Environmental Action


Help Build Vegetable Gardens at Lower Merion Houses of Worship on April 25

One of our interfaith partners, Bethel AME Church of Ardmore, started a Victory Gardens project 5 years ago, with an aim to strengthen the community around it, assist families who have gardens, and supply fresh produce to local food banks. The church maintains a garden on their property and builds gardens for others with the support of Trellis for Tomorrow’s Food for All program, an Exton-based non-profit organization.

If this community imitative sounds appealing, join friends and neighbors on April 25th to prepare and build vegetable gardens at different houses of worship in Lower Merion. If you have questions about the event or need more information, please email Toby Gang. To sign up to participate, please email  Helene Bludman.

And our thanks to Jane Horwitz for helping to organize this event.

Opportunities to Learn More About Environmental Action You Can Take

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light invites you to join their monthly meeting on Monday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. The topic is “Farming for the Future: Degradation to Regeneration,” presented by Eric Sauder, manager of regenerative agriculture and geospatial services at TeamAg, Inc. You can register here.

Also, as part of Faith Climate Action Week (April 16 – April 25), Interfaith Power & Light invites you to a free screening of Kiss the Ground, a film about ways that we can regenerate our soil to help us rapidly stabilize our climate, restore ecosystems, and create food for all. There will also be a live webinar with the filmmaker and director, Josh Tickell, and Veronica Kyle of Faith on Wednesday April 21 at 11:00 a.m. Click here to learn more and register.

Thank you to Beth David member Gayle Samuels for sharing the information above.

More on the Environment – From the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Here are some additional ways you can take action in recognition of Earth Month:

Skills for Bridging the Divide

A Hybrid Program Facilitated by the National Organization, Braver Angels.

Monday, April 19, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Our country has become increasingly polarized over political issues. This free workshop will teach you strategies for both listening and speaking with people who have differing political opinions – but not to try to change anyone’s mind. You will learn and practice skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of meaningful dialogue.

We learned about this program through the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh and the Center for Loving Kindness of JCC Pittsburgh, one of the Reform Jewish communities involved in the Pennsylania Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. They are among several Pittsburgh-based organizations hosting the program, but you don’t have to live in Pittsburgh to participate. It is open to anyone interested in having better conversations with people on the other side (or the same side!) of the political aisle.

This event is considered a hybrid program because before the Zoom workshop Monday evening, you are asked to complete a 40-minute, interactive course online. You will be provided the link for the interactive course after you register.

To register for the event, click here. For questions, contact Lindy Ferriss and Michele Charmello at pghba@braverangels.org.


 National Racial Justice Campaign Launch

Wednesday, April 28, 8:00 p.m. EDT

Join members of the Reform movement from across the country on April 28, to learn about the RAC’s 2021 Racial Justice Campaign and how you can get involved. The campaign will address systemic racism by demanding legislative and policy changes on both a state and federal level. It will also push members of our community to look within our movement and ourselves, and address our own behaviors, practices, and policies through the lens of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Register at http://bit.ly/RAC2021-Action. By the way, our own Cantor Goodlev is a member of the RAC planning team that developed this campaign.

One other thing. Please save the date of Tuesday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m., for the launch of RAC-PA’s 2021 Racial Justice Campaign. More details to follow. Register at www.rac.org/PaLaunch.

Get Ready for the 2021 PA Primary Election

May 18, 2021


We know; it seems like only yesterday we were talking about the 2020 Election. While we’re not electing the president in 2021, that doesn’t mean we can skip voting in the PA Primary Election, taking place May 18. In fact, this year’s primary election is very consequential, as Pennsylvanians will be voting on four ballot questions, including three amendments to our State Constitution. At least two of these amendments are considered controversial, which is why they have been specifically timed to appear on the ballot in an off-year, primary election, when voter turnout is notoriously low.

Voters will also be choosing candidates to run in the General Election for three statewide courts – the Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Courts – plus a number of county and local offices. In many school districts, control of the school board will be on the ballot. It’s also worth noting that many state, county, and local races, for both parties, are contested.

With all of this at stake, your participation in the 2021 Primary election is crucial. And for those of you who are registered Independents, members of third parties, or unaffiliated with any party, while you can’t vote for any of the candidates running in the primary, you absolutely can vote on the ballot questions. Therefore, every registered voter should make a plan to vote, and if you’re not registered, take care of this right away.

Here’s more information you should be aware of:

Dates to keep in mind: 

  • May 3:       Last day to register to vote or change your party affiliation.
  • May 11:     Last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot.
  • May 18:     Election Day; polls open 7:00 a.m. –  8:00 p.m.
  • May 18:     Last day for your county board of elections to receive your voted mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8:00 p.m.).

Not sure you’re registered? Check your registration status here.

Need to register to vote or change your party affiliation? Click here.

Do you want to vote by mail? You must apply to receive a mail-in or absentee ballot, even if you voted by mail in the last election. Apply here for more information and to apply online.

Note: You may have requested to be on the annual mail-in ballot list, but all this means is that you will automatically be sent an application to receive a mail-in ballot. In fact, you should have already received your application. You must fill out and return the application, or submit an online application, to receive a ballot.

  • Want to learn about the ballot questions? The nonpartisan League of Women Voters has done extensive research on the ballot measures. To read the League’s analysis click here and enter your address. You will also find information about the statewide judicial candidates on the ballot and be able to watch League-sponsored debates among the judicial candidates.
  • Want to preview the candidates who will appear on your ballot? Visit your county election office; a list is available here.
  • Best sources for voting information: the state’s official website for voting information (votespa.com) and the League of Women Voters’ website (www.vote411.org). And coming soon, Committee of Seventy’s BYO Ballot. This digital tool will enable voters in the five-county Southeastern PA region compile their candidate choices and ballot question answers before casting their vote at home or the polls.