Social justice is a response to the suffering and indignity in our lives and in the larger world that is different from a service response. This new Melton course will draw from text and from history to explore just how social justice work goes beyond addressing short-term immediate needs and looks at structural causes of injustice and how these are best addressed today. It will combine the study of Jewish sources, Jewish history and Jewish work to give participants a deep understanding of social justice, a framework for understanding and for navigating their moral choices.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 – What Is Jewish Social Justice?
Exploring the question: What does “social justice” mean in a Jewish context
Lesson 2 – Why do Jews do social justice?
Analyzing what motivates Jews to engage in social justice
Lesson 3 – When have Jews engaged in social justice?
Focusing on three case studies from the last century in which Jews played significant roles in social justice movements
Lesson 4 – Study and Action: Limmud and Ma’aseh
Introducing participants to social justice issues in their local community
Lesson 5 – Social Justice for Whom?
Focusing on several criteria considered by social justice activists when investing in a cause
Lesson 6 – Social Justice with Whom?
Focusing on the type of relationship that activists have with the issue and people they choose to help
Lesson 7 – Environmental Justice
Exploring the ways in which the earth itself is an entity to which justice is owed
Lesson 8 – Poverty: Hunger and Homelessness
Exploring hunger and homelessness as symptoms of poverty
Lesson 9 – Employment
Exploring the rights and obligations of employers and employees
Lesson 10 – Personal Growth for Social Justice
Connecting social justice activism with personal growth and self-improvement