A key component of this year’s Faith & Public Life initiative will be the Tzedek Minyan project. Tzedek is the Hebrew word for justice, and a minyan refers to a quorum of people who come together for a sacred purpose. The Tzedek Minyan project will bring groups of BJ members together over the course of the year to study, act, or give. Some of these groups are existing BJ social action and social justice committees, programs or community organizing hevras, and will continue their work under the Tzedek Minyan banner.
Sign up for a Tzedek Minyan, a small group focusing on advocacy, service, and exploring the theme of Faith & Public Life.
Tzedek Minyanim Registration
We are offering over twenty different Tzedek Minyanim, led by a wonderful group of BJ Members, some of whom have been involved in Tzedek (Social Action and Social Justice) work for many years and some of whom are getting involved for the first time in a synagogue setting. All of our leaders bring a wide set of skills to lead, which will help guide and lead the Tzedek Minyanim throughout the year.
What do I need to know before registering?
- Each Tzedek Minyan will meet at least five times throughout the year, with specific dates agreed among the group members once the full group is registered. Some existing groups have their first meeting scheduled, which can be found in the description on the registration page.
- Some Tzedek Minyanim are now closed for registration, but there are still spots left in many of the groups and we will continue to accept members throughout the year as long as there is capacity.
- All groups are lay-led.
- You can choose which Tzedek Minyan or Minyanim you’d like to participate in based on your interests.
Click on the button below to see the full list of exciting Minyanim your fellow community members have created, and to register.
Why are Tzedek Minyanim part of this yearlong initiative?
When 10 people gather, there the Divine Presence rests
—Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 39a & Berahot 6a
Judaism believes deeply in the power of the collective. When we learn together, our understanding is broadened and deepened by others’ insights. When we give tzedakah together, our pooled resources can do more good. When we act together, we are more powerful and effective in creating change. A minyan is a group that comes together for a sacred purpose and these small groups will give BJ members the opportunity to build relationships and form community while also acting and learning for the greater good.
What does a Tzedek Minyan do over the course of the year?
Each Tzedek Minyan will choose a focus for study, philanthropy or action, and meet regularly over the course of the year. Each group will:
- Meet at least five times between November 2017-June 2018
- Have a lay leader (or co-leaders) who attend an initial training for group leaders in October 2017
- Incorporate some element of Jewish learning (see below) into their meetings
- Share photos, stories and reflections from group members through the communications channels for this initiative, including the Faith and Public Life Facebook group.
We are also organizing a series of events, trainings, and workshops, and encourage each Tzedek Minyan to participate as much as possible in these gatherings. These events include:
- Community Calls to Action
- Tzedek Minyan Shabbat (February 2-3, 2018)
- Faith and Public Life Workshops and Community Events
What kind of support will each Tzedek Minyan receive from BJ?
Existing committees and hevras will continue to receive the same support and resources from BJ. Given limited staff and space capacity, new groups will operate more independently: the Tzedek Minyan leader (or co-leaders) will drive the work and facilitate the group; the group will meet outside of BJ (in someone’s home, or in another venue); and after the initial sign-up period in September, group meetings and other activities will not be posted in the KJ (although some information about each group will be posted on the BJ website). These groups will receive support in the following ways:
Tzedek Minyan leaders:
- Receive initial guidance from BJ staff, if needed, to identify resources for your group (eg: giving circle curriculum, learning materials)
- Can be assigned a mentor (a BJ member with experience in leading a social justice/social action hevra or committee) who can help strategize and troubleshoot
- Attend a training (see below) to help develop and strengthen their leadership skills
- Be part of a Tzedek Minyan leaders Google Group to request and share ideas, tips, and wisdom
Tzedek Minyan members:
- Can participate in Faith and Public Life Community Events, which will include training and space to share successes and troubleshoot challenges with other groups
- Be able to post questions and get support through the Tzedek Minyan Facebook Group
Can a Tzedek Minyan include people who are not BJ members?
Absolutely. One goal of the Tzedek Minyan project is to help foster relationships within the BJ community, so we do ask that the majority of participants be BJ members; however, non-members are certainly welcome. As with all BJ groups, the Tzedek Minyan leader or co-leaders must be a BJ member.
I have more questions. Whom should I contact?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.