Session 3: You Gotta Fight for Your Right

Session 3: You Gotta Fight for Your Right!
Political Freedom
Goals Wheelniks will study an example of the Jewish commitment to advocating
for political freedom. By examining the Soviet Refusenik era and the connection
between Heschel, MLK and the civil rights movement, Wheelniks will recognize
that the fight for freedom is ongoing and an American responsibility.
 A Call to Action – Social Action and political freedom – Pidyon Shevyim, FSU
refuseniks, Heschel and Martin Luther King
Essential Questions: What is justice? What does it mean to advocate? How
does advocacy demonstrate a free society? What are different types of societal
freedom and how do they protect and defend us?
Enduring Understandings
.Wheelniks will understand the concept of societal freedoms that have historically
been restricted. Wheelniks will understand the idea of advocating for justice in a
free society. Wheelniks will understand that freedom and equality does not come
without effort. Voices must be raised (political awareness and advocacy) for
change to come about (this will lead into the next series of sessions on “standing
up for what you believe in”)
1. Create an Experience
Leader comes in and lists new Wheels East rules (completely unfair, unjust and
ridiculous rules)
Examples: Wheels East participants must now abide by the following rules:
 You must sit beside the same person every single day for the rest of the trip
 guys can only talk to guys and girls to girls
 You can only ask the staff ONE question per day
 If we go to a museum, you are not allowed to speak AT ALL
Etc. (speak seriously even if the ones you make up are ridiculous)
Offer consequences: if any of these rules are broken, you will have to write a
letter of apology and phone home to explain to your parents that you broke the
USY on Wheels East rules
Wheelniks will whine about the new rules. Let them react.
1. Analyze and Discuss
 Okay, these rules are fake. But…what did you learn from this exercise? What
did you recognize about fairness and injustice? How did you feel being treated so
poorly by those who are supposed to look out for you? What emotions did you
3. Integrate the experience and analysis
Read text from Dvarim out loud:
“Tzedek Tzedek tirdof”- Justice, justice you shall pursue
Dvarim 16:20
 Why is tzedek repeated?
Terms to know: Tzedek, Tikkun Olam
Part of being a free people is the pursuit of justice- fighting for the rights of all
people. Judaism takes the pursuit of justice very seriously, repeating the word
twice. We know how important Tikun Olam is and fighting for freedom and justice
is a major method of repairing the world.
4. Teach the Concept - your rights in a free society. As an American, what
are your rights?
Societal freedoms such as defense, the right to bear arms (no, not the right to
bare arms!), freedom of speech, rent control, freedom to choose employment,
freedom of religion, taxes to help the poor, legality of alcohol, etc. are examples
of rights associated with a free nation. What would you do if these rights were
Split USYers into 4 groups. Hand out copies of personalities, one to each group.
“Being Black in American 1965” – Rosa Parks, MLK
“A Soviet Refusenik and the Gulag” the story of Natan Sharansky and the Jewish
American response
Vietnam War
Darfur – Elie Weisel, United States Holocaust Memorial Speech
Read through the examples of social injustice and decide how these people
“pursued justice” What freedoms were restricted? How did laws/ social norms
restrict them? What elements of justice were they lacking?
5. Practice defined givens and add an element of yourself:
Exercise: Imagine you are living at this time, dealing with this issue. What would
YOU do in your situation? What do you think others did?
Group 1: You are on the bus with Rosa Parks. You watch this situation happen.
What are your options?
Group 2: Role play a letter exchange between an American Jewish activist and
Natan Sharansky. Fight to end oppression of Soviet Jewry
How does the “let my people go” line Shemot (the Passover story) relate to this?
Itt became the motto of the refusnik cause!
Group 3: Imagine you are living in America in the late 60s. Your brother has been
drafted to fight in Vietnam, a war that you believe just shouldn’t be happening.
Now, it affects your own family and you’re mad.
Group 4: Genocide in Sudan/Darfur
Real life. Right now. Read through the bolded parts of Elie Wiesel’s speech on
Darfur. This is an ongoing issue. What can YOU do?
(attachments: Elie Wiesel USHMM Speech, Rosa Parks story, Natan Sharansky
story, Page 2 of background info on Darfur)
1. Debrief the experience
Those who were bold enough to stand up for the cause took action. They
protested on the streets, in front of government buildings…they wrote letters and
marched, they made their voices heard and found strength in numbers
We live in a society where political freedom is a right, not a privilege. However,
we’ve had to fight for it in different ways at different times. What were your
discussions like? Were they heated or uncomfortable? Did it help to understand
the situation by putting yourself in the situation? Why is it so hard to advocate for
political freedoms as Americans? Do you think we take our freedom for granted?
Do we not stand up until it affects us? Would the Holocaust have been different if
people were more willing to advocate? How or why is justice or advocacy such a
dominant JEWISH cause? Why is it always on the forefront of Jewish causes?
7. Apply to a new experience: Wheelniks on Strike!
Create a false new Wheels East rule (example: everyone in bed by 9pm, no
social or chofesh time, etc) and have the Wheelniks learn how to protest! Supply
them with posters and markers, paper and pens for writing letters to the
government (group leaders), have them make announcements to rally together,
Group 1: Rosa Parks
Era: 1960’s America (Alabama)
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was
an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called
"Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement". She is credited as really
sparking the civil rights fight.
On December 1, 1955, Parks became famous for refusing to obey bus driver
James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white
passenger. This action of civil disobedience started the Montgomery Bus
Boycott, which is one of the largest movements against racial segregation.
Segregation meant that blacks and whites had to sit separately in all public
places. In addition, this launched Martin Luther King, Jr., who was involved
with the boycott, to prominence in the civil rights movement. She has had a
lasting legacy worldwide. She had a long day and was tired…her inaction to
move led to major action to make a difference for African American rights and
You are on the bus with Rosa Parks. You watch this situation happen. What are
your options? Role play it.
Group 2: Natan Sharansky in the Gulag
The Jewish civil rights struggle: Soviet Refuseniks and the fight to free Soviet
Jews, era: 1980’s America
Term to know: Refusenik – During the Cold War, Jews were seen as traitors or a
security liability. Refuseniks were Soviet Jews who were refused the freedom to
practice as Jews and refused the freedom to emigrate (leave the country). Natan
Sharansky became the face of the Refusenik cause.
While imprisoned in the Soviet prison, known as the gulag, Natan’s wife Avital,
advocated to world Jewry to free him. American Jews, who were active in the
civil rights movement in the US, now turned to world issues to fight for. The
protest song of Moses’ demand to Pharoah, “Let my people go” (Shelach et ami)
found new meaning as Jews around the world fought to free Soviet Jews living in
Communist Russia. How is the Soviet Jewry situation comparable to Jewish
slavery in Egypt?
Refuseniks who were denied visas out of the Soviet Union, lost their jobs and
were seen as a burden on the Soviet society. They were exiled to Siberia and
imprisoned in the Gulag.
Sharansky Speaks: *appeared in Time Magazine and Newsweek and on
countless news channels. He became the face of the Refusenik population
“Five years ago I submitted my application for exit to Israel. Now I am further
than ever from my dream….I am happy that I lived honestly, in peace with my
conscience. I never compromised my soul, even under the threat of death…for
more than 2000 years, the Jewish people, my people, have been dispersed. But
wherever they are, each year they have repeated ‘next year in Jerusalem.’
Now… I say, turning to my people…Next year in Jerusalem!” And I turn to you,
the court who were required to confirm a pre-determined sentence: to you I have
nothing to say”
An American Activist speaks
Pamela Cohen, former national president of the Union of Councils of Soviet
“Our dream was inviolate and unshakeable. We were defiant and unrelenting and
stubborn and we fought on every front…where Jews were fired from their jobs…
where they were stripped of their academic degrees…where they were denied
medical attention. We fought for the right of our people in prison and labor
camps. We fought anti-Semitic article after anti-Semitic article and we knew that
every battle…had to be won”
 Role play a letter exchange between an American Jewish activist and
Sharansky writing from the gulag.
Group 3: Fighting Vietnam
Loh yisa goy el goy cherev, loh yilmedu od milchama
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall learn war anymore
Era: 1960’s America
Role Play:
Your brother has just been drafted to serve in a painful, ongoing war you are so
much opposed. Now, your family is affected and you’re MAD. You have the
opportunity to speak to a US senator. Decide as a group, how you would
approach this issue.
Vietnam was divided between south and north. North was Communist and the
US government (Eisenhower, then Kennedy), sent troops to fight in order to help
the South defend itself against the North. Johnson, who replaced Kennedy
following his assassination, sent more US troops to North Vietnam and the
bombing escalated. He expected that the show of force would cause the
Communists to surrender. The Northern Vietnam Communists kept fighting,
waiting for the Americans to tire. However, the antiwar movement in the US kept
growing. Abraham Joshua Heschel played a leading role in the anti war
movement forming the Clergy Concerned about Vietnam group. He claimed that
as clergy “to speak about God and remain silent about Vietnam is blasphemous
(not pious). Synagogues endorsed the withdrawal if American troops in 1966.
Some Jewish groups endorsed the war so that they were not be conflicting with
their desire for the government to continue to send weapons to help Israel. The
Clergy group mentioned above, advocated to allow more men to avoid being
drafted into the war if they ethically objected to it.
Do you agree with what Heschel said? Why would clergy in particular be so
concerned about war?
Group 4: Darfur
*skim through it, discuss bolded words and questions
in margin
Remarks delivered at the Darfur Emergency Summit,
So what that
convened at the Graduate Center of the City University of
people know? It
New York on July 14, 2004, by the American Jewish World
hasn’t stopped it
Service and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Indifference- not
Sudan has become today’s world capital of human pain, suffering caring or doing
and agony. There, one part of the population has been – and still is anything about it
– subjected by another part, the dominating part, to humiliation,
hunger and death. For a while, the so-called civilized world
knew about it and preferred to look away. Now people know.
And so they have no excuse for their passivity bordering on
indifference. Those who, like you my friends, try to break the walls
of their apathy deserve everyone’s support and everyone’s
As for myself, I have been involved in the efforts to help Sudanese
victims for some years. It was a direct or indirect consequence of a
millennium lecture I had given in the White House on the subject,
“The Perils of Indifference”. After I concluded, a woman in the
audience rose and said: “I am from Rwanda.” She asked me how I
could explain the international community’s indifference to the
Rwandan massacres. I turned to the President who sat at my
right and said: “Mr. President, you better answer this question. You
know as well as we do that the Rwanda tragedy, which cost from
Why does the
world stand by
while people
600,000 to 800,000 victims, innocent men, women and children,
could have been averted. Why wasn’t it?” His answer was honest
and sincere: “It is true, that tragedy could have been averted.
That’s why I went there to apologize in my personal name and in
the name of the American people. But I promise you: it will not
happen again.”
That brutal tragedy is still continuing, now in Sudan’s Darfur region. Now its
horrors are shown on television screens and on front pages of influential publications.
Congressional delegations, special envoys and humanitarian agencies send back or bring
back horror-filled reports from the scene. A million human beings, young and old,
have been uprooted, deported. Scores of women are being raped every day,
children are dying of disease hunger and violence. How can a citizen of a free
country not pay attention? How can anyone, anywhere not feel outraged? How
can a person, whether religious or secular, not be moved by compassion? And
above all, how can anyone who remembers remain silent?
As a Jew who does not compare any event to the Holocaust, I feel concerned
and challenged by the Sudanese tragedy. We must be involved. How can we
reproach the indifference of non-Jews to Jewish suffering if we remain
indifferent to another people’s plight?
It happened in Cambodia, then in former Yugoslavia, and in Rwanda, now in Sudan.
Asia, Europe, Africa: Three continents have become prisons, killing fields and cemeteries
for countless innocent, defenseless populations. Will the plague be allowed to spread?
“Lo taamod al dam réakha” is a Biblical commandment. “Thou shall not stand
idly by the shedding of the blood of thy fellow man.” The word is not “akhikha,”
thy Jewish brother, but “réakha,” thy fellow human being, be he or she Jewish
or not. All are entitled to live with dignity and hope. All are entitled to live
without fear and pain.
Not to assist Sudan’s victims today would for me be unworthy of what I have learned
from my teachers, my ancestors and my friends, namely that God alone is alone: His
creatures must not be. What pains and hurts me most now is the simultaneity of
events. While we sit here and discuss how to behave morally, both individually and
collectively, over there, in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, human beings kill and die.
Should the Sudanese victims feel abandoned and neglected, it would be our
fault – and perhaps our guilt.
And if not now, when?
Get up, stand up: Fighting for your beliefs
Sicha 1: Speak up! What do I believe? Why do we fight, what is worth fighting for
and how can I fight for it? Jewish texts on justice, examples of advocacy (civil
rights) and people involved
 race relations, free speech, freedom of religion, reproductive rights, gender
equality (Betty Freidan)
Sicha 2: Modern Advocacy: Darfur, Global Warming, Pidyon Shvuyim (Israel)
Sicha 3: Advocacy: can I really make a difference? Methods of advocacy. What
can kids/young adults do to change the world? Create a service project or
something to prepare for Capital Hill
Goals: Wheelniks will determine what they believe in, their values in response to
justice and rights. Wheelniks will examine the Jewish perspective on rights and
standing up for what you believe in,
They will examine examples of advocacy (following the previous session on
political freedoms) and what can be done to make a difference. They will explore
modern examples of advocacy and practice methods of advocacy to learn how to
make a difference.
Essential Questions: What do YOU feel strongly about? What values, rights do
YOU fight for? Why do people stand idly by when there is suffering? What do
YOU believe can and should be done? Why is the pursuit of justice such a strong
Jewish cause?
Enduring Understandings: Wheelniks will understand the extreme necessity to
stand up against injustice. They will recognize inequality and unfairness and gain
skills to fight against what they believe to be wrong
Session 1: Speak up! What do I believe?
Wheelniks will gain perspective on what they will believe. They will understand
what it means to stand up for what you believe in and learn from secular and
Jewish sources, the Jewish obligation to advocate. They accomplish this by
exploring examples of advocacy on a number of “hot topics”
Sequence of Instruction:
1. Create an experience - Walk the Line
With tape, mark a line dividing the room in half (if on Shabbat, make a line with
clothing or something else). Split the group into 2, half on one side of the line,
half on the other.
Call out the “What would YOU fight for?” statements attached. Ask the Wheelniks
to step up onto the line if they agree with the statement. Ask them to step back
once the statement has been read. For each one, ask them why they would
stand up and fight that cause.
2. Analyze the experience
Were there any statements that you hesitated to answer? Why did you feel so
strongly about some and not others? Describe what it would be like to not have
anything to stand up for?
3. Integrate the analysis and experience
How does standing up for something you believe in leave an impact on you?
What is the benefit for YOU? Why do we fight for causes? What causes do we
fight for and why?
4. Teach the Concept
Jewish sources on justice and standing up for what you believe in (advocacy)
Post Jewish sources of justice and advocacy (attached) AND IMAGES around
the room or on the floor spread apart so they can stand by them
images will help them explain the Jewish insistence on pursuing justice
How do the pictures justify the words? What emotions do you feel looking at
these pictures? Do images motivate you to want to do something (seeing is
Why do we advocate for causes, why do we stand against injustice? Choose the
quote or image that most represents what you feel is the reason we advocate.
Explain your choice. Can you think of a type of advocacy that would motivate you
to pursue justice?
5. Practice the Givens and add an element of yourself
Split Wheelniks into 5 groups
Hand out one cause to each group (attached).
Explain to group: A large donor is interested in giving to a cause. You represent
an advocacy group. Read the background info on your topic and decide on WHO
your advocacy group represents, WHAT you stand for, accomplishments- what
you’ve done for this cause and WHY you would be deserving of the donation.
Present it to the big donor as a commercial. Use emotion to attract the donor to
your cause (humor, sadness, empathy, understanding, creativity)
How would YOU advocate for this cause?
* for gender equality (group 2) and women in the Conservative Movement,
use page 97 of Dror Yikra sourcbook for A Timeline of Evolution of Egalitarianism
in Conservative Judaism
Groups present one by one. The “big donor” (group leaders) discusses and
chooses a “winner,” deciding that no cause is of greater or less importance, the
money will be divided among a number of causes.
6. Analyze and Debrief
Each of these issues stirs controversy and debate. Each forces one to consider
the different sides and perspectives and decide whether to take a stand. Each of
you is or was in some way affected by these issues. How did it feel having to
take a stand? What kinds of debates did you encounter? How do you handle
different opinions and perspectives respectfully? Imagine working as a law maker
for the government, can you make laws that protect EVERYONE?
7. Apply to a new experience
Think in your head of a cause YOU would fight for today. What new law would
stir you to get up and fight for what you believe in? What do you feel strongly
enough about to really take action and not “stand idly by on the blood of you
Attachment: What would YOU fight for? Statements
Italics explain common attitudes, don’t read out loud until after they’ve moved
Stand on the line if you agree, step off if you disagree
1. Richer people should have to pay more taxes so they poorer people
can receive subsidies and support (economic disparity)
2. My family comes first- I would fight for my family’s rights before
someone poor or desperate the “it doesn’t effect me” reason why
people don’t help out
3. People who don’t work hard, don’t deserve help why should I give to
them if they aren’t willing to help themselves?
4. People who are abused and refuse to leave their situation, should
not be helped. They should help themselves before anyone else
steps in. Why can’t they just leave the situation?
5. The government needs to make decisions based on what’s good for
everyone and not just minorities like ethnic groups and poor people.
yes, but what’s good for richer white people isn’t going to help
poorer minorities
6. laws are meant to protect all people and are fair. “Fair” to one isn’t
fair to all
7. people should have the freedom to live as they wish, regardless of
consequences to others Full freedom would bring utter chaos,
people need boundaries
8. If something is offensive, it should not be published in newspapers
What is considered offensive? Eg. Israel
9. The government should have stricter laws for what goes on TV. Can
we restrict what people find entertaining? What if children see it?
What if they aired a show denying the Holocaust?
10. Women with children should be required to only hold certain jobs.
Statistics show that children benefit more from a mother being at home.
Attachment: Jewish sources on Justice and advocacy (cut
out or write on poster paper)
“Tzedek Tzedek tirdof”- Justice, justice
you shall pursue – D’varim 16:20
 why is ‘tzedek’ repeated? Pursue is such an
assertive word. Why use this word instead of ‘follow’ or ‘go after’?
“In a free society, where terrible wrongs
exist, some are guilty, all are
Abraham Joshua Heschel
“loh ta’amod al dam reyecha”: “You shall not
stand idly by the shedding of the blood of
your fellow human.” (Vayikra 19:16)
Why is it reyecha and not achicha? Why is it your fellow human and not
brother like in the Cain and Abel story? Responsibility to all of mankind
“Ayeka?” – Where are you? Genesis 3:9
(After Adam eats from the tree of
knowledge, God asks him “where are you?”)
What does this have to do with advocacy and the pursuit of justice?
The person who saves a single life, saves
the entire world
- Talmud Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 4:9
“Rabbi Hillel said: If I am not for myself,
who will be for me? If I am only for
myself, what am I? And if not now,
when?” – Pirkei Avot
Gender rights:
Genocide in Rwanda and Darfur
suffering in third world countries
Homelessness (poverty)
Women’s rights/feminism
Religious freedom
Reproductive rights (the right for women to choose what happens to their bodies)
Free speech (the freedom to voice your opinion, no matter what it is)
Racial rights
Environment (natural disasters)
Children’s rights
Domestic Violence
If Not NOW…when? Standing up for What You Believe In
Group 1: Jewish involvement in… Race Relations & the Civil Rights Movement of
the 1960s
What: Civil Rights Movement – aimed at gaining equality for African Americans,
ending segregation, the legally mandated separation of blacks and whites, allowing
access for blacks to all public places and resources
Jewish source: “For the sake of peace in the human race a single person was first
created, so that no person may say to another “my ancestor is greater than your ancestor”
(Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5)
Who (names to remember): Martin Luther King – leader of the civil rights
movement, assassinated, 1968
Rosa Parks – her refusal to give up her bus seat for a white person sparked the Alabama
bus riots and truly lit the flame for the civil rights movement.
Abraham Joshua Heschel – Rabbi Heschel was very involved in fighting for the
rights of African Americans. He marched in support with Martin Luther King in 1965
from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, was present at the MARCH ON WASHINGTON
where King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech, and he connected African
American struggle to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. For Heschel, fighting for civil
rights was a religious imperative (crucial, necessary).
Heschel’s Remarks:
“Racism is the gravest threat to man [people] – the maximum hatred for a minimum
“I felt a sense of the Holy in what I was doing…Even without words, our march was
worship. I felt my legs were praying.” {following the march from Selma to Montgomery)
What did civil rights activists do?
 gathered in mass numbers to protest segregation and the civil rights bill (March of
 boycott stores that do not allow African American shoppers
 letters to congress, fight for bills to be passed so laws would be changed
 traveled to the south to show their support, where the situation was the worst
 helped blacks register to vote
 sat with blacks in ‘black only’ sections to attempt to eliminate segregation
 befriend African Americans and show their support through personal ties
Why your cause is crucial: Consider this:
Segregation: blacks were not allowed to go to the same schools, drink from the same
water fountain or even go to university
 for Jews, memories of the Holocaust were still fresh in their minds (feel someone’s
suffering, feel someone’s pain and do something about it)
 a people who have been physically, spiritually and religiously oppressed have every
obligation to stand up against the oppression of others
If Not NOW…when? Standing up for What You Believe In
Group 2: Feminism, women’s liberation movement
Betty Friedan (Born: Bettye Naomi Goldstein)
wrote the famous 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique”
Women were victims of subtle discrimination and harmed by a society that only valued
them in roles of wife and mother
 co-founder of NOW – National Organization for Women, with three other Jewish
women. NOW secured equal rights for women
 fought for child care centers for working mothers, helped legalize abortion and pushed
for more women in the workforce
Gloria Steinman – Cofounder of New York magazine and Ms. Magazine.
Co- founded the Ms foundation for Women to help needy women and girls
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
 first female justice of the Supreme Court
“I am a judge born, raised and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice runs through
the entirety of the Jewish tradition. I hope, in my years on the bench of the Supreme
Court, I will have the strength and courage to remain constant in the service of that
Women’s rights to reproductive freedom (more control over their bodies – birth
control, abortion)
Celebrated women’s rights to vote
Women’s equality in the workforce
Opportunities for better child care for working mothers
Why your cause is crucial:
 common sense! Why wouldn’t women be equal to men?
 girls: think about how limited your life choices would be without the women’s
 Why do you think so many Jewish women decided to fight traditional women’s
 the women’s movement affected American society AND forced Jewish
institutions to reconsider women’s roles in the Jewish community
If Not NOW…when? Standing up for What You Believe In
Group 3 – Free Speech
What: getting rid of strict censorship laws, to allow the freedom to express
opinions, the right to disagree (Its in our blood as Jews- 2 Jews, three opinions is
an old joke)
US FIRST AMMENDMENT:”Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging
[condensing, shortening] the freedom of speech or the press..”
Jewish background on speech
Definition: Shmirat Halashon – guarding your tongue, watching what you say
Raban Gamliel told his servant Tobi to go to the market and purchase the
best that he could. Tobi returned with a tongue. The following day, he sent Tobi
to get the worst the market had and Tobi went out and returned again with a
tongue. When asked why he purchased the tongue both times, he replied “there
is nothing better than a good tongue and nothing worse than an evil one”
(Vayikta Rabbah 33)
 How does this explain the dangers and benefits of free speech? Can you think
of examples of both?
 does free speech mean you can say whatever you want to whomever?
Consider this: You read an article in the newspaper comparing Israeli soldiers to
Nazis. You angrily write a letter to the editor claiming this as anti-semitic and
receive a reply that “newspapers are meant to encourage and support free
speech” Grrrrr!
Fine, the article stays but your letter of defense gets published. Both sides are
Should there be limits or restrictions on free speech?
What about Facebook, My Space and blogs? These are examples of free
speech but what dangers have they caused? Have you experienced the
dangers and benefits of free speech? You do so everyday ONLINE!
Use these examples to fight for your cause
If Not NOW…when? Standing up for What You Believe In
Group 4: Religious Freedom
What: Separation of “church” (religion) and state ensures that the state does not
determine how you practice religion. All religions are considered equal and no
laws can infringe on your religious practice.
In America, you have a CHOICE, whether to live or identify as Jews. What if
you didn’t even have the option, what if you COULDN’T be Jewish?
During the Communist regime of the Former Soviet Union (1917-1991), no one
was allowed to be different from one another. Therefore, all religions were
banned. Suddenly, when Communism fell, people were uncovering their roots
and discovering they were Jewish, without a clue to what that meant. Could you
imagine having to explain to a Jew what being Jewish meant?
Why your cause is crucial:
Imagine you are a Jewish student in Kentucky. What would you do in the
following cases?
 the basketball tryouts are over Rosh Hashanah and the coach will not make
an exception for you
 The only food in the cafeteria is meat, pepperoni pizza and disgusting tuna
that makes you want to throw up
 at school assembly, the principal insists that everyone say the Lord’s Prayer (a
prayer alluding to Jesus) before you begin
 you are asked to participate in a Christmas concert and sing songs praising
 your parent gets fired from his/her job for not being able to work on Saturday
 a boy or girl on your softball team asks you to show him/her your “horns”
(stereotype that Jews are born with horns)
 a new class is being offered for freshmen on religion. It deals mainly with
Christian perspectives of God
 a tragedy happens in the community and in order for the students to deal with
it, a Christian clergy member is brought in to speak about faith
 you meet a new friend who grew up in the Former Soviet Union who has never
before seen matzah and has never worn a Kippah. He says he’s not proud to be
Jewish…he doesn’t even know what that means! How would you explain it to
If Not NOW…when? Standing up for What You Believe In
Group 5: Gay rights – can the government/law makers tell you who to love?
Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement
Tshuvah (Halachik response to an issue)
Read bolded text and consider WHO it affects, WHAT the issues are and WHY
your issue deserves the donor’s support. Remember, Jews were always affected
by laws that singled them out as different from their neighbors. Shouldn’t we be
sensitive to these laws that single out gay relationships?
MEMORANDUM: Date: December 6, 2006
Dr. Raymond B. Goldstein, International President
Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, Executive Vice President
COMMITTEE ON JEWISH LAW AND STANDARDS Ordination of gays and lesbians and same-sex commitment
Within the past few hours, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards completed its
deliberation on five responsa that considered whether Jewish law may allow the
ordination of gay men and lesbians and same-sex commitment ceremonies. The
debate and the deliberation, which took place over many sessions, was serious,
passionate, and at times heated. The issue has been treated with great sensitivity by
everyone involved.
 Imagine you were present at the meetings debating this issue. What are the pros and
cons? Why would it be so heated? Debate both sides.
…we want to inform you as soon as possible that the committee has endorsed papers
both reaffirming the status quo [popular opinion] and affirming change. The status
quo, as you know, has been that the ordination of openly gay men and lesbians was
not allowed, and rabbis who performed same-sex commitment ceremonies did so
without the Law Committee’s sanction [permission]. The result of the committee’s
vote means that rabbis, synagogues, and other Conservative institutions may
continue not to permit commitment ceremonies and not to hire openly gay or
lesbian rabbis and cantors. On the other hand, rabbis, synagogues, and institutions
can perform or host those ceremonies and are free to hire openly gay rabbis and
cantors. The halakha of the Conservative movement, as voted by the Law
Committee, now allows both positions. Both are considered valid.
 Can you have it both ways? How would this work?
One of the basic tenets of the Conservative movement is that each rabbi who is the
spiritual leader of a congregation is the mara d’atra, or final decisor of Jewish law, in that
congregation. Therefore, the decisions of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards,
while important, are advisory. Reached after serious scholarship, thought, and debate,
the decisions provide guidance and support to congregational rabbis, who must
make their own decisions. Another basic truth of our movement is its diversity. We
draw strength from the differences in practice and commitment that mark
Conservative congregations, even as we celebrate our common bonds and shared
values. Today’s decision is another example of the wide range of Conservative
Judaism. If we work together, we can show that strength in action.
No matter which path a rabbi and congregation may take, which halakha it chooses to
follow, all of our rabbis and congregations share a concern for the dignity of all
human beings. No matter what a rabbi and congregation chooses to do about hiring
gay and lesbian rabbis or commitment ceremonies, all must show respect and
sensitivity to all Jews, no matter what their sexual orientation may be. All Jews must
be welcome in all our congregations.
 Isn’t that the purpose of law makers- to ensure the dignity of all human beings? How
does this decision do that? Do you find this decision to be fair? Does it follow the
Conservative Movement’s credo of tradition and change? Can you see why the debate
was heated?
U.S. Law:
 Gay marriage is not legal in the U.S.
 Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 - a marriage is defined as a legal union of one
man and one woman only.
 However, the Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent individual states from
defining marriage as they see fit
Massachusetts has recognized same-sex marriage since 2004, though this only affects
state law; the U.S. federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages in
Massachusetts as being marriages under federal law.
Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, California, and New Hampshire have created
legal unions that, while not called marriages, are explicitly defined as offering all the
rights and responsibilities of marriage under state (though not federal) law to samesex couples. Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Washington have
created legal unions for same-sex couples that offer different versions of the rights
and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of those areas.
Interestingly, Canadian law does recognize gay unions federally (nationally). In
2005, Bill C-38 was passed which claimed that defining marriage as a union between
man and woman, violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which grants
equality among all citizens. Laws that apply to one, apply to all. Therefore, marriage
has been redefined as a legal union between 2 PERSONS and not man and woman.
Session 2: Heal the World/ Tikkun Olam
Why should we care that our world needs repair?
Modern Advocacy: Darfur, Global Warming, Pidyon Shvuyim (Israel)
Goals: Through the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, the idea of healing the world,
Wheelinks will explore WHY we advocate for causes and examine three current
social action issues to gain an up-to-date perspective on issues of global
advocacy. With a background of Jewish texts, Wheelinks will gain an
understanding of the Jewish obligation to concern oneself with Tzedek and
Tikkun Olam.
Group leaders will explain the USY commitment to Tikkun Olam and share the
Tikkun Olam program pamphlets with the group
Essential Questions: What can we do to “heal the world?” even in our own
homes? What exactly are we trying to do when we fight for causes such as
global warming? Are we really making a difference? Is it enough to just be aware
of the issues?
Terms: Tikkun Olam, Tzedek, Pidyon Shvuyim
Sequence of Instruction:
1. Create an experience: Heal the World
Option 1: make a poster of a globe and give each person a bandaide. Have
them come up and share with the group one thing that needs to be “healed” in
the world.
Option 2: Read Michael Jackson’s song lyrics for “Heal the world” (attached)
Option 3: Have everyone stand up on one foot. Explain to them that they are the
earth. They can balance, but are shaky and unstable. Now have them find a
partner and try it again. Explain to them that although still shaky, with the help of
someone who cares, they are more secure.
2. Analyze and discuss experience
What thoughts were going through your head during this exercise. What was
your reaction? *leader needs to think of good questions depending on what
activity you chose and Wheelniks reactions.
What did it feel like to think about a broken world?
3. Integrate Analysis and discussion.
Why should we care that the world needs repair? These issues don’t affect you,
why does it matter?
As present and future leaders, you have the power in your hands to make a
difference, to repair the world. Explain the term Tikun Olam – repairing the world
*more than a band-aide, it’s an ongoing concern and commitment to make a
4. Teach the Concept
The Jewish obligation to repair the world is eternal. The SATO program of
Kadima and USY is a dominant feature of our youth movement. We have a
number of different SATO (social action/Tikkun Olam) projects ongoing
throughout the program year as an example of this commitment in action.
It’s about us leaving our mark and making a real difference in the world, making it
a better place to live in present and future.
Think about the present state of the world. What are some Tikkun Olam issues
that dominate our newspapers and concern our citizens today?
Ask Wheelniks to name top three issues. What does Judaism say we should do?
What CAN we do?
Hand out Jewish sources (attached)
In chevrutot, read the two Jewish texts. How do you interpret these texts? What
point are they making? What meaning does it have for you, if any?
1. to do what is just and right – if something is wrong with the world, do what
is just and right to fix it
2. You don’t need to be a superhero to be righteous. Every little thing
you do can go a long way.
5. Practice the givens and add an element of yourself
Split the group into 3 subgroups: Global warming, Pidyon Shvuyim, Darfur
Have each group read the attached info on your topic.
a) Gabbin’ With God. God is one of your email contacts (as God is for all of
us). You have a scheduled appointment with God itself but first God would like to
you to brief God on the issues you wish to bring up. You want to tell God that
God’s creation is in need of repair. As an advocate, you decide to send God an
email, explaining God’s need to help you fix the world. You only have one chance
to create an argument. First, read through the background info.
Decide: What the issue is, consequences and what has been done or
can be done as advocacy
If not on Shabbat- give them poster paper and markers to make a Talmud
page. The summary of the issue goes in the middle and different ideas for how to
help goes all around (as if different commentators)
b)Next, do a JIGSAW: Ask 2 people from each group to join the other 2 (so
there is a rep from each group added to the others) and present their cause. The
jigsawed groups create an email to God (act it out- leader is God responding,
Wheelniks can interject at any time).
Eg. Person from Darfur group, joins Pidyon Shvuyim and Global warming… “our
group discussed Pidyon Shvuyim…”
Each group decides on ONE point to make in an email to God on the three
Pidyon Shvuyim: These innocent young men became victims for their country.
Their families live in torture each day not being able to properly put their
memories to rest. Dear God, our young boys did not deserve the torture and fear.
Their families should not have to suffer for our country. They need to be home.
Leader can reply with: I challenge My people with an ongoing struggle for their
security and safety. Not a day should go by when you don’t appreciate your
homeland and those who risk their lives to fight for it. Your struggle is My
struggle. I cannot change people, I can only inspire people.
Global warming: whether we care or not, this effects us. We are destroying the
world and are/will continue to suffer consequences. Dear God, please forgive us
for taking your creation for granted and ruining your hard work.
Leader can reply: I gave you one earth and you are ruining it. You can invent
gadgets and gizmos but don’t know what to do with what was here long before
you. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til its
Darfur: Dear God, you know, we say ‘never again’ but now…genocide. As Jews it
is our duty and responsibility to end this NOW. Empower us to make a difference,
stop the evil and end the murder and torture. Help us know what to do!
6. Debrief and discuss: Knowledge is action…or is action, action?
Awareness is the first step to advocacy. If you don’t know the issues, how can
you help fix them? Why should we care about these issues as human
beings…and as Jews? Do we separate ourselves from world issues to only
concern ourselves with Jewish issues of advocacy? (think about the Holocaustdid anyone really care to come to OUR aid?). What does just knowing about
these issues do? How can we inspire and motivate people to DO something once
we know. Is knowledge, action?
2. Apply to a new experience
What are some simple first steps we can take together to do Tikkun Olam? Let’s
make a Tikkun Olam pledge that we can take back to our USY chapters
throughout the year. What can we do together as a group?
Eg. Buy a newspaper everyday for Wheelniks to debate current issues on Tikun
Olam, start a Wheels recycle program
Handout - Jewish Sources on Tikun Olam (Healing the World)
Read the texts:
TEXT 1: Genesis 18:19
Do you recognize the underlined Hebrew word?
“He will command his children and his household after him,…to do what is just
and right”
‫יְ צַ וֶּה ֶּאת־בָּ נָּיו וְ ֶּאת־בֵּ יתֹו ַאחֲ ָּריו וְ שָּ ְמרו דֶּ ֶּרְך‬
‫ומ ְש ָּפט‬
ִ ‫יְ הֹוָּה לַ עֲׂשֹות צְ דָּ ָּקה‬
TEXT 2: (Sifre Dvarim, Ekev 11, 47; Daniel 12:3)
“And those who bring the people to do the right thing shall be as the stars,
eternal.” Just as one sees the light of the stars from one end of the world to
another, so too, one sees the light of the Tzadikim (righteous ones)…just as
the starts are sometimes visible and at other times hidden, so too, with the
people may not always notice the good that you do, and not everyone wants to
be noticed for the good they do, but we learn from the righteous who do good
work, even if behind the scenes.
Danny Seigel explains: “We need to find them, learn from them, to apply their
insights into solving the world’s problems and to give us insight as to how we can
do our part in Tikun Olam as effectively as possible”
You can make a real difference. The light you shine can be seen worldwide. You
don’t need to be in the spotlight to make a small or large impact.
Apply these ideas to today’s Tikkun Olam topics.
*Global Warming*
*Pidyon Shvuyim (Israel and beyond): Let Our People Go!*
Attachment: Michael Jackson’s Heal the World
There’s a place in
Your Heart And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry In This Place You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow
There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...
Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me
If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living
Heal the world…
And The Dream We Were
Conceived In Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We Once Believed In
will shine again in grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow
We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares
We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...
Heal The World….
GROUP 1: Darfur
“He who does not learn from history, is doomed to repeat it”
Why does this resonate so much for Jews?
Genocide: Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic,
racial, religious, or national group. Genocidal acts committed with intent to
destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as
such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life,
calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing
measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly
transferring children of the group to another group
What has been/can be done:
 rallies, letters to congress, peacekeeping missions
 While it is true that the Bush administration should be lauded for its
courageous declaration of genocide a year ago, since then it has pulled back
from its leadership in trying to stop the genocide. And as the administration's
public commitment has waned, the violence has continued.
 Consistent pressure on the US government to step in and end the violence
and mass murders
What can YOU do: Examples
--Invite someone who has survived the Rwandan Genocide to speak at a USY
--Attend a rally
--Write letters to senators and congress
--Join "Million Voices for Darfur" by sending an electronic or hard copy post card
to President Bush calling for US support for a larger, stronger multinational force
to protect the civilians of Darfur
-fundraise for American join Distribution Committee’s Darfur Relief Fund
-fundraise for American Jewish World Service Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund
Let Our People Go! Pidyon Shvuyim: Redeeming Captives
Spotlight on Israeli captives – prisoners of war
“We who embrace democracy,
We who cherish freedom,
We who stand with Israel…
We have not forgotten you
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the families and friends of Gilad Shalit, Eldad
Regev, Ehud Goldwasser and all of Israel. I demand their freedom now!”
--Anti defamation league online pledge of solidarity
Ehud Goldwasser, Gilad Shalit and Eldad Regev are the most recent Israeli prisoners of
war, kidnapped by Hizbollah during the war of Lebanon in the summer of 2006.
Jewish response to the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim (redeeming captives): Which do
you agree with?
1. Talmud (Bava Batra 8b) calls pidyon shvuyim a “mitzvah rabbah” (great mitzvah)
and says that captivity is worse than starvation and death.
2. Maimonides (Rambam) says that he who ignores ransoming a captive is guilty of
transgressing commandments such as “you shall not stand idly by the blood of
your brother” (Lev. 19:16); and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev.
3. And one who delays in ransoming a captive, is considered like a murderer
4. The Talmud explains that “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh bazeh – all of Israel is
responsible for one another”. When one is in danger, we all share the pain
What do YOU think? How far should Israel go to redeem its captives, to get its boys
back? Should they negotiate with terrorists who go to such extreme measures? What if
it was one of your close family members?
The terms of pidyon shvuyim:
When is it too far?
a) “because of the [financial] burden on the community”;
B) “so that they [the captors] should not seize more captives”
i.e. paying a high ransom for captives will encourage kidnappers to kidnap more Jews
and demand still higher ransoms.
Advocacy – add your own to what is being done today
1. An online pledge of solidarity like one found on the Anti defamation
2. Pressure on Israeli government to negotiate (is it possible to negotiate when you’re
dealing with a group like Hizbollah?)
3. Education: raise awareness that these men are still missing
Global Warning over Global Warming
Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth shed the light on a major world
catastrophe. Global warming is the cause of the day, one that will have
devastating impact on the world over time.
WHAT is Golbal warming and why should you care?
Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by
trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our
planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and
clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in
the Earth's atmosphere and temperatures are rising. An unusually warm winter
day may seem exciting, but the more we have them, the more dangerous they
The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it's already
happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.
The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.
We're already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are
being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is
increasing. Signs of G.W.:
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000
feet above sea level.3
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global
warming, moving closer to the poles.5
If we don't do something...consequences!
-->Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a
-->Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in
Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7
-->Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
-->The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8
-->More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050. 9
Jewish text reminding us to care for God’s creations
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth.
ִׁ‫יםִׁא֖תִׁהַ ָּש ַמִׁ֖ים‬
ִֵׁ ִׁ֖‫אש֖יתִׁבָּ רִָּׁ֖אִׁאֱ ֹלה‬
ִׁ ‫ְּב ֵר‬
ִׁ:‫ְּא֖תִׁהָּ ָּ ָֽא ֶרץ‬
ִֵׁ ‫ו‬
Genesis 2:15 God placed man in the
Garden of Eden to till it and tend to it
‫ֹלהים ֶּאת־הָּ ָּאדָּ ם ַו ַינִחֵּ הו‬
ִ ֱ‫טו ַוי ִַקח יְהֹוָּה א‬
:‫בְ גַן־עֵּ דֶּ ן לְעָּ בְ דָּ ּה ולְשָּ ְמ ָּרּה‬
Kohelet Rabbah 7:13 1 “When God
created the first human beings, God led
them around the Garden of Eden and
said: “Look at my works! See how
beautiful they are – how excellent! For
your sake I have created them all. See
to it that you do not spoil and destroy
My world; for if you do, there will be no
one else to repair it.”
What needs to be done?
This isn't something that affects children in third world countries which can sort of make you feel
more removed from the issue - this effects us ALL. Natural disasters that happen could be a
result of global warming- what we have created by not taking care of the earth. When you
overuse, you abuse and will be left with nothing.
There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small
changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The
time to come together to solve this problem is now – TAKE ACTION
Small ways to make a BIG difference (ask your parents for their help)
At home:
--replace regular light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs (available at the same place as the
regular ones)
--save energy by turning your heat down just a bit in the winter and using less AC in the summer
(even a few degrees will make a difference)
-- take a five minute shower instead of spending all morning in there
-- try using a clothes line or dryer rack instead of the dryer
-- only run the dishwasher when full not just for 2 bowls
-- unplug your electronics when you're not using them (ie. shut down the computer at night)
-- recycle at home
-- ask your parents to insulate your home
--get an energy audit for your home- ask your parents to have someone come in and tell you
where you're wasting the most energy
-- try and buy food that has less packaging
-- buy local or organic food
--bike or run to school in the spring and summer, take mass transit if you're allowed to
-- when you're parents buy their next car, ask them to use one that’s more fuel efficient
Session 3: How we can make a difference
1. Social action in action: Small ways to make a big difference: Wheelniks will
learn of examples of the small and large ways we can stand up for what we
believe in
2. How to advocate - Wheelniks will understand how to put their emotions into
action. I feel passionately about a certain cause and want to stand up and speak.
Can I really make a difference? How?
1. Create an Experience
Option 1: SONG - Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer
If not on Shabbat, play song. If Shabbat, read it
Option 2: read story “I made a difference to that one” (attached)
Option 3: get a bowl and fill it with water. Drop a penny into the bowl (or anything
small) and watch the ripple effect. One penny causes a ripple of movement in the
2. Analyze and discuss the experience
What is this song about? What is its message? Who is it speaking about…or to?
Song: Do we stand by waiting for things to get better? This song is about young
people who don’t know they can make a difference or don’t know how to do it.
So…they keep waiting for the world to get better.
The water bowl or the little boy and the fish: What is the “moral of the story”
here? Do you often feel the way the man does? Have you ever done anything
with the attitude of the kid? To one person, you may look as if you’re efforts as
for no reason. But, even if ONE person is affected by what you do, you’ve made
a difference. One drop can create a ripple effect in a puddle.
3. Integrate analysis and experience
John Mayer song: When we hear this catchy tune on the radio or online, it sparks
a part of the human (and Jewish) soul. We recognize that there is another way to
see the world. Our tradition says that we cannot wait.
Water bowl and boy and fish story: You don’t think you can make a difference, do
you? You’re just one person. What is my one letter to a newspaper going to do?
What good will one person at a rally of 10,000 really going to do? I’m 14 years
old, what good am I? I just go to school and do my thing.
What does Judaism say about these common feelings and emotions young
people often experience when it comes to making a difference?
4. Teach the Concept
Put the two quotes up on two sides. Ask the Wheelniks to choose which one
would motivate them to take action. Can they share examples from real life as to
when they demonstrated the idea? Advocacy is not just about knowing…but
about doing. And you can make a difference; iis your duty to.
5. Practice defined givens and add your own element
Wheelniks on Strike!
As a group, decide on an issue that you’ve been kvetching about on the trip. You
don’t like it? What are you going to DO about it??
What needs to be done to make a difference and stand up for our rights?
1. vote on the issue
2. decide on a plan of action – what needs to be done and how
3. delegate responsibility
4. make it happen!
This experience can be ongoing for a day or just for the duration of the program.
Making it day-long helps them recognize that change can’t happen immediately.
Activities they can do include:
-demonstrate or create protest boards to get their word heard
- “chain” themselves to the bus
- write a letter to the group leaders signed by all
-offer solutions and alternatives and advocate for WHY this change needs to
Encourage the Wheelniks to fight for their rights as a group for something you
actually are able to change as a leader. (example: protest for later curfew, more
chofesh, better snacks, etc).
6. Debrief and discuss the activity:
Did you feel like you really could get into this, that what you could do would
indeed bring change? Was it fun? Stressful? Did you think we would actually
agree to what you demanded? You have to believe that when you fight for
something, that the change you demand can and will actually happen. Apply this
experience to real life. Standing up for a cause and actually doing something can
make a difference. Small groups can cause major change, but you have to fight
for it.
7. Apply to a new experience – apply to a site visit
1. Mock demonstration, protest – prepare a mock demonstration for Capital
Hill, Wheels East Tikun Olam project – look through USY Tikun Olam
pamphlets for ideas they can actually do as a Tikkun Olam project on
Wheels. TEXTS: blue and green USY Tikkun Olam Program pamphlets
“116 Practical Mitzvah Suggestions”
“11 Ways USYers can Change the World in Big Ways”
Jewish text:
Repeat the quote from Dvarim 16:20:
“Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof
Justice, justice you shall pursue!
Don’t stand there waiting for the world to change, do something!
--------------------------------------------Pirkei Avot:
“Lo Alecha hamlacha ligmor, v’lo
ata ben horin l’hibatel mimenah It is not on you to complete the
work, but neither are you free to
desist from it.”
One step at a time, we can make a difference. But…it is our duty to take that
Attachment: Song
Waiting on the World to Change
by John Mayer
Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything is going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Its hard to be persistent
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Attachment: OPTION 2: Story: I Made a Difference to That One
There is a story of man who came upon a young boy on a beach strewn with millions of
starfish washed ashore. As the man approached, he saw the boy bending down and
picking up a starfish and throwing it back into the ocean. The man looked at the boy,
shook his head and said, “You cannot possibly think that you will make a difference.
There are millions of starfish dying on this beach.” The boy bent down, picked up a
starfish and threw it into the ocean. Then he looked at the man said, “I made a difference
to that one.” He did the same with another and said, “I made a difference to that one.”