Using the Website

Welcome to Just! This website provides supplemental lesson plans based on the texts and ideas in this guide. It also provides sample syllabi for courses as well as suggested lessons and texts for other service activities. It will enable educators in the field to submit additional lesson plans, appropriate texts, and discussion questions so that this guide can expand and grow as the field of Jewish service-learning continues to grow.

The website is broken up into two separate, yet interrelated sections. The first, Torah Study, delves into some of the Jewish ethical, theological, and philosophical foundations for engagement in society. Divided up into five chapters, structured around value conflicts in social justice, this first section will allow you to explore the Jewish call to take action in our everyday society.

To begin your exploration of these, select a chapter from the Torah Study tab at the top of the page. Start with the first one, or choose a chapter that seems the most interesting to you. Each chapter is independent, so it does not matter where you begin.

On the page for each chapter you will find an introduction, giving you an overview of what you will be studying in depth. If you scroll down, you will find links to several different text studies. Follow links that appeal to you, and you will find a text from either the Torah or the Talmud. These texts, and their associated study questions are designed to help you fully understand one aspect of a Jewish value conflict in the work of social justice. Upon completing a chapter, simply return to the top of the page, scroll over Torah Study and select a new chapter.

The second section of Just called, Ma’aseh/Action is a practical guide for implementing social justice initiatives. This site will guide you through the P.A.R.E. model: Preparation, Action, Reflection, and Evaluation. To begin exploring the P.A.R.E. model go to the top of your page, select Action Guide then choose which part of the P.A.R.E. model you wish to explore.

Reading the Introduction to Jewish Service-Learning will give you an overview of this section’s guide on planning and executing a successful campaign or initiative to benefit your community. Following links to different aspects of the P.A.R.E model will show you ways to implement values, which you learned in the Torah Study section, through a series of social justice projects. You will also find the profiles of people who have already begun to implement these Jewish values through initiatives in their communities.

The Action section in the P.A.R.E model is by far the biggest, including five different paths toward social change. Explore each of these different paths to find the one that you could best model towards implementing change in your community. Follow the diagram below to select the path of Action which most appeals to you.

The beauty of Just is that both of its sections may be used together or independent of each other, it is all up to you, the reader. While these two sections can be studied independently, an exploration of the Jewish ethical foundations of social responsibility and the experience of becoming an agent of change in society should inform each other. The theoretical and the practical, study and action, must go hand in hand. We hope that this website allows you to achieve this goal, and we wish you the best of luck on your exploration.

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Hillel

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