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Spirituality of Activism

How do we live an integrated approach to our spiritual lives and the work of social justice?

Facilitated by Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Mishkan Shalom, Co-chair of the Clergy Caucus of POWER Interfaith, Co-director of the Davvenen Leaders Institute, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) representative to the Philadelphia Religious Leaders’ Council

Wednesdays, 12:00pm-1:15pm EST — October 25, November 15, November 29

Members of Congregation CBST holding signs at protest march
This network will focus on aspects of weaving together the work of tikkun olam and one’s spiritual life. From a Jewish perspective, we are always called to tikkun in the times of our lives. Our current times have brought with them an intensified level of challenge in the realm of social, environmental, economic and racial justice. We will explore Jewish perspectives, spiritual approaches and best practices of our day to live the deep call to tikkun hanefesh v’olam— the repair/balancing/integration of one’s own soul and the world we are part of. Whether your focus is on mindfulness meditation, prayer and ritual, community organizing, marches or lobbying, will work on the integrative Jewish approach to a healthy and balanced life and a more just, equitable and sustainable world. Find more information here.

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Learn about our First Session

Listen to Rabbi Shawn’s niggun here

Our first session of Spirituality of Activism was off to a rousing start, as Rabbi Shawn Zevit began with a niggun heard over the speakers and headphones of participants across the country. We plunged into a conversation on the history of “tikkun hanefesh v’olam,” the repair, balancing, and integration of one’s own soul and the world we are a part of. In thinking about the connection between social justice and prayer, we were encouraged by the idea of creating a network to share resources, ideas, and offer support to one another as we traverse the intersection of holiness and taking action.

This useful document summarizes processes and programs that can take place in congregations, as well as information about taking action in the outside world.

Rabbi Shawn’s powerpoint 

 “The History of Tikkun Olam” Jill Jacobs,

 “The History of the Term Tikkun Olam in 20th Century America,” Noam Zion.

Our Illuminating Second Session

Listen to our new niggun from Rabbi Shawn!

In our second session of Spirituality of Activism, we discussed the struggles of finding a way to work, live, pray, and eat while integrating tikkun olam practices in daily life. Through text studies from Babylonian Talmud, the Reconstructionist Prayerbook, and Living Our Values of Tikkun Olam., we reflected on the relationship between recognizing Jewish values and living Jewish values. Our discussion moved into the importance of crafting connections with interfaith and local communities, and letting values of equity, compassion, and respect enter our daily activities even when they are not appointed by Tikkun Olam Committees. As Rabbi Shawn said, we must recognize “the tikkun of oneself as well as the world.”

There Shall Be No Needy“ by Rabbi Jill Jacobs

Don’t Kvetch, Organize!“ from JOIN for Justice



The Reconstructionist Network

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Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

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The Reconstructionist Network