Social Justice in Jewish Tradition (from The R.A.C.)
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Social Justice in Jewish Tradition (from The R.A.C.)

Lesson Summary:

Exploring the role of pursuing justice in Torah, history, and the lives of the students.
Produced by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a Washington, DC based legislative, educational organization that advocates on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more.  

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs


Links for further learning for community and family members:

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
One Kathryn OtoshiKathryn OtoshiRED likes to pick on BLUE. YELLOW, ORANGE, GREEN, and PURPLE don’t know what to do, but they know that RED isn’t being nice. ONE joins them when things get out of hand, and by example, shows the colors how to stand up for each other and for themselves.
Zero Kathryn Otoshi Zero sees herself as a big round number with only emptiness inside. She thinks the other numbers have fun, and they count. Ultimately, Zero listens to some wise words, “‘Every number has value,” says Seven. “Be open. You’ll find a way.”
As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom Richard MichelsonRaul ColonGRADE LEVEL: 1-4

The true story of two young boys, from seemingly very different background, who rise above their own personal suffering to become great civil rights leaders. Together they march during the American Civil Rights Movement, standing up for equality and justice. Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause. Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.
You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamedvavniks Francine ProseMark PodwalGRADE LEVEL: K-5
The townspeople of Plotchnik dismiss Schmuel, the shoemaker, and interpret his acts of kindness as stupidity. However, it was only Schmuel’s prayers that saved the town from both a drought and a flood after 40 days and nights of rain, because he is one of 36 righteous individuals. A story that teaches the values of goodness, humility, and justice.
Portraits of Jewish- American Heroes Malka DruckerElizabeth RosenGRADE LEVEL: 4+
Stories of more than 20 Jewish-American heroes who have made a difference in our world are included. While this book is for older elementary aged students, it can be a is a wonderful classroom resource for younger ones. “Portraits” include those of Bella Abzug, Emma Lazarus, Levi Strauss, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Albert Einstein, and Golda Meir.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors

This lesson plan was created by and is hosted by The Religious Action Center s Program Bank.