The pursuit of social justice, under the broad heading of tikkun olam, has become a significant part of American Jewish identity today. This series of essays explores some of the areas in which Jewish Americans can work toward tikkun olam: economic justice, women’s rights, peace issues, and more. The articles, written by a group of forty-five writers, use very different approaches. For some, there is a clear grounding of their writing and the values they advocate in Jewish texts and traditions. For others, the foundation appears to be more rooted in American or humanistic values, with the Jewish connection more generalized (“image of God” and similar connectedness). The introductory articles are particularly noteworthy in exploring the role of social action and community organizing as a means of expressing one’s Jewishness and Judaism.
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.