Sharon Rogoff is a member of Congregation B’nai Israel. She serves as the Secretary of the ACT Board.
How did you get involved in ACT?
I became involved in ACT after I moved to Sacramento and I was looking for a synagogue to join. I chose to join Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) because it has a strong commitment to social action. But before I joined the synagogue, I joined a committee at CBI which was working with ACT. It took me quite a while to figure out what ACT was. Eventually I looked through the PICO website and I thought “this is me.” When Annie Fox began organizing at CBI, ACT became more concrete to me and I began to understand organizing. She tied things together in a way that clicked for me.
What issues have you worked on?
Initially I worked on neighborhood blight. This was during the foreclosure crisis when there were many vacant properties. We met with the County Board of Supervisors and the County Executive who eventually did allocate funds to address neighborhood blight.
Now I am working on strengthening social emotional learning and restorative justice in Sacramento City Unified School District with a team of leaders from CBI, Parkside Community Church and St. Anthony Catholic Church.
What was a moment when you realized the power of organizing?
I remember meeting with the mayor’s chief of staff with about 20 other leaders,. I was impressed by our diverse group. We were a multi-faith, multi-race group with a common vision of how things could change. I realized the strength of our diversity when we came together to achieve a common goal.
What role does your faith play in your work with ACT?
I was raised in a Jewish family where supporting others was valued. An important part of Judaism is making the world a better place. ACT offers a means for me to do that.
What does it mean to be a multi-faith organization?
Working in a multi-faith organization creates an opportunity to understand, appreciate and accept each other’s perspectives. There is strength in our diversity; it is the very strongest way to be in society.
Why do you work with ACT?
ACT has clarified how I can participate in social change. It gives me a way to live and act on my values.
How have you grown and been challenged personally through your work with ACT?
Working with ACT has helped me see where I have prejudged people and has made me more open. It has given me many opportunities to be able to understand other’s view of themselves and of the world.
What is your vision of a healthy, thriving community?
In a healthy community, everyone’s voice is heard and respected. The needs of everyone are considered and supported.
What is the role of ACT in Sacramento?
Sacramento is such a diverse community and it could become a shining example of a diverse community that gets along. ACT could be at the forefront of creating change to bring this to reality.
How do you want people to reflect on ACT 10 years from now? What would you want them to say?
ACT will continue to be a leader in creating a just community. ACT started as a Christian organization, and over time we have become a multi-faith organization. We will continue to grow a multi-faith perspective that is reflective of the community in which we live. I look forward to representation from the Muslim and Sikh communities, and all of the faith communities of Sacramento. As we grow this perspective, we can only increase our capacity to engage with each other and build the beloved community.