Social Justice Bet Midrash

Where are the spaces where we can build a deeper sense of Judaism’s voice as a wisdom tradition in the face of such brokenness, discussing and debating, learning, growing, and gaining confidence in our convictions?

Mishkan Chicago, in partnership with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and Avodah, team up to bring Chicago an all-levels, open-to-everybody Social Justice Beit Midrash. In this space we will examine Jewish sources on pressing social issues, facilitating deep thinking, constructive debate, and greater facility with Jewish text. Taught by Aryeh Bernstein and other great instructors from across the city and country, this space will bring Jewish learning to activists and access to Judaism’s justice texts to people who love Jewish learning— a space for modeling constructive conflict and healthy dialogue across differences in seeking paths toward a just world.

The Torah Case for Reparations
Since the official end of American slavery, there have been calls for reparations to descendants of enslaved people. That case has amplified in recent years, in response to writing by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, and others, drawing a clear line from slavery through Jim Crow and mass incarceration to the contemporary, massive wealth gap between white and Black Americans. Does Torah have anything to say about this? Actually, Torah says a lot about this, even centering reparations as a major part of the Biblical exodus story. This Social Justice Beit Midrash series will dive deep into Biblical and Rabbinic texts, both narrative and legal, on the Torah Case for Reparations, fleshing out what Jewish activism on this issue may look like.
Sessions will be taught by Aryeh Bernstein and are open to all levels of experience with text study; all texts will be provided both in the original Hebrew or Aramaic and in accessible, English translation. You are encouraged to attend the full series, as each class will build on the previous, but having missed one will not preclude being able to participate. Registration is required.
For a little background reading, check out Aryeh’s recent piece, The Jewish Case for Reparations here.

Upcoming Session Details Coming Soon