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Maryland Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity Week

January 26 - February 25

Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity Week blue graphic

Welcome to Maryland Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity Week with Jews United for Justice (JUFJ)!

During Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity week, dozens of congregations and organizations across the state are taking action on youth justice and engaging in collective conversations about Jewish texts, how they connect to youth justice, and the ways that we can build a more just and safe Maryland for children and adults alike.

Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity Week is focused around the campaign to end the practice of automatically charging kids as adults. This is a multi-year campaign: JUFJers across Maryland have been working to end the practice of “autocharge” for years, and will continue to do so alongside our partners beyond this year.

If your congregation is not yet listed below but you would like to participate, fill out the program interest form and a JUFJ staff member will be in touch soon!

Thank you to JUFJ’s Youth Justice Working Group members for leading the creation of this program, to all of the participating congregations and organizations, and to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington for their support.

To get involved in our youth justice work, please contact Elianna at elianna@jufj.org.

Participating Organizations and Related Events

Washington Hebrew Congregation
3935 Macomb Street NW
Washington, DC 20016

Julia Bindeman Suburban Center
11810 Falls Road
Potomac, MD 20854

In preparation for the Solidarity Week, Washington Hebrew Congregation incorporated youth justice into their Martin Luther King weekend services and day of service.

D’var during MLK Shabbat Service
Friday, January 12
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
MLK Shabbat@WHC

Action table during MLK Day of Service
Monday, January 15
10 am – 12 noon

Oseh Shalom
7515 Olive Branch Way
Laurel, MD 20707

Please join Oseh Shalom on Friday, January 26 at 7:30 PM for Shabbat services, followed by a discussion about youth justice during the oneg (refreshments). The community discussion on January 26 follows a discussion being held just for Oseh Shalom teens on Sunday, January 21.

B’nai Israel Congregation
6301 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD 20852

Teen Shabbat and Social Action Shabbat
Saturday, January 27
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

JUFJ staff and volunteer leaders have been leading a series of education programs about Youth Justice with teens from B’nai Israel, which will be highlighted during this service. There will be a community lunch following the service.

If you cannot attend in Rockville, join the livestream at: https://www.bnaiisraelcong.org/livestream
More info: https://www.bnaiisraelcong.org/event/teenandsocialactionshabbat2024

Beth Shalom Congregation
8070 Harriet Tubman Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Beth Shalom students will be learning about youth justice during their Hebrew school classes.

Thank you to the co-sponsors of this event: Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah, Bolton Street Synagogue, Chevrei Tzedek, Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Har Sinai Oheb Shalom Congregation, Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, Kol HaLev, and Repair the World

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
7727 Persimmon Tree Lane
Bethesda, MD 20817

Please join Adat Shalom on Saturday, February 3 at 9:30 AM for Shabbat services, followed by a discussion about youth justice during the oneg (refreshments). The community discussion on February 3 follows a webinar on youth justice presented by Adat Shalom last December.

Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community
1729 Wilmart Street
Rockville, MD 20852

Am Kolel is hosting a text study on youth justice on Saturday, Feburary 3 during Shabbat services. Services start at 10:00 AM, with Torah discussion at 11:30 AM. There is a potluck vegetarian dairy kiddush afterwards.

To join the services via Zoom, email admin@amkolel.org.

Chizuk Amuno Congregation
8100 Stevenson Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Hoffberger Chapel

8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208

Sunday Feb. 4, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

(Livestreaming will be available – please register here to attend in person or virtually. We will make link for the livestream available in advance of the program.)

All of us deserve a life with dignity, respect, and safety. But here in Maryland, a grave injustice is being done to children. Jewish tradition teaches that the Divine encompasses both justice and mercy. But right now, Maryland sends more young people to adult court based on offense type, per capita, than any other state except for Alabama. Here, children as young as 14 are automatically charged as if they were adults. Automatically charging kids as adults — who may or may not be guilty — puts them in danger, makes communities less safe, and wastes resources.

Even states like Missouri, Texas and Tennessee have passed laws to stop this practice. But here in Maryland, that effort has not yet succeeded. Now there are active attempts to move us backward rather than forward, as new bills have now been submitted in the state legislature to roll back protections in the Child Interrogation Protection Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act. As of this writing there are additional bills being proposed by the leadership in the House and the Senate that are not as dangerous but may weaken some of the protections passed in recent years. It is only by educating the public that we can mobilize enough people to begin to remedy this injustice in our state and to stop efforts to move us backward.

Please join us on the morning of Sunday Feb. 4 for a presentation by our two speakers: Alonzo Turner-Bey, a returning citizen who was recently released after serving  31 years, 6 months, and 15 days in the Maryland  prison system after having been sentenced as a juvenile to life in prison; and Michelle Kim, Assistant Public Defender and Supervising Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.


Sponsored by the Chizuk Amuno Social Justice Advocacy Committee in collaboration with Jews United for Justice.

Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community
1729 Wilmart Street
Rockville, MD 20852

Har Sinai – Oheb Shalom Congregation
7310 Park Heights Ave
Baltimore, MD 21208

8th through 10th graders at Har Sinai – Oheb Shalom will discuss youth justice during their Hebrew school classes.

Columbia Jewish Congregation
5885 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045

Details coming soon


January 26
February 25
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Maryland State
Person holding sign "Economic Justice Working Group"