What is Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD)?
BUILD is a local organization that has effected major social change for over 35 years. Its power comes from a diverse, faith-based membership that recognizes the community’s many needs and organizes people and power to address the most pressing issues.
Who belongs to BUILD?
Congregations, community associations, and schools belong to BUILD.
What is BUILD’s agenda?
BUILD’s agenda is completely a product of its member organizations’ concerns.
What has BUILD done in the past?
Through the collective strength and leadership of its members, BUILD has won victories that improve education, increase fairness in housing and wages, and expand youth opportunities in the Baltimore area.
What is Jewish about joining BUILD?
We are commanded to pursue justice. We know there is a tension between strengthening our own Jewish community and working toward tikkun olam in the greater world. Joining BUILD is a launching pad for us to do both.
Why should Temple Oheb Shalom join BUILD?
As the sole Jewish congregation in BUILD, Temple Oheb Shalom will chart a path for other congregations. Being part of BUILD makes us distinct from every other synagogue in the region, and sets a worthy example, attracting congregants to whom social action matters.
We bring our congregation honor (kavod) as we represent Temple Oheb Shalom to the greater community and lend our education, expertise, and time to help others. Temple Oheb Shalom has historically been at the forefront of advocating for and pursuing social justice. Joining BUILD is a powerful next step in continuing that legacy.
Additionally, BUILD’s staff, experience, and tools will help us to develop our future leaders, foster relationships between congregants, and give members ownership and pride in Temple Oheb Shalom by energizing congregants who want to, and can, contribute in a myriad of ways on the issues that matter to us.
What would our first year in BUILD look like?
First, leaders in our community will bring together small groups of congregants to listen to individual concerns. At these intimate meetings, new relationships are forged, new leaders emerge, and individual expertise is identified. After identifying issues of common concern, we can establish teams of people who expressed interest in those issues, fostering a new set of leaders, as and join with other BUILD member organizations to multiply power and effect significant change. This may include reaching out to another congregation to mentor us through this process, establishing a relationship that will challenge us both to be and do better.
Where do I fit in?
BUILD is a cross-generational platform. Religious school students will develop relationships and work with students in other organizations. Families will meet one another and act on community concerns as they demonstrate and transmit the value of tikkun olam to their children. Older congregants and ‘empty-nesters’ will lend expertise and time to projects as they meaningfully re-engage with the community. Senior members will sagely advise and help us to reflect, as they have seen – and perhaps helped to effect – much social change.
For more information, check out these additional sites:
URJ - Just Congregations
URJ - Just Congregations list of Organizing Centers for Just Congregations (BUILD is on thier list!)