Welcome to the
Community Outreach & Social Action
Here you will find a curated list of topical and timely resources related to issues that may be of importance to Rodef Shalom Congregation members and members of the Pittsburgh community at large. While not an exhaustive list (by any means!), our hope is to provide a Jewish context for understanding and acting upon issues that are important to us as Jews in today's world. Items of interest will be added periodically. To make a suggestion for an article or resource, to ask a question or to find out more information, please contact Rabbi Jessica Locketz.
Current Topic: Antisemitism
Antisemitism Uncovered: A Guide to Old Myths in a New Era
This is a comprehensive resource with historical context, fact-based descriptions of prevalent antisemitic myths, contemporary examples and calls-to-action for addressing this hate.
Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah Lipstadt
An established expert in the field uses a very readable format in this current assessment of antisemitism in the United States. The author writes letters to a student and a professor to answer their tough questions about what antisemitism is, where to find it, how to call it out and what to do about it. She ends with a prophetic call to focus not only on the ‘Oy’ of Antisemitism, but also on the ‘Joy’ of our Jewish heritage.
Antisemitism: 90 Ways You Can Respond
Designed to empower students and their families to address antisemitism, this list of actions gives ideas and makes suggestions of things to be done at home, in the school setting, and in the community.
About Community Outreach & Social Action
at Rodef Shalom Congregation
Going back to its founding, Rodef Shalom Congregation has earned a reputation for civic engagement and has nurtured a long tradition of social action. The Community Outreach and Social Action (COSA) Committee encourages our members to take active roles and pursue peace in our community.
The COSA committee provides programming designed to thank the Greater Pittsburgh non-Jewish community for its support in the wake of the Tree of Life tragedy. Using the logic of “Never forget," the committee is active in reaching out in meaningful ways to our friends, new and old, in the larger community.
Activities of this committee are done in the name of Rodef Shalom Congregation and are undertaken with the support, participation, and assistance of our clergy, Women of Rodef Shalom, Brotherhood, and Bet Tikvah.
The Committee has worked to:
Forge a serious partnership with Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Homewood and is working toward more interfaith partnerships
Develop formal partnerships with Gisele Fetterman’s "The Free Store” as well as other faith-based agencies in Pittsburgh's East End, including the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry and the East End Cooperative Ministry.
Provide ongoing education, training, and programming to our members
Advance a connection with and participate in the work of The Religious Action Center of the URJ
Recent successful COSA projects have included a Holiday Toy Drive in cooperation with the Church of the Holy Cross, Episcopal in Homewood; a winter clothing drive benefiting The Free Store in Braddock; and a food drive for the East End Cooperative Ministry.
Above all, the Community Outreach and Social Action Committee works toward Tikkun Olam: “The pursuit of social action and social justice for all.”