Tikkun olam,” the powerful Jewish concept of repairing the world, has long been heralded as the rallying cry of Conservative and Reform Jewry. But a growing number of Orthodox 20- and 30-year-olds are trying to revive social justice responsibilities among their Orthodox peers — not as a liberal, humanistic-driven concept, but as one steeped in Jewish tradition and halacha.
Shoshana Gibbor, a junior last year at Hofstra University on Long Island, walked past the Hillel flyers posted in her dormitory for several weeks in late 2006.
“Help Rebuild the Gulf Coast,” the flyers stated. They were promoting an alternative Spring Break volunteer program in New Orleans and nearby communities along the Gulf of Mexico that had been decimated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
My son, Aryeh, is 14 and like most kids his age, he finds Facebook vital to his existence. The social networking part is great — he is in near-constant touch with friends and relatives from both near and far, who constantly update each other on seemingly every aspect of their lives.
But Facebook also provides something else for this high school student whose consciousness is blossoming — an opportunity to learn about and be involved with dozens of social justice and political causes.