair,” is an attempt to repair breaches of justice in our  world.</span>

Or Shalom has a strong contingent of members who express their Jewish heritage through a wide spectrum of social justice work—from vegetarianism and food justice to environmental and climate action to prison reform work and refugee support with Bay Area interfaith groups. 

Or Shalom has several active Social Action teams under the umbrella of our Tikkun Olam Committee, such as Interfaith Action, Safety Net Action, and our Dayenu Circle for climate action.

Social Action Circle (SAC) is currently involved in multiple social justice activities promoting issues such as interfaith relations, universal guaranteed health care, sustainable environment, immigrant justice, housing, and democracy. Our work includes education, outreach, advocacy and building alliances. We welcome new members and ideas.

Reparations and Teshuvah

“We have acted wrongly…and we have gained unlawfully.”  
Actions to mend the world in San Francisco this High Holy Day season. 

On Yom Kippur, Jews chant a list of sins for which we seek pardon: Ashamnu, Bagadnu, Gazalnu,… “We have acted wrongly, we have been untrue, and we have gained unlawfully…” The list is in the plural:  We, we, we have…. Jewish tradition teaches us not to argue that I personally have not committed this sin or that sin. Rather we recognize that as a community we have transgressed and as a community we need to turn toward right action. The movement for reparations for African Americans is about this kind of communal teshuvah. Right now we have a historic opportunity to engage: both the State of California and the City of San Francisco have embarked on a courageous, years-long process of investigating how we might, as a state and as a city, make restitution, do teshuvah, for the harms to African Americans since the time of slavery.

On Tuesday, September 19, in the middle of the High Holy Days, the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee submitted its final report and over 100 recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. The Committee has asked for support in the next stage, which is for the City to start implementing the proposals.

This is where we come in: The Supervisors need to know that large numbers of San Franciscans favor moving toward economic justice for the descendants of enslaved people. Or Shalom’s Board and Rabbi Faryn have already signed in support of the proposal on our behalf.

Two calls to action at this High Holy Day season are:

  1. For OS members as individuals also to sign in support and 
  2. For as many of us as possible to show up on September 19 at noon for a rally at City Hall and to attend the Supervisors’ meeting at 3pm in City Hall, Room 250. This event has passed


Here's an excellent article that explains the Plan and the process.

For a Jewish perspective on the reparations issue, see What Does Jewish Wisdom Say About Reparations?  by Rabbi Amy Eilberg.

Or Shalom's Past Social Justice Involvement 

Community Engagement – Tikkun Olam  


Or Shalom has partnered with Faith in Action to clarify our social action interests and more effectively organize our Tikkun Olam activities. As a result of engagement with our membership through a Listening Campaign, we developed committees to carry out work and a leadership structure. Active committees are Southside Jewish Collaborative (SJC), Interfaith Action, Safety Net Action, and Immigration Action.  Each committee sends a representative to our Tikkun Olam Committee (TOC). Using Board-developed guidelines, the TOC hears and vets proposals for social action and runs a social action calendar for Or Shalom. TOC is responsible to the Board and relieves the Board of the day-to-day management of our social action. 

Social Service and Relationship Building

Bag Lunches
Or Shalom is a member of the Southside Jewish Collaborative (SJC) with Ner Tamid and Am Tikvah. In non-COVID times, we gather once a month for a lunch-and-learn and make 150 bag lunches for the needy. Two Sundays a year we make 250 bag lunches, and four times a year make bag lunches with the religious school children. Total is more than 2,000 bag lunches made each year.

Or Shalom sponsors volunteer opportunities at the San Francisco Food Bank, St. Anthony’s Dining Room, Jewish Family and Childrens Services, and St. Boniface/Winter Shelter.

The SJC sponsored a speaker on Homelessness at a Shabbat evening service.

Book Drive, etc.
The SJC conducted a book drive for the SF Public Library, as well as kitchen ware, cosmetics, and clothing drives for St. Anthony’s and other local agencies.

Through our membership with Faith in Action:

  • Do accompaniment work with immigrants at ICE and Court appointments
  • Helped develop Freedom Escuela
  • Helped train SFUSD personnel to initiate emergency plan training for immigrant families

Social Action

  • Marched as a community in 2018, 2019, and 2020 Womens’ Marches, Gay Pride Parade (including a Pride Shabbat), MLK March (with SF Unity), Climate Action March, Gun Show Protests, Gun Control March for Our Lives, protest at ICE offices in San Francisco, and participated with the Poor Peoples’ Campaigns Moral Monday Protests in Sacramento and protested at the West County Detention Center in Richmond in support of imprisoned immigrants.
  • Led a Mission Night Walk Witness Against Violence followed by a potluck Shabbat dinner.
  • Canvased neighborhoods surrounding mosques delivering window signs declaring solidarity with Muslims.
  • Petition Drives: collected signatures for $15 per hour minimum wage and to reform California property tax law to better fund schools and other public services.
  • Voting: conducted voter registration drives at City College of San Francisco and various high schools and held a midterm voter education evening at Or Shalom. Called voters and potential voters to help them find out how to register.
  • Study: Weekly Torah Study in the summer led by our Social Justice Fellow focused on Social Action.


  • Visited Mosques for interfaith discussions and Iftar celebrations.
  • Brought Mishloach Manot baskets at Purim to six of our interfaith partners.
  • Worked with SF Unity group.
  • Hosted interfaith partners at our community Passover Seder and during High Holy Days and for meals in our Sukkah, and attended the JCC’s multicultural Seder. Hosted presentations at Shabbat evening services on Islamophobia, African Asylum seekers in Israel, and faith communities working for social justice.


  • Hosted a panel discussion featuring local activists and investment advisors about how individuals could respond to climate change.
  • Or Shalom is a member of Interfaith Power and Light, a network of congregations who share a belief that global warming is a moral issue that our country must address from the perspective of our shared values. 
  • Our Dayenu Circle is a part of the national Dayenu! Jewish Call to Climate Action, dedicated to building a movement to confront the climate crisis, rooted in Jewish values, experience, and spirit.


  • Developed a Domestic Violence Response Policy for Or Shalom in cooperation with Shalom Bayit.


  • Held educationals at Or Shalom about Universal Health Care. 
  • Developed an Or Shalom Faith Perspective on Universal Healthcare. Distributed the Perspective to Bay Area synagogues and other faith institutions.
  • Presented the Perspective to the Faith in Action leadership meeting and at the Poor Peoples’ Campaign Moral Monday on healthcare.  
  • Presented the Perspective for use by the California Nurses Association in their faith based outreach for Medicare for All.    
Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784