Chochmat Halev Action Minyan

Jewish tradition has a word for sacred gatherings- “minyans.” Chochmat HaLev is participating in a nationwide effort to promote Jewish values and organize our community to take action. We are developing action minyans based on issues of interest, and will collaborate to determine our next action steps. All are welcome.
We have over 50 people who have signed up so far! We want to keep you engaged, so a few have us have been meeting to plan our next couple large group meetings. This page will give you updates on those, on our 3 sub-groups, and actions and information you may find useful.

Action Minyan Plans:
Next meeting will be June 27th.

Our 3 sub-groups are meeting, planning, and taking various actions, which is all great, and we have agreed that it is also useful to come together occasionally as a large group to stay connected as community and support each other. The meeting will include meditation, a teaching, a collective action, sub-group updates, and more!

* Action Minyan events: we have ideas for events such as a Healing Circle, Dance for Democracy, Art for Justice, Drumming Circle, Meditation Retreat for Justice, etc. If you have any interest in helping us plan an event like this, please let us know!

* Help needed: we need other people to step up to help with meeting planning and facilitation, communications, and administration/logistics support. Please email: if you can help!

Interest Groups:

* We have 3 Interest Groups up and running:

1. Flipping Districts: currently working with other people of  faith getting together to work in the central valley Congressional District. Bend the Arc Bay Area is now part of the newly formed Valley/Bay Alliance (VBA), an alliance consisting primarily of members from faith-based communities in both Stanislaus County/CA District 10 and the SF Bay Area.
“A day in District 10”
To Be Announced
Transportation from the Bay Area will be provided.

* Panel discussion by leaders of different grass root organizations from Stanislaus County, geared at introducing Stanislaus County and its complexity to people from the SF Bay Area
* Valley-Bay relationship-building activities
* Alliance vision and goal-setting meeting

Following the initial kickoff event, Bend the Arc’s action minyan members will engage in monthly actions as initiated by the valley contingent with some opportunities for local Bay Area actions in between trips to Stanislaus County.
As the 2018 elections campaign forms, our goal is that the connections and relationships the VBA has established in CA D10 will help bring forward voters that are committed to social justice and voter engagement and who will support candidates that share these values.
The work that we will be doing in the near future will focus solely on issues of social justice and civic engagement. Nothing political.  As such, the work is completely in line with a synagogue’s 501(c)3 purpose and regulations.
Bend the Arc’s action minyans and our involvement in the VBA are for activists who are interested in getting involved with the work in CA D10 through a Jewish and faith-based context, with the goal of building long term and meaningful relationships and connecting with people in Stanislaus County as well as with other communities of faith from the Bay Area.

We really hope that you will join us! More details and RSVP to come.

2. Climate/Environment: currently working on internal efforts for Chochmat to be more “green”; also looking into doing an event for  Lag B’Omer, and partnerships such as Urban Adamah, and the Food and Water Safety Org. We are also working on changing to LED in homes, and solar use plans.

3. Solidarity: initial focus on immigrants and refugees;  support and engage with communities directly impacted by the administration’s policies. Our solidarity team will focus on rapid response and actions, long-term relationship building with our neighbors, and trainings to develop our skills to be effective allies.  Sign up here.

Actions You Can Take:

    • Sunday May 21st: Anti Racism, Internalized Anti-Semitism, and Direct Action 101
      These trainings offer a great opportunity for our community activists to get the training needed to organize effectively and to connect with other action Minyan members. This two part organizing workshop will prepare you to fight and win in the age of Trump. 
    • Date Coming Kick-off event in Modesto. (See above)
    • The Resistance Calendar (Michael Moore) 

Jews of Color Community Building
Jews of Color are invited to connect with a group of other Jews of Color committed to justice work. To get involved email Leili at

Criminal Justice Reform Team
Join a team of young Jewish leaders organizing to reform California’s bail bond system and pass drug enhancement reform. For more information email Leili at

Jeremiah Fellowship for Young Adults
The Jeremiah Fellowship is now accepting applications through May 19th. Join a community of young Jews learning and working together for social justice. Learn more and apply.

Curated Information You May Find Useful:

* Women’s March on of liberation

* Bend The Arc blog post “10 Steps For the American Jewish Community to Pursue Justice in the Trump Era”:

* Digital Democracy:
article about it:

* How to Talk to Congress from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

* Words to Use in Resistance:

* Wise Advice from the Daughter of MLK, Jr.:
1. Don’t use his name; EVER (45 will do)
2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone;
3. Do not argue with those who support him–it doesn’t work;
4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest
policies will grow;
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
7. Support artists and the arts;
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
9. Take care of yourselves; and
10. Resist!
11. Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”
12. When you post or talk about him, don’t assign his actions to him, assign them to “The Republican Administration,” or “The Republicans.” This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don’t like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

The 3 keys for me right now in dealing with the state of our country are Vigilance, Resistance, and Self-Care. I bless you in finding the right balance of those things for you!