Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Back to Opinion

Social Justice Is Not Just for Americans

This year will witness the reintegration, at long last, of a Jewish vision for social justice in both the Diaspora and in Israel.

At the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a recent gathering of Jewish social justice organization, Rabbi David Rosenn of the New Israel Fund and I co-led a conversation about how the situation in Israel influences our domestic justice work, and vice versa.

In that overflowing room, we understood how intensely our community yearns for a Jewish values framework that proves large enough, bold enough, loving enough, and authentic enough to encompass both domestic politics and the tangled narratives of the Middle East.

In 2014, the peace talks will force Jewish leaders and organizations to get off the fence and declare where we stand, while the midterm elections will drive wider the political gap in the United States. Both of these situations lead easily to “us vs. them” rhetoric.

But our tradition offers instead a framework in which determined love and care for the other only strengthen our ability to care for ourselves. In this year of dramatic possibility, our Jewish tradition can show us the way to cut through cynicism and selfishness, and to move forward with a holistic approach to justice and security on both sides of the ocean. 

Jill Jacobs is the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.