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Judaism and Justice

The Jewish Passion to Repair the World

Rabbi Sidney Schwarz
Foreword by Ruth Messinger

6 x 9, 352 pp, Hardcover
978-1-58023-312-5

Also Available in Paperback

                 

 

 

From Judaism’s rich history of prophetic justice comes an inspiring call to action.
Why is it that Jews are so involved in causes dedicated to justice, equality, human rights and peace? Are these trends influenced by religion, history, sociology or something else?
In this provocative exploration, Rabbi Sidney Schwarz, founder and president of PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, sheds light on the relationship between Judaism, social justice and the Jewish identity of American Jews. He traces how the idea of justice, as developed in the sacred texts of Judaism, conditions Jewish attitudes and behavior. In a fascinating portrayal of some of the major issues facing the Jewish community in the last fifty years, Schwarz explores a community torn between its instincts for self-preservation and its desire to serve as an ethical “light to the nations.”
This powerful and empowering book will provide you with a starting point for meaningful engagement—and a new way to understand Jewish identity.
“One of the most accessible books written on Judaism and social justice…. Provides the kind of compelling language and story that can lead to a closer connection with Jewish life.”
Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
“A bold vision. Will particularly resonate with today’s young Jews who are seeking new definitions of Jewish identity and meaning that are both uniquely Jewish and universally human. A significant contribution for anyone who cares about the future of the Jewish people and our imperative to repair our broken world.”
Lynn Schusterman, president, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
“A forceful and provocative analysis.... Offers a renewed vision for a Jewish community built around a commitment to social justice.”
New York Jewish Week
“An original analysis of the contemporary American Jewish condition, but, even more importantly, an exciting prescription for a Judaism that combines a commitment to justice and righteousness with kedusha, ‘holy apartness’.”
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, president, Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation
“Breaks new ground. Connects the deep roots of social justice with Jewish thought and the American experience … in a voice that awakens and summons us. Will enable non-Jews to appreciate the Jewish passion for freedom that we as Jews connect to equality and justice.”
David Cohen, cofounder, Advocacy Institute; former president, Common Cause
“A thoughtful, important and timely book. Not only does it help to describe and explain today’s exciting revival of social justice activism among Jews, it is quite likely going to accelerate that phenomenon.… Helps to redefine Judaism’s moral center in a way that is both clear and compelling.”
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, executive director, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
“Provides a long awaited prophetic vision for the nexus between Jewish tradition, culture and commitment to social justice. Rich and nuanced … combines an informative history of Jewish activism in the worlds of political and social action, and a persuasive reading of Jewish texts, arguing for their relevance as a source of guidance for Jews and for the world…. A must read.”
David Gordis, PhD, president and professor of rabbinics, Hebrew College, Boston
Ruth Messinger is the director of American Jewish World Service.
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