Putting Social Justice on the Table

In addition to its specific meanings for the Jewish people, Passover evokes and embodies broader social justice themes of resistance, freedom, and redemption. With this in mind, the PJTC Social Justice Committee has compiled this Haggadah supplement in order to amplify and deepen the Jewish connections to social justice and to underscore their application to the world we live in today.

Our purpose is not to write an alternative Haggadah, but to offer a considered collection of readings, activities, and songs that both extend the traditional Seder and resonate with it. We have tried to include selections that will be meaningful (and interesting) for children and young people as well as their parents and grandparents, and we invite you to pick and choose what will work best for your own Seder.

For the PJTC Social Justice Committee,
–Hal S. Barron, Louise Derman-Sparks, and Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom

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We’re on a planet with an urgent problem. How shall we respond, collectively?

Join us for a bagel breakfast and talk led by Robert Haw of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Citizens’ Climate Lobby as he discusses climate science and climate solutions. The presentation will demonstrate why man-made climate change is alarmingly real and illustrate present-day manifestations of climate change. Haw will also speak on H.R 763, a bi-partisan bill recently introduced to Congress. This bill, advocated for 10 years by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, is unique because of the sizeable annual rebate it will return to American households. Come and learn how this legislation can become a first step in the Green New Deal!

A physicist by training and a graduate of Stanford University, Robert Haw has been employed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 25 years as an interplanetary navigation engineer. He’s currently working on SMAP, an Earth-orbiting spacecraft monitoring soil moisture levels around the planet, and for the Mars Sample Return program.

In 2011 Robert co-founded the Pasadena Foothills chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization devoted to building the political will for a livable planet. He has spoken frequently to elected representatives and public audiences in the San Gabriel Valley about both the urgency of addressing global warming, and practical, affordable, and bi-partisan solutions to it.


President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.



1434 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107

From Ferguson, to Baltimore, to Los Angeles, to NFL football games, the issue of police brutality and racial profiling has ignited a national debate and a grassroots movement for reform. Pasadena is not immune to this problem. A recent incident—the unwarranted and brutal beating of Chris Ballew by two Pasadena police officers—has triggered a local campaign to
address the Pasadena Police Department’s use-of-force practices and policies and to engage the new interim police chief in constructive discussion.

PJTC’s Social Justice Committee sponsors a discussion of police accountability in Pasadena. Speakers include local filmmaker/journalist James Farr who will screen his short documentary about the Ballew incident and local NAACP leader and civil rights lawyer Skip Hickambottom.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14  |  9:45am

1434 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107

This bagel breakfast will feature expert commentary on the upcoming midterm elections from Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles, as well as an informed look at the pros and cons of key ballot measures by Robbie Davis and Felicia Williams from the League of Women Voters. Actor and political activist  Barry Gordon will moderate the event.

On June 30, people are rallying in Pasadena, Los Angeles, and across the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating kids from their parents!

Trump and his administration have been systematically criminalizing immigration and immigrants, from revoking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to ramping up intimidating ICE tactics.

Join us on June 30 to send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress:
Families Belong Together! 

Los Angeles City Hall
200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

Addressing Homelessness


How many homeless are there in our community? Who are they? What is being done to reduce homelessness? What does the future look like? Does PJTC have a role to play?

Join us for a bagel breakfast where community representatives including Anne Lansing of the City of Pasadena, Stephanie Harris of Union Station Homeless Services, Rev. Donna Byrns of Friends in Deed, and Dorothy Edwards of Housing Works will outline current efforts and community needs to mitigate the crisis and provide long term solutions.


or at pjtcsocialjustice@gmail.com

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13  |  7:30–9pm

1434 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107

Join us for a conversation with Ronald Brownstein, one of America’s most respected political analysts, for a discussion about  America’s current political condition and the prospects for Democrats and Republicans in this year’s mid-term elections.  A two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of presidential campaigns, Brownstein was the National Affairs Columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  He is currently a contributor to the National Journal, The Atlantic, and other publications and a senior political analyst for CNN.

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