Where Jus­tice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Jus­tice in Your Jew­ish Community

  • From the Publisher
June 17, 2014
How can Jew­ish val­ues inform our work to cre­ate a just world — and help us work togeth­er for the good of all com­mu­ni­ties? 

Some­how, most Jews have decid­ed that being a good Jew’ means adher­ing to rit­u­als such as Shab­bat, kashrut, and prayer. But the word halakhah, gen­er­al­ly trans­lat­ed as Jew­ish law,’ lit­er­al­ly means the way to walk.’ Rather than a lim­it­ed set of rit­u­al laws, halakhah rep­re­sents an all-encom­pass­ing way of life.” —from Chap­ter 1 

Jew­ish tra­di­tion com­pels us to pro­tect the poor­est, weak­est and most vul­ner­a­ble among us. But dis­cern­ing how to make mean­ing­ful and effec­tive change through social jus­tice work — whether in com­mu­ni­ty or on your own — is not always easy. This guide pro­vides ways to envi­sion and act on your own ideals of social jus­tice by help­ing you nav­i­gate through such issues as:
  • Cre­at­ing a nar­ra­tive mis­sion state­ment that reflects your organization’s values
  • Bal­anc­ing the needs of your com­mu­ni­ty with those of oth­er communities
  • Weigh­ing the pros and cons of var­i­ous mod­els of social jus­tice work (direct ser­vice, advo­ca­cy, invest­ment and com­mu­ni­ty organizing)
  • Expand­ing the impact and effi­cien­cy of your work
  • Locat­ing your social jus­tice goals and meth­ods with­in the con­text of Jew­ish tradition
  • Main­tain­ing the moti­va­tion and inspi­ra­tion to con­tin­ue your social jus­tice work
Each chap­ter includes a set of dis­cus­sion ques­tions to prompt reflec­tion and con­ver­sa­tion, as well as tips, tools, process­es and forms for get­ting your social jus­tice project off the ground.

Discussion Questions