Social Justice & Social Action
by Randy Ellen Ross
People often ask what the diﬀerence is between social action and social justice. Social action means taking steps to change the things that are wrong in our society and introducing new ideas and processes for doing things better in the future. It involves individual or group interactions with other individuals and groups, especially organized action for social reform. Examples include TBE’s food drives, warm clothing drive, blood drive, Habitat for Humanity, and a myriad of other activities.
Social justice is the concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. It is measured in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activities, and social privilege. We think, for example, in terms of issues related to bias, criminal justice, homelessness, and healthcare.
At TBE, our Committee for Social Action/Social Justice usually meets monthly, on the second Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. to discuss and organize activities related both to social action and social justice. We engage in hands-on activities and advocacy aimed at repairing the world. Toward this end, we recently joined several other Reform Congregations by adopting the Reform Action Center’s Brit Olam. Find it online at bit.ly/BritOlam
In January, we will be launching a new Social Action program that is near and dear to my heart. I serve on the Board of Directors of a non-proﬁt organization called Chemocessories. The mission is to help women with cancer hold on to their strength and sense of themselves during treatment by sending them, free of charge, personalized sets of accessories, including jewelry, scarves, and turbans. In January, we will have a collection bin in the lobby of TBE. Please bring in your new or gently used jewelry, scarves, and turbans to be used to make these sets. You can look at the website to see some examples and to read our story. You can also go to our website to see a set, request a set, or send one to someone you love. (You can donate online as well.) Thus far, we have sent more than 4,100 sets! Help us make a diﬀerence. And if you want to help us assemble sets or get more involved, let me know. We love our volunteers.