Launched in response to the 2016 election, we want to provide a time and a place for members and non members to gather weekly to protest the current administration and raise our voices against the encroaching hatred, bigotry, criminality, greed and hypocrisy in Washington.
Our group believes that one of the most powerful and effective way to work toward positive change in government and society is by coordinating efforts among people who share the same vision of a just, free and democratic society whose constitution forms the bedrock of what connects us as a nation. It is our differences that make us stronger and wiser and it is precisely those differences that have made this country what it is today. Our job as citizens is to speak out, speak up, protest, demonstrate and get involved especially when those rights and that vision are being abrogated on a daily basis. The social justice/social action roots in Judaism run deep and clear. We are commanded thusly: You are not required to complete the work, but you must begin.”
We call and write postcards to Congress, the Senate, the White House and any salient agency or official to voice our concerns. We have protested everything from the destruction of the EPA to the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, to the decimation of laws protecting transgender students, to the appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel to name a few.
What’s more – we know it’s working! We called and wrote postcards about preserving the Affordable Care Act and stopping the AHCA. We are heartened by the collapse of the first campaign to overturn the ACA as well as Mark Green’s withdrawal from consideration for the Army Secretary post for which he was nominated. Clearly, our voices are being heard, as they chant at the protests:
When: Every Thursday from 12:30-2:00pm
Where: CBST lobby - 130 West 30th Street between 6th & 7th Aves.
What: Make phone calls and write postcards to protest the atrocities, or to express gratitude to the heroes. Come for as long as you are able. Come every week, or whenever you can.
How: RSVP so we can order enough pizza!
Some thoughts on getting through this difficult time:
- Join a group. Groups help you feel more connected and powerful in this time of great uncertainty. Who doesn’t like to kvetch with like-minded individuals while also taking real action to protect our democracy?
- Stay informed. Subscribe to a legitimate newspaper/news magazine (NYTimes, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Tablet, The Guardian, etc) and/or listen to NPR or PBS)
- Use the internet wisely. Don’t assume everything you read online is accurate. Click here for a great NPR piece on how to spot fake news sites. There are a great many resources that will both educate and empower you as you continue your journey as an activist. Some of our favorites are: Indivisible Guide, 5 Calls, 1460 Days of Action, Take Action NYC Protest and Event Calendar, T'ruah - The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
- You are not alone - this is work that is best and most effectively done in a group. CBST has many opportunities to learn, vent, protest and empower you. Subscribe to our Social Justice newsletter here and check out our website for other news updates.
- Read our list of Ideas to Help Jump Start Your Political and Social Justice Activism!
From Goldalee Katsanis-Semel:
….joining others in postcard-writing and phone-calling in CBST's lobby, has been a profound lesson and spiritually practical practice in how a little bit of action can bridge the crippling divide between wanting to do "All or Nothing." I leave feeling lifted and useful…if someone else is writing post-cards, talking to a Senator, I feel a part of something larger than myself …it is said that those who make change - abolitionists, suffragettes, civil rights workers or Gay rights activists - create it not with a large group, but rather a group with a huge amount of passion and commitment. ….And knowing that we are part of an even larger group means that my physical action positively effects my mental and emotional well being. God-Willing, it creates positive ripples of change, reaching out far beyond CBST's doors.
“This is what democracy looks like!”