THE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS:
JEWISH PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT FOR REDISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
RABBI REGINA SANDLER-PHILLIPS
One of the reasons that justice seems so elusive in practice is because we tend to define it so narrowly--as something external over which other people have control. During the past two decades, strategies of personal empowerment for redistributive justice have been coalescing into a growing movement. This movement operates from the core premise that we vote with our financial choices, on a daily basis, for the state of the world we live in--as well as for the quality of our own lives. Just as heshbon, the Hebrew word for accounting, connects the spiritual with the practical, we need personal financial literacy as well as soul-searching in order to be truly effective change agents. As we continue to move through the worst economic crisis in recent history, we'll discover time-tested Jewish tools and strategies for bringing our money into harmony with our highest values--no matter what we earn. Join us as we build supportive community at the financial frontiers of social and environmental justice!
THE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, Part 1: Who's Robbing God?
What happens when Occupy Wall Street and Move Your Money meet the prophets Isaiah and Malachi? Which forgotten percentages return to the conversation? How does Ben Zoma's four-fold teaching in Pirkei Avot add qualitative guidance to quantitative social justice deliberations? This first workshop will introduce classic texts and principles of heshbon / Jewish spiritual accounting, and serve as a foundation for subsequent discussions.
This workshop will be offered on Tuesday morning.
THE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, Part 2: The Power of Percentages
How do contemporary redistributive justice initiatives like Your Money or Your Life, Bolder Giving, The Power of Half and The Giving Pledge hearken back to the choices of 3rd century Talmudic sage Mar Ukba? As we compare today’s initiatives with the time-tested Jewish methodologies of heshbon, this second workshop will support participants in identifying our actual positions in the global economic--and environmental--hierarchy, the emotional and cultural barriers that keep us from clarity about our finances, and tools and strategies for taking our own next steps.
This workshop will be offered on Wednesday morning.
THE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, Part 3: Provisions for the Journey
In this wrap-up workshop, participants will consider the multiple points of entry and respective merits of individual, family-based and community-based redistributive justice processes, in light of the diverse priorities of our lives. As we pack our "toolkit" of resources and networks for ongoing support and commitment, we'll discover how accepting the challenges of heshbon can transform tzedakah into a daily way of life--as "giving toward-justice" in ALL political and economic climates.
This workshop will be offered on Thursday morning.
Regina Sandler-Phillips is a rabbi, chaplain, "singer provocateur" and founder of WAYS OF PEACE, which promotes community justice and kindness through mindful responses to human needs throughout the life cycle. Regina attended her first NHC Summer Institute 20 years ago, and has taught (and sung) at 9 subsequent Institutes--on issues including gender, war, and social class in Biblical perspective; Jewish ethics of forgiveness and speech; and the interactions of technology with Jewish freedom of choice. Regina lived and worked for social change in Israel during the turbulent years of 1989-1994, was honored for her leadership in the post-9/11 NYC disaster relief, and participated in the 2005 interfaith Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau.