Social Justice: The Heart of Judaism in Theory and Practice
Confronting wrongs and instigating systemic change is no small order — but it’s an essential Jewish pursuit. This 10-part course highlights the Jewish call to action and provides a practical approach for achieving lasting change. Beyond acts of kindness, proponents of social justice aim to bend the arc of history toward alleviating the ills of society. Drawing from classic and modern texts, the course explores the communal connection that compels us to support the most vulnerable. While serious issues such as poverty, climate change and systemic racism may seem insurmountable, this course helps us step back and discover opportunities and strategies for local and global progress, providing a framework for taking a stand on issues of concern within one’s own community. Prepare to feel the reward of putting the core tenets of Judaism into practice.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 – What Is Jewish Social Justice?
Exploring the question: What does “social justice” mean in a Jewish context
Lesson 2 – Why do Jews do social justice?
Analyzing what motivates Jews to engage in social justice
Lesson 3 – When have Jews engaged in social justice?
Focusing on three case studies from the last century in which Jews played significant roles in social justice movements
Lesson 4 – Study and Action: Limmud and Ma’aseh
Introducing participants to social justice issues in their local community
Lesson 5 – Social Justice for Whom?
Focusing on several criteria considered by social justice activists when investing in a cause
Lesson 6 – Social Justice with Whom?
Focusing on the type of relationship that activists have with the issue and people they choose to help
Lesson 7 – Environmental Justice
Exploring the ways in which the earth itself is an entity to which justice is owed
Lesson 8 – Poverty: Hunger and Homelessness
Exploring hunger and homelessness as symptoms of poverty
Lesson 9 – Employment
Exploring the rights and obligations of employers and employees
Lesson 10 – Personal Growth for Social Justice
Connecting social justice activism with personal growth and self-improvement