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Hill Havurah Tzedek Committee Guidelines

The Social Justice committee exists to help the Hill Havurah adopt congregational positions that support social justice in accord with Jewish values, and to help coordinate resulting social justice programs, when appropriate.

Congregational positions may be expressed through:

     1.  A written statement ofHill Havurah’s view on a current public policy issue

     2. Participation in a one-time event, including financial support

     3. Participation in a single-issue coalition, including financial support

GENERAL

Each year, the committee will bring the board a proposed set of priorities for the year. Based on the Board-approved priorities, the committee will select projects, events and activities for the community to participate in.

From time to time, the committee may bring to the board a proposal for a statement expressing the havurah’s view on a current public policy issue. Once approved, the proposal also will be shared with the community at large.

It will be the responsibility of the Social Justice committee and/or Hill Havurah’s rabbi to demonstrate that any proposed congregational position is consistent with our values as a community and to build support for the position in the community at large.

We will always respect the diversity of views in our community, and there must be broad support (at least 2/3 of the Board) for any congregational position.

Once the Board has approved a congregational position on a public policy issue, the Social Justice committee may coordinate activities in support of that position, including participation in events or coalitions directly related to the approved issue.

 

HOW WE CHOOSE ISSUES

The Social Justice Committee may consider any issue raised by members of the Havurah or referred to the committee by the Rabbi.

We will only entertain proposals that affect our Jewish community, or the larger community in which we live, but in a way that implicates Jewish values.

We will scrupulously avoid taking positions that could lead to disqualifying the Hill

Havurah from receiving favorable tax treatment under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or any similar federal, state or local law. We will not support or oppose candidates for public office.

The Social Justice committee conducted a survey earlier this spring to gauge community interest not just in the committee, but also in regards to what issues the community was most interested in engaging with and how our members wanted to engage. The survey found that the community is most interested in engaging on immigration and refugee issues, as well as deepening a Jewish-Muslim dialogue and doing work around equality issues (both race and gender).

Based on these results, the Social Justice committee is planning initially to focus on these three issues, and will research ways that the community can become safely involved. We plan to have information for both the Shmoozy Nuz and our website ready by the fall.

 

OUR PROCEDURE

We welcome input from all members of the community and pledge to open our process to all who wish to participate.

We will publish any proposed congregational position on our website and in the Shmoozy Nuz.

We will invite community feedback, specifically asking for the views of people who are for, against or undecided about a proposal. This information may be used by the Board to gauge community support.

If there is sufficient interest, we will hold a community forum to discuss the proposal.

We will update the proposal in accord with the feedback.

The Board must adopt any proposal by a 2/3 vote of those present at the board meeting at which the proposal is considered.

If a proposal must be considered on an expedited basis, the Social Justice committee will communicate with the Hill Havurah’s executive committee by email, explaining the proposal, and why it must be considered on an urgent basis. The executive committee, at its discretion, may approve requests for participation in one-time events or coalitions. For broader policy issues, if the executive committee agrees to proceed on an expedited basis, the proposal would be forwarded to the Board by email with as much explanation and feedback as is reasonably possible. A 2/3 vote of the Board, conducted by email, is required to adopt a proposal on an expedited basis.

Congregational positions may be rescinded by a majority vote of the Board at a regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, after three years, the Board will consider whether to continue or rescind congregational positions. A majority of the Board must vote to continue the position for an additional three years, or it shall be rescinded.

Tue, July 16 2019 13 Tammuz 5779