Tikkun Olam Updates & Actions


This “postcard”/letter” action was initiated by asylum seekers in the tent camp in Matamoros, MX, at the US/MX border, who are stuck there under MPP, the Migrant Protection Protocol, also called “Remain in Mexico”. 600 postcards were written by people in the camp urging an end to the inhumane MPP, and delivered to Representative Vela of Texas, who gave them to Dr. Jill Biden.

The idea is to urge Dr. Biden to take on Ending MPP as her special First Lady Project. She visited the migrants in Matamoros in late 2019 and saw the horrible reality for herself. Now this action has become nationwide, and here is where we come in. Letters in support of the migrants’ pleas to end MPP will be flowing in from all over the US to Dr. Jill Biden, delivered to her by individual US congressional representatives. The plan locally is to collect as many “postcards”/letters as possible, which then will be sent to Congressman McGovern’s office; Congressman McGovern has agreed to get those to Dr. Jill Biden.

Please print out this POSTCARD/LETTER on your computer, and then sign your name, and write the name of your town and zip code after your signature. Please then send it in an envelope to: Annique Boomsma, 66 Harkness Rd. Pelham MA 01002. Annique will collect them all and send to the contact at Congressman McGovern’s office, who has agreed to make sure they will get delivered to Dr. Jill Biden. Thank you for participating. Please feel free to share this request with your networks!


The Tzedek Racial Justice Initiative Vetting Subgroup recommends JCA member giving in the month of October in support of black voting rights. The Black Led Organizing Fund of Movement Voter Project (MVP) is made up of black and brown communities’ grassroots organizations developed to foster, defend, and protect black/brown voting rights. Those groups need money to pay outreach workers and provide them with protective gear at this time of Covid while they help their communities become civically and politically stronger through voter mobilization and turnout. This fund and the groups in it are all 501(c)(3), meaning your donation is tax deductible. Every penny of your donation will go directly to the fund of “Black Led Organizing” and its component groups as directed by MVP staff, who have up to the minute information as to where money is most needed and will do the most good: for the November election, after it, and beyond. Here is the link to the site for more details about MVP, the particular fund, and the groups in it, as well as the link to donate directly to the Black Led Organizing Fund: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/black-led-fund?refcode=homeFund


Springfield No One Leaves (www.springfieldnooneleaves.org) is a grass roots organization that organizes residents most directly impacted by the housing crisis and economic inequality to build collective power, defend against displacement and win long-term community ownership and control over land and housing. We highlighted this organization recently. They need a volunteer for a few hours a week who is proficient with Word Press to help them with their website. Interested people could contact Aaron Berman of our Tzedek Initiative at aberman@hampshire.edu or Rose Webster-Smith of SNOL at rose@springfieldnooneleaves.org


As the Jewish Community of Amherst’s Tzedek Racial Justice Initiative continues to learn about, and work in coalition for racial equity in Amherst, we want to share our support for the following community and town efforts to date. We look forward to seeing the fruits of these efforts in the near future, as we join with many others to translate our commitment to racial justice into tangible actions, in Amherst and beyond. Click HERE to read a copy of the letter we are sending to the Town Manager, the Town Council and the Amherst Indy.


The Criminal Justice Action Group of the Tzedek Initiative urges you to support this action on police reform: Police Reform Bill – H.4889/S.2821. Let’s make the push to get the legislature to act now on police reform! Support Black leaders speaking out and counteract the influence of police unions. The bill is stalled in conference committee. The Boston Globe said in an editorial last month: It is now or never for police reform in Massachusetts. Let’s make is NOW! Link to sign the petition: http://chng.it/G8pFnvvq. In addition to signing the petition, click HERE to learn how to email the conference committee and call your own legislators to in support of the letter signed by groups across the state:


Shelter Sunday in Amherst is on Sunday, October 18, with proceeds supporting Not Bread Alone and Craig’s Doors. This year there will be no door-to-door solicitation, only mailings, and donations can be made by check or online. As one might have expected, both programs have experienced an increase in the number of people in need of a meal, shelter, and other supports during the pandemic. These local programs did not miss a beat in adjusting their operations to meet Covid safety guidelines, but they need our support. Please consider a donation to help those in need in our community. Make checks payable to Shelter Sunday Amherst, and mail to: Shelter Sunday Amherst, PO Box 264, Amherst, MA 01004, or donate at: https://www.sheltersunday.org