Rabbi Avi Weiss is one of this generation’s remarkable rabbinical leaders. An Orthodox rabbi, his career has been quite unlike that of the mainstream congregational rabbi. His actions and beliefs have pitted him against (among others) a number of foreign governments, the Catholic Church, as well as numerous mainstream Jewish organizations. In recent years, his leadership has brought into being a new yeshiva for the ordination of modern Orthodox rabbis as well as a new rabbinical organization. In his latest book, Rabbi Weiss articulates the principles that have guided all his work. In his passion about activism as a tool of living Torah principles, he acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, as well as to generations of grassroots community organizers. His principles of spiritual activism — and his supreme motivation of love for the Jewish people and their mission — are worthy of study and consideration by rabbis, Jewish educators, Jewish communal workers, Jewish leaders, and anyone who is on the path to leadership roles. A final chapter, “The Spiritual Activist’s Action Plan,” summarizes his principles and includes questions to stimulate discussion relating to these leadership principles.
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.