social justice 300pxSocial 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.

For more information on how to bring this course to your community and to learn about our introductory offer, please contact Rabbi Rachel Rudis Bovitz, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1What Is Jewish Social Justice?
Exploring the question: What does “social justice” mean in a Jewish context

Lesson 2Why do Jews do social justice?
Analyzing what motivates Jews to engage in social justice

Lesson 3When 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 4Study and Action: Limmud and Ma’aseh
Introducing participants to social justice issues in their local community

Lesson 5Social Justice for Whom?
Focusing on several criteria considered by social justice activists when investing in a cause

Lesson 6Social Justice with Whom?
Focusing on the type of relationship that activists have with the issue and people they choose to help

Lesson 7Environmental 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 9Employment
Exploring the rights and obligations of employers and employees

Lesson 10Personal Growth for Social Justice
Connecting social justice activism with personal growth and self-improvement