Social Action Update

Social Action updates are posted every week on the Social Action page of our website and on this website calendar.

JUNE 15, DURING FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES: Guest Speaker: Vincent Thompson  Leader of the #FREENewYork Campaign

67% of people held in New York jails have not been convicted of any crime. They are legally innocent, but denied their freedom because of New York’s broken bail, discovery and speedy trial laws. RSNS is joining with the New York Chapter of Bend the Arc to support the #FREENewYork campaign, which advocates for key criminal justice reforms in New York State. Bend the Arc is part of a coalition organized by JustLeadershipUSA to change New York's laws through a campaign they call #FREENewYork. Join us at services to hear from Vincent Thompson a leader of the #FREEnewyork campaign in Nassau County. JustLeadershipUSA believes in putting formerly incarcerated people at the center of the campaign to end mass incarceration. We will learn Vincent's story and how we are able to support these crucial reforms. For more about the campaign, watch this video.

JUNE 19, 6PM: Juneteenth rally in support of the Free New York campaign, outside the Nassau County Jail (100 Carman Ave in East Meadow). Join the #FREEnewyork campaign in a statewide protest calling for criminal justice reforms to fix New York's broken bail, discovery and speedy trial laws. RSNS is supporting Bend the Arc's involvement in this work and we will be welcoming a leader from this campaign at Friday night services this week.

JUNE 24: MARCH IN NYC WITH JEW YORK PRIDE! Back for its third year, join LGBTQ and ally Jews from all over the New York tri-state area for Jew York Pride! Please join us and the rest of the LGBTQ-Jewish community for a full day of Pride events. Register today!

11:00 am - 1:00 pm: Kick off the morning us for our community-wide Pride Brunch at WeWork Times Square (1460 Broadway, entrance on West 41st Street).

1:00 am - 2:30 pm: Join us for a viewing station as we watch the March before heading downtown to march ourselves! Location TBA in advance of June 24.

3:00 pm - 5:30 pm: We’ll regroup in Chelsea for the Pride March -- take a look at the new march route here! Join together with the entire LGBTQ community as we March to celebrate how far we’ve come, and look forward to the future!

Please be advised that Heritage of Pride has capped the number of marchers for each delegation, and participants will be required to wear an official wristband for entry to the march route.  Jew York Pride will receive 150 wristbands, which we will distribute upon registration at the brunch (one per march registrant). You must register in advance and pick up your wristband at the brunch in order to secure a spot in the march. Towards the end of brunch, we will distribute any unclaimed wristbands on a first-come-first-served basis. Please email Amram Altzman, Keshet Youth Programs Associate, if you have any questions.


Last week, there was push for a floor vote in the New York State Senate on the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) and the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). On Wednesday, there was a procedural vote to bring the CCCA and RHA to the floor as amendments – which would have finally resulted in a Senate vote on these bills after years of inaction. Senator Phillips – a co-sponsor of the CCCA – chose to walk out of the room just before the vote to bring these bills to the floor, and returned after the vote. Her decision to abandon this legislation at such a critical moment cost killed any chance of a floor vote for these bills.

Senator Phillips has repeatedly assured reproductive health supporters that she is in favor of enhanced access to contraception through the CCCA, going so far as to co-sponsor the CCCA. In light of this development, now would be an important time to make a call to Senator Phillips' office at (516)-746-5924 to express your disappointment.

Here’s a script you can use:
“My name is _____ and I am a constituent of Senator Phillips. I am calling to express my disappointment that the Senator walked out on the procedural vote on the CCCA and RHA. As a constituent, I feel discouraged that she failed to stand with New York women and families by stepping away in this critical moment.”


During a week that has been marked by heartbreaking news about family separation and the destruction of the asylum system, many of you have been asking how you can help. As a HIAS Welcoming Congregation, here are a number of ways HIAS suggests you can help:

  1. Sign a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on him to preserve the U.S. asylum system.
  2. Send a message to your Member of Congress asking them to protect people seeking safety in the United States.
  3. Join a rally tomorrow, Thursday, June 14th to protest the cruel and unjustified separation of children from their parents along the U.S. border. There are rallies in cities across the country. If you join a rally, whether you choose to print HIAS signs or bring your own, be sure to take photos and share them in the  Jews for Refugees Facebook group or tweet to @HIASrefugees.  
  4. Call your Member of Congress and let them know that separating families at the border is unacceptable. 
  5. Plan ahead for World Refugee Day on Wednesday, June 20th, a moment to honor the resilience of refugees around the globe seeking safety for themselves and their children. It is also a day to reflect on who we are and what we stand for. There are rallies in NYCDC, and across the country, in addition to a resourceful toolkit to help you plan your own.  
  6. Learn more about asylum on our blog or through our recent briefing call.
  7. Donate to help HIAS continue to provide free-of-charge legal services to asylum seekers.
  8. Volunteer with HIAS' asylum seeker clients in NY and DC. 
  9. For ongoing guidance on ways to help refugees, visit