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Public Stance Policy

WHY DOES SHIR TIKVAH TAKE PUBLIC STANCES?

Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is a core value of Temple Shir Tikvah. Our Reform Jewish heritage, our collective history of being oppressed as Jews, the long history of Jewish activism, and our shared commitment to improving the world call upon us to speak up in the public sphere. When the temple takes a public stance, by supporting an action, public statement, or group, we will:

  • Determine that there is a pressing need for our voice to be heard, whether a Jewish voice on the issue would be particularly noteworthy or because the issue has a significant impact on the temple’s congregants and their communities;
  • Ensure that we do not jeopardize the temple’s status as a tax - exempt 501(c)3 organization; and
  • Conduct due diligence on the issue, action or statement, and sponsoring organization.

The temple should only take public stances that, to the best of our knowledge, reflect the opinions and beliefs of the members of the congregation, while still respecting our diversity. Temple Shir Tikvah embraces the opportunity to share our commitment to Tikkun Olam with our larger community.

WHAT IS A PUBLIC STANCE?

We define taking a public stance as attaching the temple’s name to an action, public statement, or group. Examples of public stances include, but are not limited to:

  • Co-sponsoring or endorsing public events such as demonstrations or benefits
  • Signing or co-signing letters to the editor, op-eds, or media statements on public issues or events
  • Posting under the temple’s name to Facebook or on the temple website about public issues or events
  • Attending marches or rallies under the temple’s banner.

Temple Shir Tikvah's Public Stance Policy  does NOT apply to:

  • Actions undertaken by individuals in their own names:
  • Internal temple activities undertaken by a committee where a public stance is not taken
  • Educational initiatives where a public stance is not taken.

HOW DO I PROPOSE A PUBLIC STANCE?

If you are a temple member and interested in proposing an issue to be considered as a public stance, please complete this Public Stance Proposal Form and email it to Tikkun Olam Committee. Your proposal will be reviewed by a committee of Synagogue Representatives that includes the rabbi, cantor, board president, vice president of Tikkun Olam, and a Shir Tzedek co-chair. After you submit your proposal, you will be assigned a liaison from the Synagogue Representatives. You should expect to hear from your liaison weekly about the progress of your proposal. We strive for a turnaround time of 14 days for decisions.

WHAT IF MY PROPOSAL REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ACTION?

We will only consider proposals for immediate action when a communal response to a recent event is being organized in less than a week, for example, an emergency rally on a town common in the aftermath of a local/national tragedy. Please note that a previously-scheduled event cannot be considered for a proposal requiring immediate action, even if a temple member has only just learned about it.  For a decision requiring immediate action, we strive for a 72-hour turnaround time, excluding Shabbat and clergy-observed Jewish holidays or clergy vacation.  

WHAT ARE SOME PUBLIC STANCES SHIR TIKVAH HAS TAKEN?

  • We display a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign on the lawn starting in April, 2017.

  • Temple members marched and carried a Temple Shir Tikvah banner at the People's Climate Mobilization March, 4/28/17, Washington DC.

  • We cosponsored the documentary film “Invisible Crisis: The Female Face of Forced Migration” and panel discussion on 5/24/17 in Arlington, with Centro Presente and other community organizations.

  • We joined the Boston Active Bystander Coalition, a group of individuals and organizations who bring bystander intervention workshops to the greater Boston area, on 7/1/17. For more information, click here.

  • Temple Shir Tikvah became a B'rit Olam Congregation on 9/19/17 as part of the Reform Action Center's Urgency of Now Campaign, agreeing to work to protect transgender rights, defend the rights of immigrants at risk of deportation, and reform the criminal justice system to end mass incarceration. For more information, click here.

  • We signed onto a proposed resolution for the URJ Biennial, “ Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change”, on 10/9/17. See it at https://urj.org/what-we-believe-/resolutions/proposed-resolution-addressing-impacts-climate-change.

  • We registered with the YWCA Stand Against Racism 2018 program; the April 2018 meeting of Shir Tzedek's Racial Justice group will include materials from this project as we pledge to "stand against racism".  http:// www.ywboston.org/our-work/stand-against-racism/

Here are two sample public stance proposals:

Climate Mobilization March Proposal

Immigrant Rights Proposal

 

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?

Temple Shir Tikvah's Public Stance Process  explains our full process for approving public stances.

Tue, June 19 2018 6 Tammuz 5778