Rodef Sholom nets social action award from Reform group

Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael received the Irving J. Fain Award for social action from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism for its partnership with neighboring Venetia Valley School.

Rabbi Michael Lezak

“Crossing the Street — A Shul, a School and an Evolving Covenant” was one of nine programs from Reform congregations honored in April at the Religious Action Committee’s Consultation on Conscience conference in Washington, D.C. The award has been presented for 30 years to recognize synagogue social action programming.

Rodef Sholom’s “Crossing the Street” initiative, launched in 2013, brings together students from the congregation and from Venetia Valley School to work on service projects. Students and adults from Rodef Sholom also volunteer to tutor Venetia Valley students, and Rodef Sholom raised money to hire a full-time literacy specialist to support ESL students at the school.

“We realized that we needed to step across the street, outside of our comfort zone, to broaden our idea of community and to engage and connect with our neighbors,” Rodef Sholom Rabbi Michael Lezak said in a statement. — j. staff