Act

Act

Each day we do what we can, until, looking back over the course of a lifetime, we have a multitude of good small deeds that are the story of our life. This is something that we have to work at every single day. It begins with honesty and a commitment that every small deed matters.

— Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

What We Stand For

At Temple Micah, social justice and action are central to everything we believe and do, not just through programs, but as a primary expression of our values, our faith, and our whole lives. 

As an urban congregation intentionally situated in the heart of DC, we are active citizens of the city in an effort to connect, support, learn, and exchange with people and projects in our local community, as well as progressive, liberal organizations in Israel.

How We Create Change

Micah House

Micah House is a transitional residence for women in recovery from substance abuse, founded by Temple Micah members in 1989.

We maintain a close relationship with Micah House; every Spring we lace up our sneakers and hit the pavement for a “mini-walk” to raise money to support Micah House and we host a Shabbat service in the Fall.

Watch testimonials from former Micah House residents Syndi and Marsha.

Support for Refugees and Immigrants

Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace) leads the Micah congregation in community-wide efforts to support new refugees as well as immigrants at risk of deportation. In 2018, in partnership with Lutheran Social Services, we raised enough funds to successfully support an Afghan family for the first year of their lives in the US. Sukkat Shalom has participated with the Sanctuary Congregation Network, and provided tax preparation workshops for refugees. 

Micah also partners with HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), which works globally to protect vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting families in safety and freedom. Guided by their Jewish values and history, HIAS brings more than 139 years of expertise to their work advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants. Our Sukkat Shalom group has partnered with HIAS in many ways, including

  • Donating diapers for HIAS legal clients in the DC area.
  • Assembling dignity kits (toothbrushes, shampoo, shave cream, sewing kits, etc) for distribution to migrants at the US/Mexico border.
  • Supporting the legal work of HIAS border fellows along the southern border; these fellows work with nonprofits to increase their capacity to provide legal representation to asylum seekers.

Food and Clothing Drives

Our teens organize food and clothing drives benefiting Martha’s Table and other local nonprofits. Martha’s Table is a DC-based nonprofit that supports families by providing education, health and wellness resources, and family engagement programs.

Underwear Drive

Every fall for the last two decades, from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, the sixth grade class organizes our Underwear Drive, which provides a year’s worth of undergarments for our neighbors at Friendship Place. Friendship Place is the premier housing service provider for people experiencing houselessness in the DC region. Their mission is to empower people experiencing or at risk of houselessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives. 

Hanukkah Toy Drive

We celebrate the holiday season with The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) by donating new, unwrapped gifts that will bring smiles to over 1,100 children and youth in the NCCF community.

Building Housing Stability

Every spring for two decades, we have joined Yachad for Sukkot in Spring, a program through which synagogue volunteers help repair the houses of low-income homeowners who aren’t physically or financially able to make their own repairs. Yachad is a Jewish housing and community development organization whose mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and stabilizing neighborhoods throughout the DC metropolitan area. 

Progressive Judaism in Israel

We support and partner with a variety of Israeli organizations that seek to build a strong bond between Reform and Progressive organizations in Israel, the North American Diaspora, and around the world. These organizations include:

  • Givat Haviva is a non-profit engaging divided communities in collective action towards the advancement of a sustainable, thriving Israeli democracy.
  • Israel Movement of Progressive Judaism is an umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and institutions in Israel.
  • Hand in Hand School (Yad B’yad) is a consortium of six schools throughout Israel. Established in 1997, Hand in Hand teaches multicultural students to combat social alienation and lack of trust between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel. In each Hand in Hand school, students learn both Hebrew and Arabic from Jewish and Arab co-teachers.