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Social Action Committee

The Congregation Shomrei Torah Social Action Committee was founded over 25 years ago with the intent to put the principles of social justice and tikkun olam into action by the creation of programs and events that support the mission of the congregation.

We are a committee of over 20 people who are dedicated to making our community a better place for all. We meet on the first Monday of every month at 7:15pm. Please come and check us out!

For more information, contact our co-chairs Ellen van den Berg or Bruce Berkowitz. New folks and ideas are always welcome.

The Rabbis and the Social Action Committee of CST hope you will join us in an urgent, non-partisan get-out-the vote effort for the election.

No matter what happens in November, and even with the fire threat we face, let's do our part to strengthen our democracy.  The plan is two-fold: To help everyone at CST vote, and mobilize CST to help re-enfranchise voters of color in North Carolina, Texas,
Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia – states with a record of voter suppression.

For everything you need to know about Sonoma County voting, download this Voter FAQ.

To help in voter-suppression states, CST has teamed up with the non-partisan Reclaim Our Vote, backed by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). The RAC and our friends at Ner Shalom have developed tools for us to use. In a few days, we will call to tell you how to get involved. It’s easy!

You can pick up (or get delivery of) a packet of 20 postcards with everything you need to help 20 people in voter suppression  states cast their votes. Or you can phone bank – without having your private number revealed. There will be a texting option, too. But if you want to get going now – click the links below:

  • The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has created a simple gateway to phone banking with Reclaim Our Vote,
  • If you want to send postcards, Ner Shalom has invited CST members to pick up their 20-postcard packets, complete with stamps, mailing lists and instructions, Click Here.
  • If you’d like to write postcards, but can’t drive to get them, email the CST office.
  • Reclaim Our Vote also offers a texting option,

If you do take action, please email the CST office so we know who is already involved.

May all our voices be heard in November. Shalom!

Upcoming Social Action Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.


Ongoing and Annual SAC Projects

Elisha’s Pantry: In partnership with Christ Church United Methodist Church and Bethlehem Lutheran Church, distribute food to residents in need in Rincon Valley and Bennett Valley. Every week, 70 bags of food are handed out to feed approximately 200 men, women and children, roughly 10,000 people each year. The pantry is open on Thursday afternoons at 1717 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa. To volunteer, contact Stephen Harper. Read an article from The Press Democrat about Elisha's Pantry HERE.

Soup Brigade: The Social Action Committee is mobilizing in support of Sonoma County’s homeless, partnering with Catholic Charities to provide to provide soup for about 40 people on Thursday nights during the cold winter months.  For more information, contact Peter Copen.

Posada Toy Drive: Annual toy drive that results in hundreds of toys collected and handed out in December at Sheppard Elementary School in Roseland at a big community event. SAC members work with the Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County (CIRSC) to give away the toys. To volunteer, contact Ann Sterin.

Yom Hashoah: Every spring, SAC hosts an observance of the Holocaust Day of Remembrance and invites the public to attend. A candle lighting ceremony remembers the six million Jews and others (Gypsy/Roma, LGBT, Righteous Gentiles, political prisoners, the disabled) who were killed by the Nazi regime. SAC also remembers victims of genocides in America, Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur, with candle lighters and speakers.

Rabbi Michael Robinson Memorial Lecture: This annual lecture honors CST’s founding rabbi, Michael Robinson. In honor of his inspirational social activism, we present speakers who share Rabbi Michael’s passion for human rights and social justice.

Immigrant Rights: Several SAC members are active in the Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County (CIRSC) and are involved with the North Bay Organizing Project. We have worked with these groups to find ways to reduce deportations, which tear apart families and the community. SAC was an early supporter of the Trust Act, legislation that would limit detentions and deportations to immigrants who have committed serious felonies.



The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC) is a valuable resource with up-to-date analyses of key social justice topics through a Jewish lens. The RAC also has action guides for urgent social issues.

Sun, November 29 2020 13 Kislev 5781