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Tikkun Olam/Social Action

Social Justice/Tikkun Olam

Current & Upcoming Events | Can you Help? | Our Partners | Photo Gallery | Our Teams | Israel Engagement

Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof -- Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue, and guided by the Pirkei Avot 2:21: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” Even during this unprecedented time, we continue to do the work - often remotely, sometimes over the phone, but always with our whole hearts.

Please join us! Contact SAC chairs Jill Chessen and Jill Lesser with questions or to figure out which initiative interests you most. Interested in receiving email updates from our Social Action Committee? Email Harry Chauss to join our mailing list.

NEW! Social Action Facebook Page - Click Here to Follow Us!

Israel Engagement

Click Here For Upcoming Events and Ways To Help
The Israel Engagement Committee (IEC) at Adas Israel is working out how to best use the resources of the community to help Israel immediately and in the future. To stay up to date on ways you can help, and for a list of upcoming events, visit our Israel webpage.  

Vote Forward Letter Writing Campaign
October 11 from 7-9pm

We will be hosting a letter writing campaign to registered voters in Virginia through Vote Forward. This is a non-partisan event aimed to get voters engaged and out to the polls. This event will take place at Adas in Kay Hall on October 11 from 7-9pm. This will be a fun social event while we write the letters and all materials will be provided. Please reach out to Kelsey Grashoff ( with any questions. 

NEW! Teen/Family Social Action/Hesed Projects

Is your teen looking to complete community service hours or a B'nai Mitzvah project. Maybe your whole family wants to participate in a service project. Take a look at our new database of projects that teens/families can participate in. Click here to look at our new database.

Current & Upcoming Events

Virtual Social Action Committee Meeting with special guest Matthew Frumin

Sunday, January 8 at 10am Click to Register
Join the Social Action Committee for the quarterly meeting on Sunday, January 8 at 10am via zoom. We will hear from all team leaders about their ongoing initiatives, who will answer your questions, and help you find how to get involved in the work of Social Action at Adas Israel. We will also have a guest speaker at 10:30am – Matthew Frumin, the newly elected Ward 3 member of the Council of the District of Columbia, will join us to talk about the priorities and challenges for Ward 3 and the DC area. Click to join on Zoom.

Winter Warmth Drive for Friendship Place

Winter Warmth Drive ends November 7
We are collecting new or gently used winter outerwear via an Amazon wish list or in person in the Adas Coatroom. Your donations benefit our unhoused neighbors at Friendship Place. Questions? Contact Oz Papados.

Our key initiatives

  • We are working with the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) on issues of racial justice, poverty, housing, and equality.
  • We continue to deliver food and much-needed supplies to the Martinsburg Union Rescue in Martinsburg, West Virginia, which serves veterans, those affected by the opioid epidemic, and others in need throughout the area. 
  • We are advocating on behalf of refugee and asylum-seeking communities, including recently resettled Afghans, as well as increasing efforts to provide remote tutoring to students from refugee families through Solutions in Hometown Connections and other organizations.
  • We are working with local synagogues and churches and the Washington Interfaith Network to educate ourselves about housing issues, and to support increasing affordable housing to Ward 3.
  • We have formed a Uyghur Crisis Response Team to respond to the ongoing genocide in China. To learn more or get involved, check out the googledoc of ongoing efforts.

Our Teams

Adas Israel’s Social Action Committee is made up of teams focused on some of the issues facing us today:  Homelessness/Housing TeamClimate Action TeamCommunity Safety TeamKehilah Multiracial Engagement Project (KMEP), Uyghur Crisis Response TeamRefugee Response TeamReproductive Justice TeamDirect Service Team and the Inclusion Task Force.

Our Partners

Anne's Place, Inc (formerly Anne Frank House)

Recognizing that using the name “Anne Frank House” has caused confusion with the museum of the same name in Amsterdam, our Board of Directors decided to rename our organization.

Our name has officially changed from Anne Frank House to Anne’s Place, Inc.!  

We chose the name Anne’s Place so that we could continue to honor our namesake’s legendary struggle to survive without the security of her own home -- and to retain our connection to our own organizational past.

Click here to learn more about Anne's Place's work, and hear Barrington Simmons, Anne's Place's newest resident, talk about how having a home has changed his life.

Anne's Place is an independent non-profit with its own Board of Directors, providing permanent housing and supportive services to individuals in fully-furnished units owned or rented by Anne's Place. Anne's Place activities are financed by individual donations and grants, with support from Adas Israel.  We celebrated our 36th anniversary at shabbat services at Adas Israel in November 2023. Contact: Sue Ducat

Feed the Family

Feed the Family DC grew out of the Ward 3 Mutual Aid Society created during the pandemic. The ongoing mission of Feed the Family DC is to provide community members in need with fresh produce and cleaning supplies through its weekly Pantry, which is open every Sunday across from the Van Ness Metro. Adas supports Feed the Family DC by providing food and cleaning supplies for its collections. To learn more, contact Oz Papados.

Friendship Place

Friendship Place's mission is to empower people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives. Their goal is to end homelessness in Washington, DC, and to establish a sustainable model which can be replicated across the nation. Adas Israel has a longstanding partnership with Friendship Place. For the past several years we have been the largest contributor to the annual backpack campaign, and a participant in the Winter Warmth clothing drive. We are proud to partner with Friendship Place. For more information, contact Joel Fischman or Jamie Butler.

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The Adas Israel Refugee Response Team partners with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Silver Spring to help serve recently arrived refugee families. Moving to a new place is always challenging and language/cultural barriers, along with no or minimal family support, make this transition even more difficult. Mentors help ease this transition by offering friendship, tutoring, help with job searches, transportation support, and other services. So far, Adas has mentored 5 refugee families from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Congo, and we are forming new teams now to assist even more newly settled families. Contact: Sarah Karlin-Smith.

N Street Village/Miriam's House

Click here for the N Street Village Website!
View Photos From Past Events Here

For more than 30 years, Adas Israel has been involved with N Street Village. Adas volunteers prepare monthly meals for 30 women at the shelter. We also help prepare and serve Christmas dinner to the women who participate in N Street Village's programs and we sing holiday songs with them. N Street Village also runs Miriam’s House, a Housing First model, provides permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless women who are living with HIV and AIDS. Up to 25 women live and work together on managing and improving their physical health while addressing other self-sufficiency goals, which can include addiction recovery, mental wellness, education, employment, income, and long-term housing. Contact: Ruth Kleinrock (N Street Village) and Laura Epstein (Miriam's House).


One America

One America brings communities together across divides to work together on issues that matter to them: poverty, race relations and racism, the opioid epidemic and more. Adas Israel partners, along with regional mosques and churches, with the One America West Virginia chapter on issues surrounding the opioid epidemic, including hosting speakers, raising awareness, and providing direct services to affected communities in WV. Contact: Rabbi Aaron Alexander.

Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ (Peoples Church)

View Photos From Past Events Here.

For 11 years, Adas Israel and Peoples Church have been partnering and “joining hands across the park.”  Each year, we honor the memory and spirit of Martin Luther King with a weekend that features social action partners as guests. We also help members of their Food Pantry with their annual Thanksgiving & Christmas project, packing food bags for distribution to low income residents of DC. Holiday Food Packing contact: Jamie Butler.


Reading Partners

Click here for the Reading Partners Website!

Adas Israel participates with Reading Partners, a nationwide literacy empowerment program that trains volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring to children attending under-resourced schools who are struggling with reading.  Please consider joining 25 other Adas members to become a Reading Partners tutor! It only takes an hour of your week (or more if you choose!) to make a difference in the life of a child struggling to read. To learn more about the organization and to sign up to volunteer here. Please email Lois Fingerhut with any and all questions.

Solutions in Hometown Connections

Solutions in Hometown Connections provides durable programs and solutions to refugee and immigrant families. Through SHC, families receive English language instruction and educational programs, learn to navigate services, and get connected to a warm and inclusive community. Contact: Amy Golen


Click here for the SOME, INC (So Others Might Eat) Website!

View Photos of Adas Volunteers at SOME, July 29
View Photos From SOME Memorial Day 2016

Throughout the year, Adas Israel collects gently-used winter coats and non-perishable food for distribution to SOME, INC (So Others Might Eat), a nonprofit, interfaith organization. Throughout the year, we also collect new and gently used winter coats from November through February. SOME volunteers contact: Oz Papados.


Sukkot In Spring & Other Yachad Projects

Adas Israel Proudly partners with Yachad DC!
View Photos From Past Events Here
Each year, we assemble teams to renovate homes of area residents who are elderly and frail, disabled, or financially unable to tackle needed repairs on their own. Sukkot In Spring volunteers paint, do yard work; fix windows, leaking roofs, and rotting floors; and tend to inadequate bathrooms and faulty electrical systems. Contact: Lisa Kaneff.


TraRon Center

The TraRon Center’s after-school program and summer camp provides a safe, supportive space for elementary and middle-school aged children affected by gun violence. With a focus on creative arts, children affected by gun violence will learn healthy ways to deal with their trauma. Watch here ( to hear from Ryane Nickens, the Center’s founder and from the children she serves.

Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)

The Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) is a broad-based, multi-racial, multi-faith, strictly non-partisan, District-wide citizens’ power organization, rooted in local congregations and associations. WIN is committed to training and developing neighborhood leaders, to addressing community issues, and to holding elected and corporate officials accountable in Washington, DC. Adas Israel is currently organizing with WIN to address the disparities existing in DC, partnering on campaigns that include supporting Mayor Bowser’s plan to bring more affordable housing to Ward 3/Rock Creek West and other areas of DC, addressing the digital divide, and working towards community safety. Contact Jamie Butler or Dan Baum

Photo Gallery

Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784