Tikkun Olam | Reconstructing Judaism
Doing Justice

Tikkun Olam

(Repairing the World)

Tikkun olam (social activism, or literally “world repair”) is an attempt to repair a breach in the just functioning of the world. Tikkun olam is a central wellspring of spirituality and meaning for many contemporary Jews. While g’milut hesed, acts of care, address the needs of specific people in need, tikkun olam strives for systemic change. The Reconstructionist movement has helped define the vanguard of social justice in the Jewish community, advancing causes from equality for women and the LGBT community, to interfaith dialogue. 

Tikkun Olam Resources

How can a movement with distinctive yet limited resources continue to be most effective as an agent of change? Focus. Our Tikkun Olam Commission is concentrating on a single area of social justice: the wealth gap. Learn more about our efforts and get involved!

Spirit in Practice: A New Podcast Series

Spirit in Practice, a podcast miniseries, brings together emerging leaders with religious teachers of many faiths to explore social activism and spiritual practices.

Cover art for Spirit in Practice podcast
Cover art for Spirit in Practice podcast

Tikkun Olam Resources

News and Blogs

A Vital Foreign Policy Tool Under Threat

Rabbi David Teutsch urges support for foreign aid in the upcoming federal budget.

News

Making Our Synagogues Vessels of Tikkun Olam

This article is adapted from a talk at the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Tikkun Olam Kallah, March 2003.

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Looking Backward and Looking Forward: Texts for a Jewish Resistance Movement

These materials explore Jewish models of resistance to oppression. 

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News and Blogs

Politics From The Pulpit: Speaking Publicly About Repairing The World Together

Reconstructionist Judaism takes seriously our obligation to act together to address injustice and suffering. To do so, Rabbi Elliot Tepperman argues, our congregations need to be places where we can safely engage in political and ethical agitation and disagreement, while avoiding mere irritation.

News

From Tzedaka to Restorative Finance: A Curriculum

This Reconstructionist curriculum on wealth inequality was written for the movement’s Tikkun Olam commission in the winter of 5777 (2016-2017).

Document

Eco-Judaism (Is There Any Other Kind?!):  How Torah Pushes the Sustainability Envelope

“Love of the Creator, and love of that which G!d has created, are finally one and the same,” wrote Martin Buber.  Defending this divine creation in an era of climate change is a Jewish (and social, political, and moral) imperative.

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A Yizkor Prayer for Righteous Gentiles

A child of Holocaust survivors, Rani Jaegar composed a yizkor prayer for Righteous Gentiles that is unique and breaks new ground. It tells the story of those who saw suffering and knew how to find their humanity. It remembers that “righteousness is an everlasting foundation” that breaks boundaries.

Article

How to Build Just and Holy Congregations

Tepperman encourages sustained congregational dialogue and action around social, environmental and political justice.

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News and Blogs

Voters Must Act Against Demagoguery

RRC President Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., was among the 18,000 people in the audience for Donald Trump’s March 21 speech to the AIPAC Policy Conference. Her response was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer  under the title “Voters Must Act Against Demagoguery.” 

News

Political Activism as a Form of Prayer

Rather than seeing religion and political activism as two distinct phenomena, we can experience activism as a powerful form of prayer.

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News and Blogs

Welcoming the Stranger, Living Our Values

In an op-ed piece in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., compellingly argues in favor of a robust and compassionate refugee program. 

News

His Blood Cries Out for Faith and Love

Reacting to time spent with civil rights leader John Lewis, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling reflects on faith, progress, and justice.

Article