In this groundbreaking volume, leading rabbis, intellectuals, and activists explore the relationship between Judaism and social justice, drawing on ancient and modern sources of wisdom. The contributors argue that American Jewry must move beyond "mitzvah days" and other occasional service programs, and dedicate itself to systemic change in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world. These provocative essays concentrate on specific justice issues such as eradicating war, global warming, health care, gay ...
In this groundbreaking volume, leading rabbis, intellectuals, and activists explore the relationship between Judaism and social justice, drawing on ancient and modern sources of wisdom. The contributors argue that American Jewry must move beyond "mitzvah days" and other occasional service programs, and dedicate itself to systemic change in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world. These provocative essays concentrate on specific justice issues such as eradicating war, global warming, health care, gay rights and domestic violence, offering practical ways to transform theory into practice, and ideas into advocacy. Rich and passionate, these expressions will inspire you to consider your obligations as a Jew, as an American and as a global citizen, while challenging you to take thoughtful and effective action in the world.
Rabbi Or N. Rose is an associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is the coauthor of God in All Moments: Mystical and PracticalSpiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters and coeditor of RighteousIndignation: A Jewish Call for Justice; Jewish Mysticism and the SpiritualLife: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (all Jewish Lights).
Rabbi Phyllis O. Berman is co-author, with Rabbi Waskow, of A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Spiral as a Spiritual Path.
Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR (www.ikar-la.org), a spiritual community dedicated to reanimating Jewish life through soulful religious practice that is rooted in a deep commitment to social justice. She has been noted as one of the leading rabbis in the country in Newsweek/Daily Beast and has been listed among the Forward's fifty most influential American Jews numerous times. She serves on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Program, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Reboot and sits on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs is executive director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. . Widely acknowledged as one of the leading voices in Jewish social justice, Rabbi Jacobs is also the author of There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition and Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community (both Jewish Lights). She has been voted to the Forward newspaper’s list of fifty influential Jews, to Newsweek’s list of the fifty most influential rabbis in America and to the Jewish Week’s list of "thirty-six under thirty-six."
Rabbi Jill Jacobs is available to speak on the following topics:
Social Justice in Judaism: Historical, Textual and Political Roots, and Their Meaning for Jews Today
Synagogue Social Justice That Works
In the Image: A Jewish Take on Human Rights
Torah in the Workplace: Ethical Business Practices for the Synagogue, School, Home and Business
A Jewish Approach to Combating Human Trafficking
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Elliot Kukla is a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San
Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Professor of Modern Judaism and professor of religious studies at Indiana University Bloomington. He is the author of Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and
Messianism in Izbica/Radzin Hasidism and From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth,
History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala, which won the
American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the Textual Studies category.
Ruth Messinger is the president of American Jewish World Service. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).
Jay Michaelson has taught Kabbalah, mindfulness, and embodied spiritual practice at Yale University, City College, Elat Chayyim, the Skirball Center, and the Wexner Summer Institute, among other institutions. Chief editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, he is a regular contributor to the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, Slate and other publications. He holds a JD from Yale and an MA in religious studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is currently a doctoral candidate.
Rabbi Sidney Schwarz is a social entrepreneur, an author and a political activist. He founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for twenty-one years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, where he continues to teach and lead services. Currently, he serves as a senior fellow at Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he is involved in a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders. He is the author of Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World.
Rabbi Sidney Schwarz is available to speak on the following topics:
Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future
Tribal vs. Covenantal Identity: Jews and the American Public Square
Finding a Spiritual Home: Redefining the Religious Enterprise
Reaching the Jewish Community of the 21st Century: Educating for Jewish Citizenship
Between Conscience and Solidarity
Can Social Justice Save the Jewish Soul?
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Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow is recognized as one of the leading thinkers of the Jewish renewal movement. He has been at the forefront of creating Jewish renewal theory, practice and institutions. He founded and directs The Shalom Center, and is a Pathfinder of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, an international network. He is founder and editor of the journal New Menorah, and helped found the Fabrangen Cheder and the National Havurah Committee. His previous books include Godwrestling; Godwrestling—Round 2: Ancient Wisdom, Future Paths, which was named "Best Religion Book of the Year"; The Freedom Seder; Seasons of Our Joy;Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness across Millennia; Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought, Vol. 1: Biblical Israel and Rabbinic Judaism; Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought, Vol. 2: Zionism and Eco-Judaism; and Down-to-Earth Judaism. He is the co-editor of Trees, Earth, Torah: A Tu B'Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publication Society).
He and his wife, Phyllis Berman, who is also a leader of Jewish renewal, often join to speak, teach new forms of prayer and lead retreats and workshops in many Jewish and interreligious settings. Together they wrote Tales of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories to Heal the Wounded World.
Waskow lives in the Philadelphia area. He has two grown children of his own, is "associate parent" for two others and has one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law. Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow is available to speak on the following topics:
Freedom Journeys across Millennia
Jewish Wisdom on the Earth and Human Earthlings
Praying with Our Legs: Social Action Rooted in Spiritual Commitment
Foreword David Ellenson ix
Judaism, Justice, and American Life
Can Social Justice Save the American Jewish Soul? Sidney Schwarz 3
What Does Tikkun Olam Actually Mean? Jane Kanarek 15
Divine Limitation and Human Responsibility Or N. Rose 23
Preaching What I Practice: The Power of Jewish Organizing Margie Klein 31
The Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel: Jewish Spirituality and Political Transformation Michael Lerner 38
Religious Leadership and Politics David Saperstein 45
Renewing Creation: Judaism and the Environment
Rereading Genesis: Human Stewardship of the Earth Ellen Bernstein 55
Jewish Textual Practice and Sustainable Culture Natan Margalit 60
Wonder and Restraint: A Rabbinical Call to Environmental Action$dCoejl 67
Toxic Waste and the Talmud Jeremy Benstein 76
Judaism, Oil, and Renewable Energy Shana Starobin 79
The Temple of the Spirit: The Human Body
Redemption for Radicals: Jewish Congregation-Based Community Organizing Jonah Dov Pesner 87
The Blood of OurNeighbors: American Health Care Reform Sandra Fox Martin Seltman 94
The Global AIDS Crisis: Caring for the Sick by Standing with the Activists Jacob Feinspan Julia Greenberg 102
A Jewish View of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Elliot N. Dorff 110
The Brownsville Legacy: Judaism and Reproductive Rights Judith Rosenbaum 120
Looking Inward: Domestic Violence within the Jewish Community Naomi Tucker 126
The Yoke of Oppression: Social and Economic Justice
Hearing the Voice of the Poor Aryeh Cohen 135
A Jewish Vision for Economic Justice Jill Jacobs 147
Why a Labor Movement Matters Arieh Lebowitz 155
And If Not Together, How? Jews and Immigration in the United States Dara Silverman 163
Gracious Giver of Wisdom: Recovering America's Great Public School System Marla Feldman Joshua Seth Ladon 169
The Possibility of Change: An Argument for Restorative Justice Sharon Brous Daniel Sokatch 175
Klal Yisrael: Creating an Inclusive Community
The Significance of Sex: Social Order and Post-Mythic Religion Jay Michaelson 185
Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: Social Justice and Sexual Values in Judaism Martha Ackelsberg Judith Plaskow 195
Priority Lists: A Dialogue on Judaism, Feminism, and Activism Rebecca Alpert Danya Ruttenberg 206
Created Beings of Our Own: Toward a Jewish Liberation Theology for Men, Women, and Everyone Else Elliot Rose Kukla 214
Multiracial Jewish Families: A Personal and Political Approach to Justice Politics Marla Brettschneider 222
Differently Abled: The Lesson of Rabbi Elazar Abigail Uhrman 229
Seeking Peace: Israel, Palestine, and American Jewry
Warriors, Prophets, Peacemakers, and Disciples: A Call to Action in the Face of Religiously Inspired Violence Melissa Weintraub 237
Plotting the Middle Path to Israeli-Palestinian Peace: The Role of American Jews Diane Balser 249
Imitatio Dei and/as Shared Space: A Jewish Theological Argument for Sharing the Holy Land Shaul Magid 260
Everything Falls Apart Joel Schalit 270
The Challenge of Making Peace Stephen P. Cohen 275
The Seventy Nations: Global Concerns
Am I My Brother's Keeper If My Brother Lives Halfway Around the World? Ruth Messinger Aaron Dorfman 281
A Jewish Response to Globalization Micha Odenheimer 293
"Silence Is Akin to Assent": Judaism and the War in Iraq Adam Rubin 303
Once Again: Genocide in Darfur Mark Hanis 308
How to Split the Sea: Anti-Semitism and Social Change April Rosenblum 312
Reopening the Tent of Abraham Phyllis Berman Arthur Waskow 319
Righteous Indignation on the Web 350
About the Editors 351