Speak Torah to Power is a transformational speaker series and educational curriculum, in which diverse Jewish educators from around the country address the most pressing issues of our time to offer us the Jewish thinking most needed in today’s world. Issues range from the climate crisis and food insecurity to racial justice, creating change within our political systems, and more. Speak Torah to Power features incredible leaders including: Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, Founder and Director of Edot: The Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collaborative; Nate Looney, Avodah’s Manager of Racial Justice Initiatives and a U.S. Army veteran with a background in urban farming; Founder and CEO of Swipe out Hunger (and Avodah alum!) Rachel Sumekh, who credits her intersectional lens to being raised by her Jewish Iranian immigrant parents; Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, the founder and CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action; Jamie Margolin, a Latinx Jewish teen climate activist and author; and the inimitable Ruth W. Messinger, former CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), who also served in New York City political office for 20 years. Previous speakers include Yavilah McCoy, Dove Kent, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Dr. Koach Frazier, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, and Rabbi Rachel Timoner. You can view the entire series and download the curriculum/discussion guides here.
The Jewish community is stronger and more authentically rooted in justice when everyone has an equal seat at the table. This moment calls us to do the best, most authentic, and most effective work for justice that we can. We know that there are many kinds of injustice in our world, including racism, antisemitism, and white supremacy. To do our part in dismantling these systems of oppression and building a better, more just world, we need to understand how they affect each other, and we must do true coalition building. Avodah’s Racial Justice Guide is intended to be a resource for Jewish nonprofit organizations. It has been written for all stages of leadership, as racial justice and inclusion are everyone’s responsibilities. In each section, we share an example of how Avodah worked through this stage of our process, and resources for how your organization might put this into practice. You can view our interactive Racial Justice Guide here and the materials are also available to download as a PDF format.
Tikkun Olam: Our Turn was born out of a desire to deepen the ‘mitzvah project” experience at b’nai mitzvah time—to provide better context and mentoring for our communities’ young adults as they stood on the threshold of adulthood in our communal institutions. Click here to learn more about Tikkum Olam.
Working for social change can sometimes feel hard and exhausting- it takes time to have an impact, and progress doesn’t always happen in a straight line. Read the eleven ways of thinking about the work, by Avodah”s founder, Rabbi David Rosenn, that can help inspire you to dig in for the long haul.
Avodah has collected the following Haggadot and Passover resources from our partners and allies in our social justice work. Use these materials to help foster dialogue, lead prayers, and foster community during this holiday of liberation.