The Reform Temple of Forest Hills

Social Justice

Tzedek, tzedek tirdof—Justice, justice shall you pursue!” Deuteronomy 16:20

Our Social Action Team dedicates itself to education, advocacy, and activism to bring about positive change in the world.

Education and Inspiration through Worship

The Social Action Team creates and leads many powerful, themed Shabbat services on Friday nights  throughout the year–Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller Shabbat of Empowerment, Refugee and Immigrant, Social Action, Juneteenth, and Pride–to highlight our dedication to the value of tikkun olam and to educate and inspire our Temple family to action.

RTFH Queens Pride Parade

LGBTQ+ Equality

RTFH celebrates individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. Temple is a safe and affirming space for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We stand in solidarity with everyone in the queer community and work to promote equality, justice, and love for all. Join us for our annual march in the Queens Pride Parade!

How you can act: Tell Congress to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination by clicking here to support The Equality Act.

Racial Equity

RTFH dedicates itself to creating an environment where all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity, feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute. The Social Action Team actively works to confront racism and advance racial justice.

We recognize the systemic injustices that have marginalized communities of color and strive to remove those barriers within our congregation and in society. Our Social Action Team members met with local NY State representatives and helped to pass bail reform legislation critical to advancing racial justice.

The Social Action Team also ensures that our youth learn to be advocates for racial equity. On Mitzvah Day, we partner with the Center for Anti-Violence Education to teach our 7th graders to be upstanders, not bystanders, in the face of hate. They learn specific actions they can take when they witness and act of intolerance and how to support those being discriminated against or bullied.

How you can act: Visit here to urge Congress and the White House to establish a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans (S. 40/H.R. 40).

Disability Rights

As a congregation, we celebrate that our synagogue address used to be called 93 Seminole Avenue where Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan lived for 20 years. We are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible environment to ensure that every individual is able to participate fully in our spiritual and communal life. The Disability Inclusion and Empowerment Committee works to create awareness and acceptance to empower those with disabilities in our Temple family and beyond.

Immigration Justice

Guided by the Jewish value of welcoming the stranger, RTFH’s Task Force on Immigrants and Refugees, under the umbrella of the Social Action Team, supports and advocates on behalf of immigrants and refugees.

When our congregation learned at High Holiday services in 2018, that a Guatemalan mother and two teenagers separated at the border were in need of emergency housing, our caring Temple family sprung into action. Our Task Force on Immigrants and Refugees, in consultation with Immigrant Families Together co-founder Julie Schweitert Collazo, created a network of support that has stayed connected to the family to this day.

On Mitzvah Day, we partner with Variety Boys and Girls Club to welcome and support newly arrived elementary school children attending PS112Q in Astoria and their families.

How you can act: Click here to urge Congress to pass legislation providing permanent protections, including a pathway to citizenship, for Dreamers.

To learn about the views and stances of the Reform Movement on these and other specific social justice issues, visit here.  

The Religious Action Center (RAC) is the political and legislative outreach arm of Reform Judaism in the United States. Visit the RAC’s website here to contact Congress on key legislative issues.