POWER: Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild

Image relating to [title]

 

 

 

To learn more about POWER at Mishkan Shalom,

contact any of our Core Team Leaders:

Steve NewmanLisagail Zeitlin, Julie CurrieCo-chairs

Margaret Lenzi, Outreach Coordinator

Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Clergy Task Force Co-Chair  

 

 

 

POWER Moving Forcefully into the New Political Landscape of 2017

More than 100 people from different congregations came to Mishkan Shalom for POWER’s Leadership Assembly on January 24, 2017. We discussed Team Reports, the 100 Days of Faithful Resistance, and some legislative proposals to move our work forward in the challenging times ahead.  There are many opportunities for Mishkan people to get involved – we will need all of us to work together to create the movement we need for transformative change now and in the future.  So keep reading and see how you can fit in.

POWER Teams are working hard in our priority areas
  • The Economic Dignity Team is concentrating on the $15 minimum wage campaign (POWER already got $12 min wage for all airport workers in a prior campaign); public banking; green jobs in solar power area; and implementing the Poverty Summit Philly solutions to Philly problems. 
  • The Education Team will continue to push for more of the Education funds to go through the Fair Funding Formula and will work with Our City/Our Schools Coalition to abolish the School Reform Commission so that there can be local democratic control of Phila public schools
  • The Live Free Team will continue to educate around mass incarceration and take action for criminal justice reform.  They will be looking at the Philly D.A. race to inject a racial justice platform for candidates.
  • POWER Metro just hired an organizer to work with the congregations in the Philly suburbs- 13 congregations and growing.
100 Days of Faithful Resistance

It started with a bang at the MLK D.A.R.E. march which brought together 2500 people around a new Bill of Rights.  The training on Direct Action also took place on MLK weekend – an interactive workshop to help gain the skills we will need.  There are more trainings/events coming up:

  • Feb 6 – Safe Haven Training on immigration and sanctuary congregations
  • Feb 28 – New Landscapes of Education in PA
  • March 15 – Social Media for Faithful Resistance
  • April 5 – Black Work Matters

There's a calendar of events on the POWER website. http://powerinterfaith.org/calendar

Two New POWER Initiatives Adopted at Assembly

Responding to the new realities facing us, the POWER Assembly debated and voted on two proposals:

1. To create two Rapid Response teams, one for Federal, one for State level needs. Those teams will be able to respond to new votes and decisions as they arise, determining resources available, and timing, and disseminating information to our networks to produce a quick response. That was approved.

2. To join with a local coalition organizing for education called "Our City Our Schools" that calls for, among other initiatives, to disband the SRC. That was also approved.

There are many ways to get involved with POWER, right now. If you feel that your personal passions match those of POWER, I encourage you to find your best method of involvement. That might mean joining teams, attending trainings, making calls, heading to a rally. If you cannot do those things, but you can provide some sustaining financial support, that would certainly be helpful. For example, you can make a monthly donation to POWER that is taken from your account each month. Very easy- Sign up here to donate! So jump in and get involved.  We need everyone!

 

 

2017 MLK-D.A.R.E. March

Join thousands from across the region for the MLK-D.A.R.E. March  - A Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment - on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 16th, starting at 11 am.  The theme of the march will be to make America better through racial justice, economic justice, and corporate accountability. To meet the challenge of the new administration, we must act boldly and with a clear message.  A centerpiece of the demonstration will be the "Declaration of Rights" where we we call on politicians, community leaders, and common citizens to support basic human rights we cherish like affordable housing, health care, and quality public education for all.

We will assemble at 6th & Market Streets on the southeast corner in front of the slave quarters from 11- 11:25 am (look for Mishkan Banner and march with us).  The march will begin promptly at 11:30 am and we will march 7 blocks south to the site of the demonstration and program which will be held from 12- 2 PM on the corner of South 6th St & Lombard in front of Mother Bethel African Episcopal Church (419 S 6th St, Phila 19147).

Here’s the complete schedule for the March 16, Monday, MLK March with options:
  • 10:00 am - Service at Mishkan: Reflections & Intentions for the March
  • 10:30 am - Carpool to the March from Mishkan
  • 11:00 - 11:25 am - Gather with the Mishkan contingent at the Slave Quarters on Independence Mall, 6th & Market (Look for Mishkan sign)
  • 11:30 am - March begins (7 blocks south on 6th St)
  • 12 noon - Rally begins at Mother Bethel AME, 419 S 6th St, Phila 19147*
RSVP IF YOU CAN JOIN THE MARCH & DEMONSTRATION   Click here to view/download MLK D.A.R.E. March Flyer

Historical background of the March 

In January of 1817, some 3.000 free African Americans gathered at Mother Bethel Church on 6th and Lombard for the largest gathering of free Blacks at the time. The meeting was to discuss the plan of the American Colonization Society, which sought to deport all free Blacks from America while keeping enslaved Blacks in bondage. The meeting was a defining moment in preventing the plan from ever gaining significant traction in the country with free Blacks and abolitionists. Two hundred years later, we gather again on the same parcel of land with a larger and more diverse coalition, still concerned about the rights of those in our nation who have often been marginalized.

 

100 DAYS OF FAITHFUL RESISTANCE

POWER and its allies are preparing for a "100 Days of Faithful Resistance" starting with a training in Non-Violent Direct Action on January 15th and the MLK-DARE (Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment) Coalition March on Monday, January 16th. As people of faith, we need to get ready for the beginning of the new Trump administration.

We are working with groups across the region to gather people of good will to strengthen our resolve, and our organizing skills, so that we can continue to powerfully stand up for justice and for the most vulnerable and marginalized in the months ahead. 

If you haven't already, please sign up today for these events on MLK Day Weekend that will kick off the "100 Days of Faithful Resistance":

1. Sunday, January 15th, 6pm-8pm: Non-Violent Direct Action Training at Second Baptist Church of Germantown. Click here to RSVP.

2. Monday, January 16th, 10am-2pm: MLK-DARE (Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment) Coalition March. Click here to RSVP and for more details.

Mark your calendars! The tentative training schedule for the "100 Days of Faithful Resistance" will also include the following:

- Becoming Sanctuary Congregations & Communities/Resisting Deportation & Incarceration, Monday, Feburary 6th, 6-8pm

- Understanding Power and the New Political Landscape in Pennsylvania and Beyond, post-Election, Tuesday, February 28th, 6pm-8pm

- Using Social Media for the Movement, Wednesday, March 15th, 6pm-8pm

- Black Work Matters/Fighting Racialized Poverty in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 6th, 6-8pm

- Grassroots Fundraising for the Movement, Monday, April 24th, 6pm

Check www.powerinterfaith.org for updates and more information.

Thank you for your commitment to standing up for justice and with the marginalized. We look forward to you joining us in 100 Days of Faithful Resistance!

 

MISHKAN'S VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE & SCHEDULE

180 New Voter Registrations by the deadline October 11, 2016!  That’s Mishkan’s goal for the Fall 2016 registration drive.   We can do it and here’s how:

Internal Registration – Coordinator Susan Windle

We want to make sure each Mishkan member is registered to vote.  Although we think this is not a major problem, people do move, change names, etc and need to update their registrations. We will contact you by email.  You can register, update registrations with changes and also get all those college kids living away from home to file an absentee ballot -- this can all be done online at votespa.com  OR you can pick up a registration form at Mishkan or at Rosh Hashana service, fill it out, and we will file it for you.

External Registration- Coordinators Julie CurrieLance LaverRivkah Jarosh

The Mishkan Team will be registering people in and around the Roxborough/Manayunk/ Northwest Philly area at local supermarkets, community centers like North Light Community Center, colleges.  Take a look at the schedule which we will be updating occassionally.   

SIGN UP.  Send an email to Margaret Lenzi or Rivka Jarosh with your name, contact info, and available times.

SIGN UP TIMES & PLACES 

Sundays at Mishkan – register folks at public locations and canvass neighborhoods around Manayunk/Roxborough.

How: Meet at Mishkan for a short training in the 1st floor social hall; get your clipboard, registrations; carpool to assigned locations; return to Mishkan w/completed registrations

Aug 28, 9:30-12

Sept 4, 9:30-12

Sept 11, 9:30-12

Sept 11, 12-2:30

Sept 18, 9:30-12

Sept 18, 12-2:30

Sept 25, 9:30-12

Sept 25, 12-2:30

Oct 2, 9:30-12

Oct 9, 9:30-12

Oct 9, 12-2:30

 

North Light Community Center (NLCC), 175 Green Lane, Manayunk 19127

How:  Meet at NLCC when their public programs are happening, get training & registration material, and go to work

Sept 14, Wed, 6:30-9pm: Sports & Social

Sept 15, Thurs, 6:30-9pm: Sports & Social

Sept 19, Mon, 12:30-3: Food Cupboard

Sept 23, Fri, 12:30-3: Food Cupboard

Sept 26, Mon, 4:30-6pm: After School Pick up

 

Thursdays at College

How: Meet at college (coordinator will give you exact location), get training & registration material, and register those students (residential students can register in PA)

Sept 8, Thurs, 10-1pm: Community College of Phila

Sept 15, Thurs, 11-1: Chestnut Hill College 

Oct 6, Thurs, 11-1: Chestnut Hill College

And Still Other Locations

Sept 15, Thurs, 9-1: Senior Fair at Roxborough Hospital

One of these times is bound to fit your schedule.  So take the plunge.    We will provide everything you need -- training material, registration forms and clipboards, and locations. All you need to do is show up.  

SIGN UP NOW! Send an email to Margaret Lenzi or Rivka Jarosh with your name, contact info, and available times.

 

POWER- MOVING INTO FALL 2016

 As we move into the Fall 2016 and a new Jewish year, the election is on everyone’s mind.  Although nonpartisan, POWER wants to ensure that everyone is registered to vote so that hopefully the right leaders will emerge for our country.  Thus, POWER is engaged in a massive voter registration drive and that means that each congregation has its part to play.  At the same time, POWER has been and will continue to work on the issues that are necessary to transform our society: Education, Economic Dignity, and Racial Justice.  The Mishkan POWER team needs your help – read on and see how you can plug in to work that speaks to your passion for tikkun olam.

Mishkan’s Voter Engagement Campaign

POWER congregations are stepping up to get as many people registered to vote befor the October 11 deadline.  Read the article above to find our how and to sign up to help. 

Education        

         Full and Fair Funding is what every school district in Pa deserves.  We are on our way but there is still a long road ahead.   Many Mishkan folks participated in the “Children Demand Educational Justice” rally in Harrisburg on June 28. Shortly thereafter, the PA Legislature did pass a $ 200 million increase in education funding.  POWER was also instrumental in getting the Basic Education Formula passed in June which takes into account factors such as poverty, English as a second language, and tax base.

         On September 13, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear the Fair Funding Lawsuit in Philadelphia.  The lawsuit, William Penn School District vs. PA Dept of Education, seeks to remedy decades of inequitable education funding resulting in thousands of children lacking the necessary resources to succeed.  More information about where to meet will be coming. Please come and show your support on September 13 for our public school children.

Economic Dignity

         At the well-attended Poverty Summit on May 19, the central message offered was that Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any of the top 10 cities by pro;ulation, and that that travesty can no longer be tolerated. More than 1 in 4 Philadelphians live below the poverty line ($24,000 for a family of 4).  Of these households, half are in deep poverty which is defined as a household earning less than $12,000 a year.  The Poverty Summit presented its "Black Work Matters" Report and developed a ten plank platform to address high poverty rate and called for reinvestment in Phila.

         As an extension of the Poverty Summit, POWER is in the streets supporting airport workers in their struggles for a livable wage and the right to unionize. In July, ten POWER clergy members took part in a sit in at the Phila airport, received citations, and were instrumental in getting the employer, American Airlines, to agree to meet with SEIU 32BJ.

         POWER is also standing with the Philadelphia stadium part-time workers in their continued fight to achieve equitable employment opportunities for Black workers, with Aramark, a company where 97% of the highest paid jobs are occupied by White employees, while 92% of the lowest paid jobs are occupied by Black employees.

         POWER LOCAL GREEN JOBS campaign is working with EQAT and other partners to get PECO to establish a solar energy jobs program in North Philadelphia as a way to address climate change and create jobs in an underserved area of our city.  POWER is part of a Solar Stakeholders group that will be negotiating with PECO to get real results.

Racial Justice

The need for racial justice cuts across all societal issues and its increasing absence recently has had deadly and disproportionate impacts. This team has been gathering individual members’ experiences with the criminal justice system while trying to discern how best to address and confront abusive police practices and criminal justice issues in the Greater Philadelphia.  Longer term working groups on white privilege and how to heal the racial divide are also ongoing.

As you can see, much is going on and much needs to be done.   Please join us.   Volunteer, Questions, or Info, contact the Mishkan POWER Team

Best wishes from the Mishkan POWER Team:

Julie Currie, Rivka Jarosh, Lance Laver, Margaret Lenzi, Steve Newman, Stan Shapiro, Susan Windle, Lisagail Zeitlin, Rabbi Shawn Zevit

POWER Legislative Assembly
Focus on Voter Engagement, Training & Programs
Tuesday, June 14, 2016  6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

AT: Living Waters United Church of Christ (6250 Loretto Avenue, Phila., 19111)

This fall, POWER is launching a non-partisan voter engagement program to engage thousands of our neighbors in a prophetic vision for racial and economic justice. All the POWER congregations will have a Voter Engagement Plan to register 100% of its congregants as well as reaching out to register those in their nearby communities. Mishkan has a plan and we will start to roll it out shortly AND we will need your help and support to make it successful. Join us at the Legislative Assembly to find out more.

CLICK HERE for more information. If you are going or want to carpool, contact Margaret Lenzi.

POWER: Children Demand Justice! Rally in Harrisburg, Capitol Steps
Tuesday, June 28, 2016  9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

POWER has been going to Harrisburg every Tuesday to demand fair and adequate funding for our public schools. The culmination will be on June 28, two days before the budget deadline, when POWER and its educational allies will have a huge gathering in Harrisburg to call on the general assembly to pass a budget that provides $400 million in new education funding.

Since school is out, we are urging children and their parents to come.

JOIN THE MISHKAN CONTINGENT! Rivka, Lisagail, Rabbi Shawn, Simcha, Margaret, Stan, Susan W., Wendy and others will be going. There will be some buses leaving from the POWER office and folks can also carpool.

If you are going or want to carpool, contact Margaret Lenzi.

 

 

POWER SPRING GATHERINGS:

POWER Legislative Assembly
At Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church (4500 N. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. [Pizza and socializing from 6:30 - 7:00 p.m.]

Join members of other congregations as we share updates on current campaigns and discuss and vote on issues to set the course for POWER’s work in upcoming months.

Click here to RSVP.

DAY OF ACTION IN HARRISBURG:
Holding Legislators Accountable for Failure to Fund Public Schools

Thursday, April 21, 2016
9:00 a.m. Bus departs POWER office for Harrisburg
3:00 p.m. Bus departs Harrisburg for Philadelphia

We will rally, pray, give testimony and visit key legislators with a strong message to fund our public schools. The highlight of this action will be serving warrants on legislators for their failure to govern which amounts to fiscal child neglect as children across the commonwealth attend underfunded schools.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP.

For more information, contact Margaret Lenzi.

POWER MOVES FORWARD WITH STRATEGY TEAMS

More than 250 people gathered on MLK Day at the POWER Assembly and Mishkan had a spirited cadre of 20 attending. It was the culmination of the Reflection and Renewal process that will help to propel us into the next stages of POWER.  We will move forward with a clearer decision making process and transparency to tackle the tough issues ahead.   There are many opportunities to get more involved in the work of POWER.   Join a Strategy Team on February 9, 7 pm at Second Baptist Church of Germantown, 6459 Germantown Ave, Phila, Pa.  The strategy teams will meet monthly on the same night and then come together at the end of the evening to report out and create a comprehensive campaign strategy. Below are five Strategy Teams with some of the issues that will come before them:
  • Education - Fair Full Funding Formula implementation, Community Schools, End the SRC, and Advisory Councils
  • Economic Dignity - Raise the minimum wage, green jobs, public bank and anti-poverty summit
  • Mass Incarceration/ LIVE FREE - end stop and frisk, criminal justice reforms, stop school to prison pipeline
  • Communication - develop ways to spread the POWER message and campaigns 
  • Fundraising - strategies to raise money to support this growing organization
If you are interested in joining any one of these strategy teams, please RSVP to let us know. It’s a great time to get involved as they are just getting started again.

POWER LEADERSHIP ASSEMBLY:

Monday, January 18, 2016, 4:00 p.m.

At Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad Street, Phila.

Help us as we launch the next chapter of POWER as a transformative voice in Philadelphia. Join as we discuss our vision and activities for the year ahead. 

A TIME TO REFLECT, ENGAGE, RENEW & ENERGIZE

“The last four years has been an incredible first chapter in the life of our organization. Together we’ve built an authentic community that crosses racial, faith, geographic, and socio-economic lines. And together we’ve begun dismantling injustices through powerful, faith-rooted collective action.”

                                                                                            -- Wes Lathrop, Deputy Director of POWER

POWER wants to continue growing ever stronger and effective. To do this, POWER is embarking on an organization-wide process of Reflection & Renewal. The first step is to sit down with Mishkan Shalom's congregational team, and others in the congregation, and answer questions about priorities and organizational structure. There are two opportunities:

    Saturday, October 31, 1:00 p.m. after Shabbat Services in the Chapel

    Wednesday, November 4, 6:30 p.m. in the Library


If you’ve been involved a little or a lot, or want to get involved now or simply learn more, your input is needed to bring POWER to the next chapter of its organizational life. The revisioning process will continue this Fall and early 2016. So keep tuned!

OTHER POWER EVENTS COMING UP FALL 2015:

  • Voter Shabbat: Saturday, October 31. This year, the election on November 3 is especially important because three judges will be elected to the PA Supreme Court -- the most in 250 years -- and it will set the tone for many years to come. This Court will decide issues such as public school funding, minimum wage, women’s right to choose, regulating guns and voting rights. On the eve of the election, POWER is encouraging its member congregations to Get Out and Vote. At Saturday Shabbat services, Stan Shapiro will talk about the important issues of this election.
  • Education & Justice for All: Thursday, November 12, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. POWER’s 2015 Fall Gala Fundraiser will feature Helen Gym, Education Activist and Philadelphia City Council Candidate. Reserve tickets for this fundraiser here.
  • POWER Leadership Assembly: Thursday, November 19, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street. We will start with food and fellowship at 6 PM with agenda starting at 6:30 PM. The Assembly presents an opportunity to go deeper with the kind of reflection and assessment necessary for POWER’s growth as well as laying out some clear next steps to ensure that we walk into 2016 aligned and ready to do some powerful work together.

CONTACT: Margaret Lenzi for more information or if you want to carpool.

 

POWER'S Moral Takeover of Harrisburg for Educational Justice: June 20 - 30, 2015

From June 20 - 30, POWER and other faith-based organizations from across PA are planning a moral takeover of the Capitol in Harrisburg to let lawmakers know we won’t back down until they pass full, fair funding for our schools.

After Pennsylvania voters gave a clear mandate to lawmakers to fund public schools in November’s election, Harrisburg still isn’t listening. PA has the most unequally-funded public schools in the United States, including a racial bias towards districts with more white students. Across the state, in rural, suburban, urban, black, brown and white communities alike, our school districts have been underfunded for decades and our kids can't wait any longer for a 21st century education.

Gov. Wolf has proposed a modest increase to public education that is only 15% of what would fully fund schools.  The House of Representatives proposed a budget with no new money for schools at all. Meanwhile, both want cuts in taxes for corporations. Clearly, we don't have a financial crisis in Pennsylvania, we have a moral one!

If our lawmakers won't do the right thing and listen to Pennsylvanians' real pain and experiences, we have no other choice but to go right to their doorstep and bring our values to them.

June 20: Shabbat Service at 10:30 am & Interfaith Ceremony & Teach-in starting at noon

Join the largest interfaith service in PA history on the steps of the State Capitol, Main Capitol Building, N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg. Buses will be leaving from the POWER office (1429 N. 11th St) at 7:30 AM if you want to go to the Shabbat Service and at 9 AM to go to the interfaith service and teach-in. All buses will be returning by 6:00 p.m.

Reserve your seat on the bus to Harrisburg Now!

If you cannot go to Harrisburg, Rabbi Shawn will be leading services at Mishkan on that day, with a kavanah on education, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Harrisburg.

June 29, Rabbi Day of Action

Each day from June 20 - 30 will have a focus; June 29th being a "Rabbi Day of Action." If you can go to Harrisburg on that day, there will be activities planned throughout the day in which you can participate. If you can’t go, join a Mishkan Fast for Public School Funding.

JOIN US AND TAKE A STAND

Bring your voice, your prayers, and your body to Harrisburg. If you are going to Harrisburg on June 20 for the interfaith service, or want more information about the June 29th Rabbi Day of Action, please contact Lisagail Zeitlin or Julie Curie who will be coordinating the Mishkan contingent.

100 Day Fast for Family Values:

Mishkan Shalom's Fast Day: April 3, 2015

To draw attention to the urgent need for a Full, Fair, Funding Formula for our schools -- that doesn't come disproportionately off the backs of middle and low-income families -- POWER is partaking in the "Fast for Family Values" and is asking all its congregations to pick one day of the 100 days between March 23 and June 30 to fast.

Joined by a large crowd of clergy and lay people from Allentown, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and the Greater Philly area, POWER launched this statewide "Fast for Family Values" in the Capitol Rotunda with preaching, prayers, songs and the blowing of a shofar that was so loud it disrupted a house budget meeting in the next room!

[Photo: Mishkan POWER team caucuses at Power Assembly rally in Harrisburg. Margaret Lenzi holds sign as we listened to speakers on the Rotunda in the capital building.]

Mishkan Shalom chose Friday, April 3rd, from dawn to the Seder, to be our communal day of supporting this 100 Day initiative. Different communities across our state will be signing up, for the same or different days, in solidarity with the push for a Full, Fair, Funding Formula for Pennsylvania's schools.

Rabbi Shawn said that April 3 has significance for Jews at this time of year: “It is in keeping with a tradition of the "Fast of the First-born," the day prior to the first evening of Passover and the First Seder. As a firstborn male in my family I have observed this in the past. Now, I feel compelled to do so again, but from an egalitarian perspective where any young person, or adult, who wishes to join me can do so in keeping with the initiative we are part of, through POWER, and our own moral commitment to a economic and educational justice in our state, and the city of Philadelphia, which is so impoverished educationally and, especially in areas of race, economically.”

Spring Assembly: Education Campaign

Thursday, March 19, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Living Water United Church of Christ

6250 Loretto Avenue, Phila., PA 19111

Join POWER and congregations from across the city as we kick off the Education Campaign. We will discuss the legislative and action plans of how are we going to get a fair, full funding formula by June 30. To carpool and for more information, contact Margaret Lenzi

Photo: Mishkan contingent hard at work at POWER Spring Assembly.

Voices of POWER: A Multi-faith, Multi-racial Music Celebration

Sunday, March 22, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

St. Malachy's Catholic Church  1429 N. 11th Street, Phila., PA 19122 

We often raise our voices for justice in the streets and in the halls of power. On March 22nd, we'll come together for the second year in a row to lift our voices in thanks and celebration. Join hundreds of Philadelphians for Voices of POWER, a multi-faith, multi-racial music celebration to help fuel POWER's efforts for full fair school funding, living wage jobs and racial justice in 2015.

Tickets: $10.00.

Click here to reserve your ticket for Voices of POWER.

Join the Conversation: Come to a House Meeting on Race

Race matters--whether it's about who poor people are, which schools are underfunded, who is most likely to be fatally targeted by police, or who populates our prisons. Activities focusing on racial justice have engaged many Mishkan members in the last few months -- Ferguson die-ins and services, Mishkan members speaking about their own experience as persons of color committed to Jewish life, the M.L.K. D.A.R.E. Day March, New Jim Crow Study/Action Group/Dallas 6. Twenty Mishkan members recently joined over 200 people across the city in the POWER-sponsored trainings on Race, Faith and Power.

POWER is supporting a city-wide conversation on race at its many congregations during February, Black History Month. These house meetings have also been encouraged as issues of race and class underscore all of the core issues we are working on through POWER right now: Living Wage, Full Fair Funding of Education, Immigration and Racial Justice in policing and incarceration policies.

Mishkan is part of this effort, and we hope you will be part of the conversation on race, faith and power. We invite you to a Mishkan house meeting for an intentional, sacred conversation about race and racism. House meetings have been the building block of movements for generations and create safe space to explore our biases and experiences. We will share stories about how racism affects us and impacts our lives in ways that color our relationships, coalitions and alliances.

We urge you to sign up for one that is convenient for you at SignUpGenius:

  • Feb. 8, Sunday, 3-4:30 p.m.: Co-hosts Lance Laver, Ellen Tichenor
  • Feb. 12, Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m.: Co-hosts Barbara Breitman, Margaret Lenzi
  • Feb. 18, Wednesday, 7-8:30 p.m.: Co-hosts Mordechai Liebling, Lynne Iser, Susan Saxe, Moon Smith

The co-hosts are committed to making these conversations safe and meaningful. We want to explore how racism impacts us. A deeper understanding will help us in the work we do in a multiethnic organization such as POWER and in our everyday lives. We hope that you will be part of the conversation on race, faith, and power.

Questions?: Contact Margaret Lenzi

MLK Weekend: Pray, Listen, Discuss, MARCH! January 16 - 19, 2015

Our full weekend of potluck, services, speakers, family programs and school Tikkun Olam activities culminate in Monday's City-Wide MLK "D.A.R.E." Day March: Day of Action, Resistance and Empowerment. Learn more and find complete schedule here.

M.L.K. D.A.R.E. Day March Mishkan Contingent 1.19.2015

Some of the more than forty members of Mishkan Shalom who, arm-in-arm with 7,000 other Philadelphians, spent an inspirational day marching as a member congregation of P.O.W.E.R., and other organizations we support, for a $15/hour living wage, for full, fair, funding for our State school system, and for racial justice and an end to stop-and-frisk police policies.

Mishkan contingent sings We Are Marching in the Light of God. Check us out on Facebook!

Grappling With Today's Realities from a Black-Jewish Perspective

David Love, a member of Mishkan Shalom, is a writer and executive editor of BlackCommentator.com. He spoke about race, ethnicity and Jewish life during Sabbath morning services, January 17, 2015, as part of our M.L.K. weekend programming. Click on the link, above, to read David's interview by the Jewish Exponent. (Photo: David with his family.)

Full Fair Funding Campaign

POWER's successful GOTV campaign reached over 6,000 commitments to vote! This is only the beginning of our struggle to get a full fair funding formula for PA schools.

AN INTERFAITH MOVEMENT BUILDING A CITY OF OPPORTUNITY THAT WORKS FOR ALL

Mishkan Shalom is proud to be a member congregation of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER). With more than 40 congregations from all across the city, POWER intentionally brings people together across the lines of race, faith, income level and neighborhood – lines which have historically kept Philadelphians divided.

POWER is composed of people of faith committed to the work of bringing about justice here and now, in our city and our region. By strengthening and mobilizing our networks of relationships, POWER seeks to exercise power in the public arena so that the needs and priorities of all Philadelphians are reflected in the systems and policies that shape our city.

POWER believes in the potential for transformation of Philadelphia – its people, its neighborhoods, its institutions, its politics. POWER congregations accept the responsibility that as people of faith, we must exercise our power to help lead this transformation. POWER congregations are launching policy change campaigns to improve communities in Philadelphia through issues chosen through consensus of member communities.

Campaigns for 2013-14 focused on a fair education funding forumula, a living wage in the city of Philadelphia and immigration issues. In the wake of our great victory on the Living Wage, POWER now – 2014-15 – turns its attention to the next crucial item on our platform, restoring a Full, Fair Funding Formula for PA schools. POWER is also working to ensure the implementation of the Living Wage ordinance. Last spring, when we won Ballot Measure 1, we experienced how we can change peoples' lives when we work together. Now, we have an opportunity to make prophetic change in our public education system, as we engage voters about a funding formula and our vision for a transformed city and state.

POWER at Mishkan Shalom is powered by our own Core Team Leaders:

Steve Newman, Co-chair

Lisagail Zeitlin, Co-chair

Margaret Lenzi, Outreach Coordinator

Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Clergy Task Force Member

MISKAN SHALOM'S PLAN ON VOTER ENGAGEMENT: Fall 2014

As part of POWER, Mishkan Shalom was committed to move a mass of voters to the polls this fall on issue of a full, fair funding formula for public schools in Pa. Our goal was to produce 100 votes from infrequent voters, make contact with more than 1700 voters, and have 40 shifts of phone banking and door canvassing. In addition, we planned to get 270 pledge postcards from Mishkan members who would make education one of the top issues in the vote in the general election in November. This was a nonpartisan campaign and we worked to engage voters on the important issue of education. We did this with a large core of volunteers doing phone banking and door-to-door canvassing.

To Learn More:

See POWER's Prophetic Purpose Statement

See article on POWER’s work in which Mishkan Shalom has a presence.

See Reconstructionist Movement resources.

See article about POWER in the December issue of the Kol Shalom (page 12).

See Pictures from POWER's Leadership Assembly at Mishkan.

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128 - ph: (215) 508-0226 / office@mishkan.org Site map