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Tikkun Olam/Social Action

Tikkun Olam / Social Action

Current & Upcoming Highlights | Can you Help? | Our Partners | Photo Gallery | Our Teams

Adas Israel’s Social Action Committee is made up of teams focused on some of the issues facing us today:  Poverty/Homelessness/Housing TeamClimate Action TeamLev B’Lev (“Heart to Heart,” which works against hate), Gun Violence Prevention Team (GVP)Racial Justice Working Group, and the Refugee Response Team. The SAC is committed to the essential Jewish value of tikkun olam, 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.” Please join us! Contact SAC Chair Brad Brooks-Rubin or SAC Communications Chair Liz Scheier with questions or to figure out which initiative interests you most.

Current & Upcoming Highlights


Critical Housing-Justice Event at the Anacostia River Waterfront

Sunday, March 24, 2019 2:00 PM -  6:00 PM Register

You are invited to take part in a critical housing-justice event with members of our clergy and the Washington Interfaith Network. A group of 20-25 Adas Israel members, including members of our clergy, will join WIN for a bus tour of disputed development sites on the Anacostia River waterfront in Wards 7 and 8. This is a crucial time for public and affordable housing in D.C., and the decisions to be made by city officials will influence what this city looks like - and who can afford to live here - for generations to come. WIN will be hosting this bus tour, led by past and present residents of these neighborhoods, to teach about the waterfront and the significant impact of the upcoming housing disputes. The tour will be followed up with a discussion and training on next steps. Please join us by signing up here.


Sukkot In Spring

April 28, 2019 Register 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. Please register in advance for one of our time slots, 9:30am – 1pm or 12:30pm – 4pm.


Can You Help?

Donate items to the TraRon Center 

Donate Much-Needed Items to the TraRon Center's After-School Program: The From Tragedy to Triumph after-school program provides a safe, supportive space for elementary school children affected by gun violence. Read about their work in this recent piece on WAMU.


Adas Israel Refugee Response Team Seeking Volunteers to Help with Cultural Orientations

Lutheran Social Services (LSS) runs cultural orientations for the refugee families it resettles and is in need of people to volunteer as babysitters during these orientations in Hyattsville, Maryland. Volunteers spend time with the children in a playroom located next to the orientation room. Adults are needed to interact/play with the children and make a small donation towards a pizza lunch. This is an incredibly valuable way to assist the refugee community in our area. The orientations are from 10 am - 2pm and run various dates; the next one is February 27th. To hear about our experiences volunteering, email Adas members Nancy Cutler ( or Allison Turner ( To get involved, please email Mira Mendick ( who is the Community Resource Coordinator, Refugee & Immigrant Services for LSS.

Lev B’Lev Letter-Writing Team joins Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR): Pen Pal Program for Prisoners

In addition to writing letters of solidarity to those who have experienced hate crimes, the Lev B’Lev Letter Writing Team has joined with IAHR, an interfaith organization representing people of different faiths in the Washington, DC, region to write letters to DC residents who are incarcerated in the Bureau of Prisons. IAHR Executive Director Rabbi Charles Feinberg’s new effort addresses the isolation that incarcerated DC residents experience in prisons located far away from home. More than 4,600 DC residents are sent to 122 Bureau of Prisons facilities around the country, making it particularly difficult for them to maintain supportive relationships and reintegrate into their communities upon their release. IAHR’S Pen Pal Program asks volunteers to correspond with one imprisoned DC resident at least once a month for one year. For more information about this rewarding and enlightening experience or to join us, contact Ruth Kleinrock.

Adas Israel IRC Refugee Team Seeks New Family Mentors

The Adas Israel Refugee Response Team has opportunities to mentor newly arrived refugees. Partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Silver Spring, a new group of Adas members are being trained to mentor recently arrived refugee families. Moving to a new place is always challenging and language/cultural barriers, along with none 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 as they come up. This is an incredible opportunity to work with other Adas members to make a genuine impact on refugees' lives. 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. In order to create a dependable support system for these families, the IRC model asks volunteers to commit to 6 months of mentorship. Working in teams of 2-5 people, someone from the team is expected to visit the family every week (which means 1-2 individual visits per month depending on how large the team is). If you are interested in being a part of this rewarding and important work or would like more information, please contact Alex Levy or Katy Gingles.

We Need Your Help, Support Refugee Families

Please make your contribution here

The Social Action Committee’s Refugee Response Team is currently sponsoring a refugee family of 5, through Lutheran Social Services, and we also are mentoring families with the International Rescue committee, and we need your help! For more information about our efforts to respond to the refugee crisis or to make a contribution to support this work, please email Dan Aladjem. The Social Action Committee’s Refugee Response Team has already furnished three apartments for newly settled refugee families in our area and are gearing up to furnish a third.


Your Spare SmarTrip Card Can Help DC’s Refugees Start Anew

Do you have SmarTrip cards with remaining value that you will not be using? Your spare card can help local refugees rebuild their life in the DC area.  With as little as $25 on a SmarTrip card, a refugee will be able to attend a cultural orientation class, enroll children in school, travel to a job interview, and go to an initial health screening.

Adas Israel is collecting spare or new SmarTrip cards for refugees in need. We are also accepting cash or checks to purchase SmarTrip cards.  All donations will be given to the International Rescue Committee to help struggling refugees make a new life for themselves. Please drop off your SmarTrip cards, cash or checks in the Adas coatroom or mail to:
Adas Israel Congregation c/o Marcy Spiro
2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

For more information please contact Beth Simon.

Our Partners

Anne Frank House

Click here for the Anne Frank House Website!
Anne Frank House is an independent non-profit with its own Board of Directors, providing permanent housing to individuals in 12 fully-furnished units owned or rented by Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank House is an independent non-profit with its own Board of Directors, providing permanent housing to individuals in 12 fully-furnished units owned or rented by Anne Frank House. Anne Frank House activities are financed by individual donations and grants, with in-kind support from Adas Israel.  Every year in November, the Anne Frank House mini walk helps raise needed funds.

Viewpoint: Anne Frank House is sterling local example
By Current News Staff Writer, Mary Cheh, June 21, 2017

Anne Frank House Recognized for 30 Years of Service
Written by Sue Ducat on 22 June 2017, Kol HaBirah

D.C. Council honors Anne Frank House for its 30th anniversary
June 29, 2017 By Justin Katz, Washington Jewish Week

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,


SOME & Ezra Pantry

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 non-perishable food for distribution to SOME, INC (So Others Might Eat), a nonprofit, interfaith organization. Throughout the year, we also sponsor and serve meals at SOME's dining room as well as collect new and gently used winter coats from November through February. SOME volunteers contact: Sharon Burka,, Ezra Food Pantry contact: Healey Sutton,


N Street Village

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. Contact: Ruth Kleinrock,


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.

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. Reading Partners also welcomes new and gently used Kindergarten through third grade level books. Children select and read a book during their tutoring session and then take the book home for a personal library. To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please CLICK HERE and click on volunteer today or email Lois for more information.


Patricia Handy Place for Women

3rd Sundays from 6:30 – 8pm Register Here

Join YP@AI as we give back to the DC community! Every 3rd Sunday, 8 – 10 volunteers will serve dinner at The Patricia Handy Place for Women, run by N Street Village. N Street Village is one of the top organizations in the District that works with women who have been homeless. Oprah Winfrey recently gave a surprise $1 million to the organization. Contact: Aviva Weinstein, or Amanda Deane Sass,


Photo Gallery


Wed, March 20 2019 13 Adar II 5779