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Tikkun Olam

Group of somber people wearing orange clothing and holding a banner that says WEAR ORANGE

On Friday, June 5, we observe Wear Orange Day, a national day of awareness about the scourge of gun violence in the United States. We wear orange to call attention to the epidemic of gun violence facing our country, and to fight for a future free from gun violence. 

Katie Wysong
Closeup of rusted prison cell bars

The Book of Proverbs instructs us to “speak up for those who cannot speak...to raise our voices on behalf of the vulnerable and downtrodden.” (Proverbs 31:8-9). The individuals who make up America’s prison population are isolated, vulnerable, and voiceless.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Hilly Haber
Male icon and female icon sitting upon coins on a seesaw to represent the gender wage imbalance
March 31 marks how far into the new year women must work to receive in wages what their male counterparts earned in the previous calendar year. 
 
 
Katie Wysong
Still from the film Just Mercy showing Michael B Jordans character comforting the character played by Jamie Foxx

I carry the trauma of my ancestors, who were kidnapped and enslaved, who survived post-abolition racist terrorism, and who survived devastating Jim Crow laws. I also carry the history of the Jewish people, who have survived countless acts of violence, forced conversion, and genocide.

Chris Harrison
Somber male doctor looking over his shoulder while wearing scrubs and a face mask

I run the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a nonprofit federally funded community health center in Pittsburgh. Many people have asked me what it feels like in the trenches. The answer? We feel very much alone.

Susan Friedberg Kalson
Hands holding a glowing globe

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before a live audience at the 2019 Union for Reform Judaism Biennial.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Evan Traylor standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial
Photo credit: Rob Dicker/Union for Reform Judaism

Hope can be too hard to find - but really, those moments are exactly when we need hope the most. As I reflect upon my life, I am struck by this idea of hope, and how it serves as the underpinning of my entire family’s history.

Evan Traylor
Hand holding a smartphone with a large DONATE button

We live in difficult times, and as a progressive Reform Jew who cares deeply about injustice and human rights, I sit in frustration and horror at the atrocities unfolding daily. I wonder, like so many others, what can I do?

Laura Solomon
People marching over a bridge holding signs that read DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY MARCH PROUDLY

Our statement is rooted in the themes of repentance and reflection, all the more relevant as we enter a time of self-reflection during the month of Elul. I invite you to read the complete statement and share with your friends and family.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Two teen boys holding an award and wearing matching red tees that say THIS SHIRT CAN SAVE A LIFE

When 17 people were killed in a shooting at our school, we were devastated by the deaths of our friends and teachers, and we wanted – no, needed – to take action. Here's how our Jewish values continue to guide and inform that work.

Jason Halpern

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