Reconstructionist Movement and Global Jewish Community tikkun olam/social justice efforts for 5773- 2012/13 read more »
Browse our library of tikkun olam resources, organized by type.
"Justice, justice you shall pursue" (Deut. 16:20).
“A theology which is not a plan of social action is merely a way of preaching and praying. It is a menu without the dinner.” (Mordecai Kaplan, Not So Random Thoughts) read more »
Jewish Community Adopts Consensus Policies on Campus Anti-Semitism, Hydrofracking, Education Equality, Collective Bargaining, and Gender Separation in Israel
Image: Rabbi Leonard Gordon (USCJ), Barbara Weinstein (RAC) and Rabbi Shawn Zevit (JRF) at the JCPA Plenum
Detroit, MI – May 7, 2012: The Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ 14 national member agencies (including The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation) and 125 Community Relations Councils debated and adopted five resolutions expressing the consensus view of the American Jewish community at the JCPA’s annual Plenum in Detroit. The resolutions deal with anti-Semitism on campuses, collective bargaining, education equity, gender segregation in Israel, and hydrofracking for natural gas and oil.
For the complete resolutions go to http://engage.jewishpublicaffairs.org/blog/comments.jsp?blog_entry_KEY=6328
I1. Countering Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Activity on Campus
This resolution calls for education about and support for the “important remedy” that is now available under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and calls on campus leaders to do more to make students safe. It embraces a range of responses to hostile campus atmospheres including dialogue, education, and legal remedies.
2. Collective Bargaining
This resolution continues longstanding support for collective bargaining for public employees and opposes efforts to narrow or eliminate it.
3. Equal Education Opportunity
This resolution addresses inequity in educational opportunity in public schools. This resolution calls for research, education, and community attention directed to closing the achievement gap in our nation’s public schools and heightening awareness of this issue on the national Jewish agenda.
4. Gender Segregation in Public Spaces in Israel (JRF joined the Conservative and Reform movements as well as CRC's and other organizations in this resolution)
This resolution was ultimately supported by the National Council of Jewish Women along with the Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Orthodox Jewish movements. It states that enforced gender segregation in secular public spaces is inconsistent with Israel’s founding principles of equality and, at the same time, that there may be circumstances where accommodation of gender segregation may be appropriate such as the consideration of religious and cultural sensitivities in the delivery of municipal services
5. Hydrofracking (JRF was the only denominational movement to sponsor this resolution along with the Jewish Labor Committee, and three JCRCs)
This resolution addresses natural gas and oil extraction by the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as hydrofracking. The resolution calls for studies, disclosure, safeguards, and oversight.
In 1990 JRF passed a movement-wide resolution (see attachments below) on the environment and congregational life. Since 2006 we offered conference calls and resources on Sustainable Synagogues and Living a Jewish Life Rooted in Ecological Values.
With the enthusiasm around JRF's Omer Learning Initiative, (2010 Omer Sustainability call- http://jrf.org/pearl/2011/Sustainability) as well as the solid response of JRF congregations in the Climate Change and Blessing the Sun (Solar Energy) Initiatives, JRF continues to deepen our work with member communities, other religious movements and partner organizations (JCPA, COEJL) in the area of sustainability. See Rabbi Shawn Zevit speak about the Reconstructionist Movement's work in sustainability
JRF joins East Africa Relief
Countries in the Horn of Africa including, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Djibouti are experiencing the worst drought in 60 years. As a result, millions of people are in desperate need of food and water. Livestock and crops are deteriorating due to the lack of access to water and malnutrition is on the rise. A famine has been declared in a number of regions of Somalia and elsewhere, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries. read more »
A number of us in the Jewish and larger social justice streams have been tracking the issue of child slave labor and the chocolate industry (Hershey is not the only or worst culprit here) for some time. My cousin’s son gave a dvar challenging his congregation to audit their chocolate choices in 2009 at his bar mitzvah. He came to this issue by identifying with Joseph being tossed down the pit and crying out with no one to hear him, abandoned by those he loved (his dvar Torah is attached on this page). read more »You will also see a Fair Trade Chocolate Seder, an Adat Shalom supplement supplied to me by Rabbi Erin Hirsh, some information from Fair Trade Judaica who are organizing their own Jewish community campaign, links supplied by Cantor Eric Schulmiller of Reconstructionist congregation RSNS, NY. For thousands of children on this planet, slavery is not a historical event, but a current reality. We can make a difference.
A crucial election day is only weeks away. At stake are vital political, economic and moral issues of concern to all Americans, in addition to issues of special concern to American Jews. read more »
Join a unified effort to raise disability awareness and support efforts to foster inclusion in Jewish communities worldwide
The mission of Jewish Disability Awareness Month is to unite Jewish communities and organizations for the purpose of raising awareness and supporting meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in every aspect of Jewish life. JRF is also a member religious organization of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC: http://jfactivist.typepad.com/jfactivist/interfaith-disability-advocacy/). read more »
JRF Supports Immigration Reform
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation continues to work with a coalition of Jewish and interfaith organizations towards comprehensive reform of the immigration system in the United States. Our key partner in this endeavor is HIAS (The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, see http://wewerestrangerstoo.wordpress.com/). read more »