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Jewish Justice Advocates hope you enjoyed our Refugee Shabbat program and were as moved as we were after hearing about the stories of our fellow Congregants’ journeys to the U.S. 

If you would like to do something to help refugees and asylum seekers, here are a few ways you can do that:

The Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees is

Welcoming the stranger has been an important value in Jewish life and as Jews we are well aware of the humanitarian costs of shutting down borders.  The Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees is working with Home for Refugees (an Orange County based organization) to assist newly admitted refugee families in their first year in the United States. OCJCR is seeking volunteers to create or join a team that will partner with a newly resettled family to welcome and assist them in adjusting to life in the U.S. If you would like to learn more about the work of Home for Refugees, please contact Jeanne Stokols at


Preschool educators in Los Angeles created the nest project, and it has spread worldwide. Set up “nests” schools in refugee settlements around the world. They will have three in Tijuana. The nests provide play places and education. They need time/donations. Link to additional information is HERE.

​CANYON NEST is tucked away in a peaceful canyon 30 minutes from the U.S. border. It is housed on a sprawling property where a diverse community of over 200 South American, Central American and Haitian refugees live together awaiting resettlement. At a time when fewer and fewer refugees are gaining asylum, the wait is often long, and for some, indefinite. The Canyon Nest serves over 50 children Mondays through Fridays and consists of two programs:

The Lower Nest - serving children 3–6 years old

The Upper Nest - serving children 6–10 years old

Both programs offer a peaceful refuge from the overcrowded living conditions that families endure as they wait for their immigration interviews at the U.S. border. Equipped with engaging materials that spark creativity and curiosity, our Nest offers children what all children are entitled to ensure healthy development – the right to play and learn safely. Away from the shelter where each family shares a single bed and conversations amongst adults are always within earshot of children, Canyon Nest is a protected space free of adult concerns. It is a place where children can be children!



June 20  5:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Please join OCJCR and bring your family and friends to The Mess Hall in Tustin for a fun, socially-distanced drive-in movie to celebrate World Refugee Day 2021!
Proceeds will help OCJCR continue to assist refugees and asylum seekers.

World Refugee Day is a day designated by the United Nations to raise awareness of the plight of refugees. World Refugee Day also calls attention to global efforts to protect their human rights.  Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees (OCJCR) will join others around the world to celebrate the courage, strength and determination of families forced to flee their homes under threats of violence and persecution.


Earth Day


May 18  5:00-6:00 pm 

The next Jewish Earth Alliance Network Call is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18th from 5:00-6:00 pm PT     Click here to join. 

To view previous month’s calls:   Jewish Earth Alliance YouTube Channel.


May 26 12 Noon “Lunch and Learn”

Zoom information: Jewish Earth Alliance SoCal Chapter May meeting:

 CALIFORNIA: Speak Up Against Dangerous Neighborhood Oil Drilling!

Right now, millions of Californians live within one mile of an active oil or gas well.
These individuals — many of them in low-income communities and communities of color — already face an increased risk of asthma, premature births, high-risk pregnancies, cancer, and other health problems. The Governor has committed to enacting policies to protect the health and safety of communities from oil drilling.
But his administration has already delayed this critical rulemaking for months … and we can’t wait any longer for action!
CA officials MUST establish a 2,500-foot health and safety zone between oil drilling and our homes, schools, and hospitals immediately.
Tell CA state leaders to protect communities from dangerous neighborhood

Your message will be sent to:
The California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM)
Cc: Governor Gavin Newsom   LINK TO LETTER


Urge Congress to Address the Public Health Impacts of Systemic Racism 

Every year, almost 40,000 Americans die as victims of gun violence. We have seen this reality first-hand these past few days, when ten people were killed at a grocery store in Boulder, CO, and eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent, were killed at three different spas in Atlanta. As Jews, we should not remain silent in the face of violence. 

Jewish values:

Leviticus 19:16 instructs us, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” For too long, Congress has stood idly by, mass shooting after mass shooting, refusing to take action to prevent the next massacre from happening. 

Further, the Talmud teaches us that “He who takes one life, it is as though he has destroyed the universe, and he who saves one life, it is as though he has saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). Each victim of gun violence leaves behind loving parents and siblings, family and friends, and every day, 93 universes are shattered by gun violence in the United States. As Reform Jews, it is our duty to demand that Congress take action to pass common sense gun legislation and save countless innocent lives.

Call on your legislators and demand that they end the unacceptably high rates of gun violence in our country.



The past year has demonstrated that the U.S. must address the enduring legacy of slavery and systemic racism, which has exacerbated the public health emergency. High rates of COVID-19, maternal mortality, police violence, and chronic health conditions disproportionately impact Communities of Color, and we have a moral obligation to recognize that racism is a public health issue. Urge your member of Congress to co sponsor the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act to declare racism a public health crisis, expand research into the public health impacts of systemic racism, and require the federal government to develop antiracist health policy.



If you have not already, make a commitment to be a part of the Reform Movement’s Racial Justice Campaign!

  1. Register for an upcoming REDI training

3-Part REDI Series for Everyone Participating in the Racial Justice Campaign, May 20, May 27, June 3 from 5-6:30 p.m. PT. Note: the last two sessions are different spaces (offered simultaneously) for white people to discuss how white people benefit from the systems we are trying to dismantle, and a space for People of Color to build a Kehilla Kedosha (sacred community), a space for leaders.

  • 4-Part Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series, July 28, August 4, August 11, and August 18 from 5-6:30 p.m. PT. This series will focus on how to create a DEI Working Group, focused on utilizing the URJ Congregational Assessment, so that you can identify both short and long term goals and establish action plans towards creating an inclusive community for individuals and families from a wide range of backgrounds.

Together, we can build a more just world and build community among members of our congregation at the same time.

Urge Congress to Address the Maternal Health Crisis

Statistics show that Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, regardless of education, income, or other socioeconomic factors and this reflects a consistent discrepancy in how Black women are treated by the health care system.

 Tell Congress to pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act (S. 346/H.R. 959), which seeks to comprehensively remedy the Black maternal health crisis in America and ensure race is never a determinant of health outcomes.   TAKE ACTION

Pass the Garment Worker Protection Act SB62

Please sign this petition to share with California legislators & Governor Newsom and show your support for the  Garment Worker Protection Act. The Garment Worker Protection Act is sponsored by the Garment Worker Center, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the California Labor Federation and Western Center on Law and Poverty, and the campaign for its passage is LED BY WORKERS!!  Our fight continues in 2021 because the issues garment workers are facing must urgently be addressed. Your support is needed more than ever!

There are more than 45,000 garment workers in Los Angeles, many of whom are paid less than half of the minimum wage in the city. Fashion brands at the top of the supply chain profit off these low wages and wage theft yet they face no accountability.

Workers in the California garment industry are still often paid through a piece-rate system, which can change on a whim. The piece-rate can be as little as 2 cents per piece. The piece-rate system puts minimum wage out of reach. Garment workers who are paid by piece-rate are usually paid less than $6 per hour for their efforts and as low as $3 per hour depending on piece-rates, according to a study by UCLA. Big name fashion brands know what they are doing. They pay subcontractors rates that are so low that workers end up paying the price for cheap clothing.The Garment Worker Protection Act would eliminate the piece-rate system in the garment industry, which is too often used as a cover to pay wages less than the minimum wage, and it would create multi-lateral accountability.  



Protect the Right to Vote

Contact your Senators and urge them to support The For The People Act of 2021, SB1.

According to the Congressional Research Service, HR1 "expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting). It also limits removing voters from voter rolls.  Further, the bill addresses campaign finance, including by expanding the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals, requiring additional disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending, requiring additional disclaimers regarding certain political advertising, and establishing an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices."

Take ACTION by Contacting your Senators to urge them to support this important piece of legislation. U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121.



Thursday, May 20 6:00 - 8:00pm PT

Homelessness has reached crisis levels both locally and throughout the country. Many factors, including misinformation, myths and 'good intentions' contribute to this growing problem.

This class will provide a wealth of information and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this issue, including: What is homelessness? What are the key factors that lead to homelessness and what is the current state of homelessness in Orange County? How can homelessness be solved? And who is homeless in Orange County?

By the end of this session, you will become familiar with many of the philosophies and terminologies associated with homelessness. More importantly, you will gain a much better understanding of the homeless system here in Orange County, including the most up-to-date statistics and best practices for solving homelessness in our community for good.  REGISTER HERE

United to End Homelessness
Now is the Time to Champion Permanent Supportive Housing

Orange County cities are currently putting together an 8-year roadmap, known as the Housing Element, for the development of new housing in each city. It serves as a direct policy guide to address current and future housing needs for all income levels, and strategies to provide for those needs.
Learn More

Now is the time to champion more permanent supportive and affordable housing in Orange County. Read more about why this is crucial and how you can become a Housing Champion.

Any person living in a temporary location, such as a shelter or a place not fit for human habitation (encampment, car, abandoned building, etc.), is considered homeless, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How do people become homeless?

Top reasons people become homeless:

  • 42.5% Lost job or economic issues

  • 20% drugs or alcohol use

  • 17% divorce or separation

  • 15% an argument with a family member who asked them to leave

  • 7.5% eviction

  • 10% mental health or physical health issues

    What are the largest barriers to obtaining permanent housing?

  • 63% Can’t afford rent

  • 37% Do not have an income

  • 19% Do not have the funds for moving costs

  • 18% Say the housing process is too difficult

  • 15% Cite no available housing

    What could prevent homelessness?

  • 34% employment assistance

  • 31% rental assistance

  • 28% drug or alcohol counseling

  • 19% mental health service

Next JJA Meeting:
Sunday, June 13, 10 AM via

Contact Carol Singer at or Barby Schwid at for
more information.












Mon, May 17 2021 6 Sivan 5781