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Tikkun Olam Committee: August Update

Welcome to the Tikkun Olam (TO) Committee’s Monthly Update highlighting recent and upcoming Temple events and social action activities planned by the TO Committee.

At Temple Shalom, we are committed to the essential Jewish value of tikkun olam (“repair the world”). We view social action as a core tenet of our community, and seek to repair the world through education, advocacy, and direct service to those in need. Our TO Committee is open to all congregants and offers a variety of ways–small and large–for congregants to get involved in tikkun olam, the mending of the world.

To learn more or to get involved, please contact Betsy Kingery and Fran Paver at ten.molahselpmet@malonukkit. For more information about social action at Temple Shalom, take a look at Temple Shalom’s updated website.

Join Our Next Tikkun Olam Meeting

The TO Committee typically meets at 7pm on the third Wednesday of each month and welcomes all interested congregants. The August (virtual) meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, August 18. If interested in attending, please email ten.molahselpmet@malonukkkit to request the Zoom link. No commitment necessary.

Climate Tips of the Month

Consider our Lawns, Trees, Shrubs, and Gardens

It’s been a very hot, dry summer so far, and watering is on everyone’s mind. Conserving water is important, but so is taking care of your garden. Here are some watering tips to help you do both:

    1. Lawns go dormant during drought so it’s not mandatory to water, but if you do, water less frequently and more deeply and always in the morning.
    2. Concentrate on newly planted trees and shrubs, then herbaceous perennials.
    • Trees – place a hose with water barely trickling out at the base of the tree for 1 hour once or twice weekly depending on how quickly the soil dries out.
    • Shrubs – water using overhead sprinkler, sprinkler hose or drip irrigation deeply and thoroughly weekly in the morning. Overhead watering in late afternoon and evening can promote disease in some plants.
    • Vegetables – Except for lettuce most vegetables like deep watering less often than shallow watering. Water vegetables deeply at the soil level instead of overhead watering. Organic matter helps the soil’s water-holding capacity and mulch can help conserve soil moisture.

Speaking of Trees! Learn about the importance of trees and tree canopies.

  • A “tree canopy” refers to the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above, and can be measured as a percentage of a land area shaded by trees. While they take time to grow, trees help to increase the overall tree canopy in our areas.
  • Tree canopy benefits are numerous, and include reducing summer peak temperatures and air pollution, providing wildlife habitat, enhancing property values, providing aesthetic benefits, and improving social ties among neighbors. A tree canopy also helps the sequestration of carbon by trees and reduces emissions of carbon associated with tree removal. In addition, trees provide shade for your house and reduce air conditioning bills. For more information, click Urban Tree Canopy Assessment, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service or The Benefits of Trees – Canopy.
  • Tree Montgomery is a program sponsored by Montgomery County to increase the tree canopy in our area. There are several ways to get trees, some free and some for a reduced price. For more information click Tree Montgomery.
  • You can also request a street tree by contacting the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. For more information, click MCDOT – Division of Highway Services.

Promote Food Security in our Community

Manna Food Drive: Please help us with our annual Yom Kippur Food Drive to benefit Manna Food Center. You can bring your food donations to Temple Shalom on Thursday, September 16th, 9am – 5pm. The most needed items are:

  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Pasta
  • Canned Beans (Low Sodium or No Salt)
  • Dried Beans (Any Kind)
  • Canned Corn (Low Sodium or No Salt)
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Shepherd’s Table: On the first Monday of each month, Temple Shalom sponsors 5-7 volunteers to help serve dinner at Shepherd’s Table. There are two shifts: 4:30-7pm and 5-7:30pm. Shepherd’s Table requires that all volunteers be masked and vaccinated. Our next volunteer night is Monday, October 4. Contact Vickie Rocha at moc.liamg@ztiwahcor for more information. To volunteer, sign up at https://shepherdstable.volunteerhub.com.

Voter Engagement and Preservation of Voting Rights

Lobbying for Voting Rights: On July 28, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) organized a virtual lobby meeting with staff from the offices of Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen to voice support for the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S.1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Representatives from more than 20 local congregations, including Temple Shalom, participated. For more information about the RAC’s Freedom to Vote campaign, see https://rac.org/issues/racial-justice/racial-justice-campaign/freedom-vote.

Postcarding for Virginia: It’s not too late to join Temple Shalom volunteers who are currently helping Reclaim our Vote send postcards to almost a million Virginia voters of color reminding them that early voting starts September 17 and that their voting rights are at stake. On November 2, Virginians will go to the polls to elect a new Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and State Delegates. These newly elected policymakers will decide the future of the state’s voting rights laws. Reclaim Our Vote wants to help protect the advances Virginia has made by encouraging voter turnout in key communities. Another round of postcards will be sent in September reminding Virginians to vote in this crucial election. Please email ten.molahselpmet@malonukkit if you are interested in participating.

March on for Voting Rights — August 28, 12pm: Marches are scheduled for Washington, DC, as well as other cities across America. The marches are organized by March On, and co-sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism and a host of other organizations. For more information, check out March On for Voting Rights | March On for Voting Rights.

Support the Regulation of Ghost Guns

Deadline for Comments is August 19

Please tell the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), that you support the regulation of ghost guns.

  • On May 7, 2021, the ATF proposed rule changes that would require retailers to run background checks before selling DIY gun kits (ghost guns), and would require manufacturers to include a serial number on a firearm’s frame or receiver to help law enforcement trace guns used in a crime. If adopted, the rule changes would finally recognize ghost guns as the deadly, fully functional firearms that they are, and would help prevent the acquisition of ghost guns by people who would not otherwise be permitted to possess a firearm. To read the May 7 Dept. of Justice press release, click HERE.
  • Public Comments: It’s easy to submit a comment. Go to Brady United for a suggested comment and a portal to facilitate submission of your comment. After your comment is processed, it will be included in the public comment file. Click here to browse comments that have already been submitted. Comments are due by this Thursday, August 19, 11:59pm.
  • Your comment in support of the ATF’s proposal is critical because the gun lobby is going ALL OUT to flood the ATF with comments opposing regulation of ghost guns!
  • Please let us know at ten.molahselpmet@malonukkit once you’ve submitted a comment. If you have already submitted a comment, THANK YOU! If you haven’t done so yet, NOW is the time.
  • To learn more about ghost guns and their increasing threat to public safety, see the Brady United Ghost Guns Fact Sheet. It includes an informative podcast and a short video that illustrates how alarmingly easy it is to buy a ghost gun online.

Looking for Something Else You Can Do?

Tell Congress What’s on Your Mind

Let your representatives know how important social justice issues are to you. The Religious Action Center provides several suggestions, as well as avenues, for such actions. See https://rac.org/take-action/legislative-action-center.

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