צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף–לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה וְיָרַשְׁתָּ
אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ
Justice, justice shall you pursue, in order that you may live and inherit the land which Adonai your God has given you.
— Deuteronomy 16:20
“The destiny of the Jewish people is in our hands. The premise is pretty simple. The big ‘what,’ our destiny, our purpose, collectively, is Tikun Olam. We are here because we have to repair the world. We are the guardians, we are the guides, that is our place. When you think about the question that I ask, that we ask, that rabbis ask, that Mark Twain asks: why, why are we immortal, why do we do what we do? It begins with this: the destiny of our people is unselfish. We want to repair the world. And how do we do it? Tzedek, tzedek tirdof, justice, justice, shall we pursue, for ourselves and for others.”
— Les Wexner, Opening Plenary, Wexner Foundation 30th Anniversary Celebration, 2015
Inspired by the exhortations in the Torah and the books of the Prophets, social justice — as an abstract ideal and a concrete set of actions — has long been a cornerstone of the Jewish people’s value system and contribution to humanity. The precise meanings and applications of social justice have evolved throughout history and are still expressed in a variety of ways, including today where the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel invokes tzedek as a guiding ethic of the State, while the phrase “tikun olam” has become a rallying cry for large sections of North American Jewry.
In the various forms and terms applied to it, pursuing a more just world remains at the heart of many individual and organizational efforts in the Jewish community and Israel. In the 21st century, when some traditional modes of Jewish identity appear to be on the wane, social justice remains a compelling force and reason to identify with Jewish tradition and Jewish community for many of our people. How can we amplify the impact and strengthen the connecting power of the various social justice efforts undertaken by both Israeli communities and Jewish communities in North America?
Building on the strength of our inaugural Summit on the Israel-North American Jewish community relationship, we are eager to invite stakeholders in the Jewish social justice space to work together to identify common goals and values and participate in our next Summit. Commitments and work that emerge from this Summit will aim to strengthen our individual and collective efforts at pursuing justice, both for its own sake and for the sake of leading the Jewish people to embrace its responsibility and its destiny more fully.
- Participants must commit to attending both meetings:
- September 18 – 20, 2016 in Columbus, OH
- October 22 – 24, 2017 in North America, exact location TBD
- Alumni of all Wexner Leadership Initiatives who have a special volunteer, professional or personal interest in this topic should apply (unfortunately, we are unable to include spouses/partners).
- Participants will be selected from among alumni of our five major programs (Wexner Heritage, Wexner Senior Leadership, Wexner Israel Fellowship, Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars and the Wexner Field Fellowship).
- All programmatic, hotel, food and travel expenses will be covered by The Wexner Foundation.
- Participants will be asked to contribute a $180 nonrefundable commitment fee.
- Participants must attend both Summits and be prepared to engage in ongoing work between and after Summits.
Not available for these dates? Not your area of passion? No worries! There will be additional Summits in the future on other major topics facing the Jewish world. Stay tuned…
The application for The Wexner Social Justice Summit will go live by the end of May. We regret in advance that we cannot accept all of our phenomenal alumni; each Summit has a limited number of spots in order to maximize action and opportunity for engagement.
Questions? Contact email@example.com