Jewish Ethics & Social Justice

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9781935104148: Jewish Ethics & Social Justice

We make religion irrelevant when we lock it up in the house of prayer - when we keep religion away from the streets. If we want Judaism to matter in today's world, we must respond = deeply - to society's call. The Torah is a living tradition that we need to bring to the most urgent social issues of our time. We must fully enter the public arena, recognizing that our common responsibilities transcend our particular paths. The essence of spiritual life shines at the core of all the crude and harsh realities we see every day - and when we ignore these realities, we are like blind fish completely unaware of the very water in which they swim. Jewish Ethics & Social Justice is a collection of sweeping meditations on how to make Judaism universally relevant again. Explore hot social issues - global hunger, prison reform, worker rights, and more - through the eyes of the Jewish ethical tradition. Learn about the core values of Jewish activism - discover a deeper connection to the timeless issues of power, privilege, race, and wealth - get inspired by this fiery call to action.

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About the Author:

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Founder and President of Uri L Tzedek. He is a Doctoral candidate at Columbia University in Moral Development and Epistemology, and has taught as an instructor of Moral Philosophy at Barnard College and a fiat lux at UCLA Law School. Shmuly was ordained as a Rabbi by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT Rabbinical School) in New York as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Shmuly also received a second rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the Chief Rabbi of Efrat and a third rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo of Jerusalem. As a global social justice educator, Shmuly has volunteered, taught, and staffed missions in many countries including Israel, Ghana, India, France, Thailand, El Salvador, Senegal, Germany, Ukraine, and Haiti. In January 2011, Shmuly was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to serve as the rabbinic representative, a facilitator, and motivational speaker. For three years, Shmuly taught philosophy twice a week at an inner-city school in Harlem and served on the New York Department of Health s Office of Minority Health Clergy Steering Committee. Shmuly worked in business consulting for a major top 10 firm, has written numerous articles on Jewish and social justice issues, has lectured and consulted across the world, and has a bi-weekly column in the Jewish Week called Street Torah. He has taught as a scholar-in-residence for over 20 organizations and served on the International Board of Hillel for two years and is the former Director of Panim s Leadership and Activism training (JAM) in Washington D.C. A film crew followed Shmuly for over a year to produce a PBS documentary (''The Calling'') about the training of religious leadership to be released in America. In 2008, the Jewish Week recognized Shmuly as one of 36 under 36 (one of 36 of the most influential Jewish leaders under the age of 36). In 2009, the UJC named Shmuly one of five Jewish Community Heroes. Shmuly was invited to the White House Chanukah party to celebrate with the President and First Lady. Shmuly currently servces as the Director of Jewish Life and the Senior Jewish Educator at the UCLA Hillel and is a member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Shmuly and his wife, Shoshana, live in Los Angeles.

Review:

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz's name has become synonymous with the call for ethical renewal and social justice within the American Jewish community. A modern Orthodox rabbi, he fuses ancient teachings with progressive sensibilities. In this much-needed volume, he shares with readers his thoughts on central questions of our day. Our world will be a better place if his message is widely heeded. --Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna, National Museum of American Jewish History

Shmuly Yanklowitz is a rare young leader who combines brilliance of mind, passion of the heart and spirituality of the soul. He is a great Jewish global leader and activist for the 21st century that calls upon us all to find our callings and to meet our highest potentials. This book challenges us and inspires us all as Jews to support the vulnerable, take responsibility for social problems, and protest the greatest wrongs around the world. 'Jewish Ethics & Social Justice' should be read time and time again. --Rabbi Avi Weiss, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

...A living snapshot of a new movement in Judaism. Whether or not we value halacha as moral authority, we can read Jewish Ethics to understand how one person has been able to reach a part of our community that for so long had been resistant to engage with social justice issues. Through his essays and articles, Yanklowitz lovingly but firmly gives tochacha (rebuke) to his peers. Whether muckraking about the treatment of non-Jewish workers at Kosher meat plants or writing about Jewish responsibility to protect the environment, Yanklowitz calls on Orthodox Jews to think beyond the bounds of their community to engage with the more universal aspects of the Jewish tradition. To read Yanklowitz, then, is to read the social history of a movement wrestling with change, from a leader who knows its tradition well enough to challenge it. --Rabbi Margie Klein, Congregation Sha'arei Shalom

Shmuly Yanklowitz is a rare young leader who combines brilliance of mind, passion of the heart and spirituality of the soul. He is a great Jewish global leader and activist for the 21st century that calls upon us all to find our callings and to meet our highest potentials. This book challenges us and inspires us all as Jews to support the vulnerable, take responsibility for social problems, and protest the greatest wrongs around the world. 'Jewish Ethics & Social Justice' should be read time and time again. --Rabbi Avi Weiss, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

...A living snapshot of a new movement in Judaism. Whether or not we value halacha as moral authority, we can read Jewish Ethics to understand how one person has been able to reach a part of our community that for so long had been resistant to engage with social justice issues. Through his essays and articles, Yanklowitz lovingly but firmly gives tochacha (rebuke) to his peers. Whether muckraking about the treatment of non-Jewish workers at Kosher meat plants or writing about Jewish responsibility to protect the environment, Yanklowitz calls on Orthodox Jews to think beyond the bounds of their community to engage with the more universal aspects of the Jewish tradition. To read Yanklowitz, then, is to read the social history of a movement wrestling with change, from a leader who knows its tradition well enough to challenge it. --Rabbi Margie Klein, Congregation Sha'arei Shalom

Shmuly Yanklowitz is a rare young leader who combines brilliance of mind, passion of the heart and spirituality of the soul. He is a great Jewish global leader and activist for the 21st century that calls upon us all to find our callings and to meet our highest potentials. This book challenges us and inspires us all as Jews to support the vulnerable, take responsibility for social problems, and protest the greatest wrongs around the world. 'Jewish Ethics & Social Justice' should be read time and time again. --Rabbi Avi Weiss, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

...A living snapshot of a new movement in Judaism. Whether or not we value halacha as moral authority, we can read Jewish Ethics to understand how one person has been able to reach a part of our community that for so long had been resistant to engage with social justice issues. Through his essays and articles, Yanklowitz lovingly but firmly gives tochacha (rebuke) to his peers. Whether muckraking about the treatment of non-Jewish workers at Kosher meat plants or writing about Jewish responsibility to protect the environment, Yanklowitz calls on Orthodox Jews to think beyond the bounds of their community to engage with the more universal aspects of the Jewish tradition. To read Yanklowitz, then, is to read the social history of a movement wrestling with change, from a leader who knows its tradition well enough to challenge it. --Rabbi Margie Klein, Congregation Sha'arei Shalom

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