The Social Justice Vision at Stephen S. Wise Temple
Our congregation will see Social Justice as a calling that derives from our sense of God and the imperative of Jewish Tradition. The Stephen S. Wise Temple community will use our influence, power and compassion to be a force for positive, meaningful and effective change in the quality of life on behalf of all the citizens of Los Angeles and the world.
Laurie Bahar, Allison Goodman, Diane Kabat, Barbara Margolis, Bill Kleiman, Zita Fortman, and Judy Niver joined the mayor and representatives from eight congregations of all faiths for a frank conversation about education with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. All participants were members of the LA Voice/PICO organizing community. At the meeting, Rabbi Stern spoke about the Talmudic principle that the world is sustained by the breath of children as the inspiration for our advocacy for public education. Laurie Bahar told the mayor about the difficult decision not to enroll her children in public Middle and High School and the reasons for that decision. Other congregational leaders spoke of their own difficulties with LAUSD. The mayor responded to their words and told of his own commitment to improving our public schools. He spoke movingly about his own mother and the priority that she placed on education and the result it had on his highly successful family. He noted the importance of people from the West Side of Los Angeles (our synagogue and members of IKAR) reaching out to join forces with those from the east and south sides of the city to tip the scales of reform in the right direction. We are proud to be participants in this important effort and recognize that as members of LA Voice we are making a powerful statement about our partnership with our entire city for the betterment of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council Responsible Banking Ordinance. Clergy and Social Justice activists join together to demand that when our money (LA City money) is deposited in banks those banks also invest in the well-being of our city: branches in poorer neighborhoods, increased small business lending and reducing foreclosures of homes. See the body of the blog for more information.