Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing

Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing: finding hope as we build a more just society. Rabbi Brous calls us to reclaim “the moral heart of our tradition.” We bring the IKAR community together to fight for social justice, inspired by Torah.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING MEETINGS: Join us for our monthly Community Organizing meetings on the third Tuesday of each month (on Zoom for now) to learn how you can participate in our campaigns.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 19 at 7pm PT (on Zoom). IKAR CEO Melissa Balaban, Board Vice Chair Michelle Rosenthal, and Tara Baruskas, Executive Director of our partner organization Community Corporation of Santa Monica will be taking your questions on IKAR’s plans to build affordable housing.

When our community moves into our new home on La Cienega Boulevard, at least 55 formerly homeless seniors will also be moving into their new homes on our site. Read what Director of Community Organizing, Brooke Wirtschafter wrote about it in the Forward.

THE EDUCATED ACTIVIST: We believe that the best activists are those who are educated about issues. Periodically, we read essential books and host discussions with authors on Zoom and in-person.

Our next Educated Activist Book Group will be on Tuesday, April 26 at 6pm PT (on Zoom). We’ll be reading three essays from The 1619 Project and watching two short films.
Chapters: Fear by Leslie Alexander & Michelle Alexander, pp 97-122; Capitalism by Matthew Desmond, pp 165-185; Traffic by Kevin Krause, pp 405-414.

See our list of social justice readings & discussions.


Affordable Housing & Homelessness Campaign

We’re thrilled to announce that IKAR is co-sponsoring AB 2244, authored by Assembly housing chair Buffy Wicks (D- Oakland). AB2244 will expand affordable housing by reducing parking requirements for religious institutions (like IKAR) that want to build affordable housing. Read about it here.

Campaign for A Pathway to Citizenship

Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing volunteers recently met with the offices of every congressional representative representing IKAR members. We urged them to include a Pathway to Citizenship for all undocumented workers, especially those who risked their lives as essential workers during the pandemic, in future legislation.

Campaigns for Justice System Reform

We continue to work with our partners at LA Voice to encourage our City and County to adopt a moral budget that supports the neediest among us rather than criminalizing poor people and people of color. We are currently researching other legislation and will soon share more information.

Campaigns to Address Systemic Racism

We have been fighting against systemic racism since our inception. We continue to work with our partners at LA Voice towards a more just and ethical society. Currently, we are working to reimagine public safety in our city and state, by working with our elected leaders toward a moral budget that redirects funds away from police to social services in underserved communities. We are currently researching other legislation and will soon share more information.


Hosting our elected representatives for Shabbat Services and discussions lets them know who we are and the values we share and helps make our voices heard from City Hall to Sacramento to Capitol Hill. Guests have included: Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman Ted Lieu, City Attorney Mike Feuer, State Senator Ben Allen, and State Senator Holly Mitchell, among many others.

We host Zoom meetings with our local and state representatives to encourage them to support the issues we care about. Check out our calendar for upcoming meetings and Know your Reps sessions. You can also find out if upcoming reps are your representatives by clicking here.

Here are the recent Know Your Reps conversations:
Know Your Reps with CA State Senator Holly Mitchell
Know Your Reps with Senator Ben Allen
Know Your Reps with LA City Council Member David Ryu
Candidate Forum for District 4 (David Ryu and Nithya Raman)

Check out our previous Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing meetings:

October 19– Tommy Newman, VP of Engagement and Activation at United Way LA answered our questions about housing and homelessness as we prepare to launch our next housing campaign.

August 17 – Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing spoke with CA State Assembly Member Laura Friedman about why it’s so hard to pass housing legislation and what we can do to advocate for green and just housing policy.

July 20– Minyan Tzedek Community Organizing meeting on July 20th.

June 15 – A Deeper Dive into the Proposed Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA)

May 25 – Research meeting with Senator Sydney Kamlager about two of her bills, SB 679, a housing bill, and the CRISIS Act, a bill to create a pilot program for non-police emergency response.

April 20 – A discussion of several possible state legislative campaigns on housing and justice system reform

March 16 – Civics 101 – State Government

February 16 – Civics 101 – County Government

January 19 – Civics 101 – City Government

Watch our MLK Day Discussion

Read a brief history of community organizing at IKAR.