Social Action Committee

Consistent with our Secular Humanistic Jewish values, Machar stands in solidarity with those who support peace, reconciliation, and justice in our country and around the world. We stand against all those who use or support acts, words, and symbols of hate and violence in all their forms.

Machar’s Social Action Committee has been working together to identify issues of importance to our community.  Please read the PDF statements below about their proposed areas of focus, and visit the link below to submit feedback on the statements.

Machar statement on Immigrant Ban Jan 2017

Machar statement on gun violence Jan. 2015

Machar Statement on Climate Change Jan. 2015

Please VISIT THIS LINK to submit your feedback on Machar’s statements on immigrant ban, gun violence, and/or climate change. 

As a Machar member, you will be able to put your Jewish and humanistic values into action. Machar is the most socially active congregation of the Secular Humanistic Judaism movement. We are at the vanguard of many social justice campaigns fought by the Jewish, humanistic, and social justice communities in the Washington, DC area.

Peace candles in honor of victims of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Tisha B’av observance on August 4, 2014.

We work for progressive social change to bring about the healing and transformation of the world—tikkun olam. We see social action as the core of the legacy from our ancestors. Each year, we focus on a selected number of issues that reflect our values and on which our members can take action. We believe that through these activities we can live our humanistic philosophy and express our Jewish ethical perspective and identity. We approach these issues through a combination of partnering with other organizations, structured advocacy, education of our membership, and participation in rallies and other events. Our partners include Jews United for Justice, the American Humanist Association, the J Street Education Fund, Muslims for Progressive Values, the Secular Coalition of America, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Our Recent Areas of Focus:

  • Advocacy against gun violence
  • Peace in the Middle East through advocacy for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict
  • Civil marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals (LGBT) in Maryland
  • In-state community college tuition for children of undocumented immigrants (the Maryland DREAM Act)
  • Liberation of Jewish-American development worker Alan Gross from Cuban prison

Our Recent Activities:

November 2017 – Current and ongoing Machar Project to Welcome and Support a Local Refugee Family

April 2017 – Participated in the Climate March, Washington, D.C.

January 2017 – Participated in the Women’s March, Washington, D.C.

December 2014 – Participated in protest in front of NRA headquarters on the second anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

April 2014 – Worked with Machar’s board to pass a resolution calling on the U.S. government to make all efforts to bring to completion the current peace process by Israelis and Palestinians.

April 2013 – Worked with Machar’s board to pass a resolution calling for approval of the Patient Protection Act by the DC Council.

February 2013 – Worked with Jewish Community Relations Council on the successful effort to convince the Virginia legislature to expand Medicaid coverage.

January 2013  – Participated in anti-gun rally on the National Mall.

October 2012 – Participated in marches, phone banks, canvassing and electioneering that led to approval by voters of the DREAM Act and gay marriage referenda in Maryland.

August 2012 – Participated in the DREAM Act Clergy Advocacy Meeting to plan a strategy for passage of the referendum.

June 2012- Participated in the Capital Pride Festival and campaigned for the Maryland referendum on gay marriage.

March 2012 – Attended the annual conference of J Street, the “Political Home for Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel Americans.” Helped organize the Reason Rally, the “largest gathering of the Secular Movement in world history.”

December 2011 – Machar’s B’Nei Mitzvah students provided food and clothing to participants in Occupy DC and learned about their commitment to social action.

November 2011 – Organized a Jewish Community Vigil in support of Alan Gross, in collaboration with Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation