The Pittsburgh Moral Minyan of Bend the Arc arose in the aftermath of the November 2016 elections, when, as in many other communities across the country, a group of friends gathered together and asked, “what can we do?” By early 2017 the group organically grew larger, and we joined forces with Bend The Arc, adding our local efforts to the national movement for justice and social change.
Our Minyan is entirely made up of volunteers, led by a small steering committee on a shoestring budget, and guided by a small set of practices and rules that maintain a focus on action rather than progress. We meet biweekly and sustain our momentum between meetings by coordinating activity in an online forum.
Pittsburgh’s East End is our geographical center, with many members residing in the traditionally Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill. We bring a range of perspectives on our Judaism, ranging from Reform to Conservative to Reconstructionist and unaffiliated. We’re teachers, academics, and professionals. Some of us are parents, others are not. Few among us are experienced activists. What we share is a Jewish vision of justice and a commitment to making time in our hectic lives to reshape Pittsburgh, and the U.S., into a more inclusive and equitable place for all.
Our current work
To date we have focused our efforts on three key areas:
- Support for immigrants, refugees, and other frontline communities: We have marched in opposition to the travel ban, held a vigil for immigrants and refugees, organized a bystander intervention training, demonstrated with workers on Labor Day, organized a rally at the local ICE facility, and protested with Bend The Arc friends in DC in support of the Dreamers.
- Electoral issues and Voter access: We’ve organized phone banking and canvassing events, met with local Congressional staff, partnered with community groups to promote voter access, and hosted a community forum for a recent City Council Election.
- Healthcare: Working with local partners, we held a 24-hour vigil in June 2017 outside the office of Senator Pat Toomey (PA) in support of the Affordable Care Act.
Meet our partners
Working with like-minded groups across Pittsburgh is a priority for Pittsburgh’s Moral Minyan. We’re proud members of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) and have been honored to work with the Pittsburgh Chapter of CAIR, Pittsburgh’s Black Empowerment Project, Repair the World, Casa San Jose, and the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh.
We’re always looking for more input and energy, particularly from folks in the Greater Pittsburgh region. Please sign up here - we’d love to have you as part of our Minyan!