Studies have shown that young generations of Jews place high value on social change as part of their Jewish identity. They personally participate in social action and want the synagogues or organizations with which they affiliate to place a similar value on social concerns. Consistent with these interests, this book brings together case studies, classical and contemporary source material, and a range of responses to address four areas of interest to social activists: poverty and health care, discrimination, the environment, and criminal justice. The format of the book allows a clear line to be drawn from ancient texts to contemporary responses to issues that confront our society. The authors contributing to this volume represent a cross-section of the Jewish scenes from all movements and across generational lines, so that readers get a sense that the Jewish approaches to social issues transcend any lines that might divide our communities.
Rabbi Arnold D. Samlan is a Jewish educator and rabbi living in Miami, Florida. He serves as executive director of the Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County.