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A Social Justice Gift Guide for Hanukkah

In search of a unique Hanukkah gift for the social justice hero in your life? Look no further than this guide for all your gift-giving needs - with an emphasis on tikkun olam, the repair of our broken world.

1. Give refuge to the millions fleeing violence and turmoil.

Few stories have captured global attention like the plight of refugees fleeing their homes – many from Syria and heading to Europe – in search of a better life for themselves and their families. HIAS is leading the Jewish community response to this crisis, and a gift to HIAS is a gift that will help assist refugees around the world.

2. Give lifesaving anti-malarial nets.

This Hanukkah, help eliminate malaria death in sub-Saharan Africa by joining the Union for Reform Judaism’s Nothing But Nets campaign. With a $10 donation you can provide a life-saving bed net to families who have fled conflict and are living in refugee camps. Make a donation and help save lives today.

3. Give the gift of Jewish music.

Have any musicians in your life? Someone who believes music can change the world? Give the ultimate social justice songbook, Tzedek Tirdof, featuring songs that resound with Jewish values and transcend personal boundaries. Start a (musical) revolution!

4. Give delicious and ethically sourced food.

The foodie in your family will love the healthy and ethically-sourced foods that come with a share in your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, purchased through Hazon’s Tuv Ha’aretz Jewish CSA program or a farm near you. A few hundred dollars buys an entire season’s worth of nutritious food and the opportunity to connect with your community, Jewish values and the environment in the most delicious way!

5. Give fair trade gifts.

When was that last time you gave someone cool Judaica? It’s Hanukkah, after all, so consider giving that Jewish social justice junkie in your life some fair trade Hanukkah gelt from Guilt Free Gelt or a new tallit (prayer shawl) or challah covering made by Guatamalan artisans receiving fair wages available at Fair Trade Judaica. Check out the fair trade jewelry at Bead for Life or the delicious coffee beans at Equal Exchange.

6. Give a future of religious pluralism.

More than ever, the momentum for religious pluralism in Israel is vital. With recent vandalism and threats of violence at a Reform synagogue at Ra’anana, and as calls for Prime Minister Netanyahu to implement the agreement made a year ago to establish an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel escalate, our voices are needed more than ever to ensure that Israel is a home for all Jews. Make a donation to the Israel Religious Action Center to support their work to ensure religious pluralism in Israel.

7. Give the opportunity for Jewish advocacy.

Your favorite Jewish social justice advocate will love the gift of registration to the Consultation on Conscience, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s biennial social justice leadership conference. Held in Washington, D.C., this conference Reform Jews through leadership development, opportunities for network and community building, and active dialogue, culminating in an afternoon of advocacy on Capitol Hill. The 2017 event will focus on issues of racial justice, including topics such as suppression and mass incarceration.

8. Give the gift of tikkun olam.

Honor a Jewish hero for justice by making a tax-deductible gift to the Union for Reform Judaism in his or her name. Your gift will provide funding for creative Reform Jewish programming and help ensure the continued growth and strength of Reform Judaism.

Looking for more ways to incorporate social justice into your Hanukkah celebration? Learn more about Ner Shel Tzedakah ("Candle of Righteousness"), a project in which families and individuals devote the sixth night of Hanukkah to learning about the problem of poverty. Leave a comment to share how you incorporate social justice into your holiday observance.