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Welcome readers! Our book club pick was chosen because of its rich content and suitability for group dialogue. The book description and author biography are available to assist you in deciding whether our pick is suitable for your group. If it’s a fit, discussion questions and Q&A with the author will help get you started. If you would like to be in touch with the author to schedule an event or to participate via phone with your reading group, let us know. We welcome your comments and feedback!
You and your book club members can purchase books individually on our website, or take advantage of our generous multiple-copy purchase discounts. Order and discount information is located at the bottom of this page.


Edited by Rabbi Or N. Rose,
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser and
Margie Klein

Foreword by
Rabbi David Ellenson


Do you want to know how to fulfill the Jewish imperative to mend the world (tikkun olam) in today's global community? With commentary on specific contemporary issues such as poverty, education reform, genocide, stem cell research, and the environment, each piece in this thought-provoking anthology will encourage your group to think about its role—and responsibilities—in healing and changing our world. This groundbreaking book is the first time such a wide variety of views are represented from a Jewish perspective. The perfect choice to jump-start conversation, it is sure to enhance your discussions of Judaism, social justice, and environmental responsibility.


Can the teachings of Judaism provide a sacred framework for repairing the world?
In this groundbreaking volume, leading rabbis, intellectuals, and activists explore the relationship between Judaism and social justice, drawing on ancient and modern sources of wisdom. The contributors argue that American Jewry must move beyond “mitzvah days” and other occasional service programs, and dedicate itself to systemic change in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world. These provocative essays concentrate on specific justice issues such as eradicating war, global warming, health care, gay rights and domestic violence, offering practical ways to transform theory into practice, and ideas into advocacy.
Rich and passionate, these expressions will inspire you to consider your obligations as a Jew, as an American and as a global citizen, while challenging you to take thoughtful and effective action in the world.
Martha Ackelsberg, PhD • Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, PhD • Diane Balser, PhD • Jeremy Benstein, PhD • Rabbi Phyllis Berman • Ellen Bernstein • Marla Brettschneider, PhD • Rabbi Sharon Brous • Aryeh Cohen, PhD • Stephen P. Cohen, PhD • Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, PhD • Aaron Dorfman • Jacob Feinspan • Rabbi Marla Feldman • Sandra M. Fox, LCSW • Julia Greenberg • Mark Hanis • Rabbi Jill Jacobs • Rabbi Jane Kanarek, PhD • Rabbi Elliot Rose Kukla • Joshua Seth Ladon • Arieh Lebowitz • Rabbi Michael Lerner, PhD • Shaul Magid, PhD • Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD • Ruth Messinger • Jay Michaelson • Rabbi Micha Odenheimer • Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner • Judith Plaskow, PhD • Judith Rosenbaum, PhD • April Rosenblum • Adam Rubin, PhD • Danya Ruttenberg • Rabbi David Saperstein • Joel Schalit • Rabbi Sidney Schwarz, PhD • Martin I. Seltman, MD • Dara Silverman • Daniel Sokatch • Shana Starobin • Naomi Tucker • Abigail Uhrman • Rabbi Arthur Waskow, PhD • Rabbi Melissa Weintraub


“An essential and engaging source to read, study, refer to and strengthen our resolve. Let all who care about justice or Judaism enter here.”
Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, PhD, author,
The Colors of Jews:
Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism

“Unites the memory of yesterday with the promise of tomorrow. Addresses all of us, here and now.”
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis,
Valley Beth Shalom
“A passion for justice infuses the articles, and the inspiration of Abraham Joshua Heschel shines through clearly…. Gives us hope for a reinvigorated Judaism in the twenty-first century, and a world that will come closer to redemption.”
Professor Susannah Heschel, author, Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus
“Marvelous … inspires us to do more to bring about the changes that our world so desperately needs.”
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, New York City
“Varied and interesting … represents the cutting edge of the Jewish prophetic tradition in our contemporary world. Read it and be inspired!”
Rabbi Arthur Green
Reader Comments:
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“Inspiring. This book made me realize that I do have a voice and that I can make a difference!”





Rabbi Or N. Rose, educator, writer and activist, is associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston. He is also coeditor of God in All Moments: Mystical & Practical Spiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters (Jewish Lights), and the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: Man of Spirit, Man of Action, a biography for children (Jewish Publication Society).
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, PhD, has fostered Jewish thinking about social justice for over a decade as an editor at Tikkun and at Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture. 
Margie Klein is a passionate activist and budding religious leader. Founder and director of Moishe House Boston: Kavod Jewish Social Justice House, she is a student at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. She is the founder of Project Democracy, a program that mobilized 97,000 students to vote in the 2004 election.
Foreword by Rabbi David Ellenson is president of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. A prolific author, he is a recipient of the National Jewish Book Award.


How would you describe your book, and what can I do to get more information?
Righteous Indignation is a book for people who want to do more to make the world a better place. Many of us have helped out at soup kitchens and on mitzvah days, but we know those are temporary fixes. The essays in Righteous Indignation are by activists who have thought deeply about what is wrong with our society and how to fix it. They offer an analysis of our society's problems and ways to begin to solve them.

If you want to get involved in the causes discussed in the book, please visit our website,, where you can find more essays by leading activists and intellectuals, educational resources, information about our book tour and national conference, and join various Jewish and interfaith justice campaigns around the country.

What is one social justice issue that you are each working on at present?
Or: During the last three years I have been very involved in the grassroots movement to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. My essay in the book, Divine Limitation and Human Responsibility is an outgrowth of this work.

Jo Ellen: I see my role as being a communicator about social justice issues to the wider community. I am currently putting together a special issue of Zeek ( on social justice.

I am especially passionate about labor organizing. Not only does labor organizing reduce poverty, but it also empowers workers to be part of the solution to the problems that impact their lives. To learn more about worker’s rights in the Jewish tradition, see Arieh Lebowitz’s essay Why a Labor Movement Matters in our book.


Download a printable version
  • What is one social or environmental justice issue that is important to you? Why?
  • How has your experience as a Jew influenced your vision of and work for justice?
  • What is one idea in the book that moved you or challenged your thinking?
  • After reading Jane Kanarek’s essay, how do you understand the relationship between the concepts of chesed and tikkun olam?
  • Several essayists, including Elliot Rose Kukla, Abigail Uhrman, and Naomi Tucker, challenge us to look at whether our own communities are living up to our social justice ideals. How might your community become more inclusive and more just?
  • Reflecting on the essays by Margie Klein and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, how might communal organizing become a spiritual practice for you and for your community?
  • To what extent should Jews dedicate themselves to Jewish causes—Israel, anti-Semitism, caring for the Jewish poor—and to what extent should they dedicate themselves to the broader community? How might the essays by Aaron Dorfman and Ruth Messinger and by Marla Brettschneider influence your perspective?
  • What should be the balance between direct service—volunteering in a soup kitchen or on an environmental clean-up—and long-term social justice efforts such as working to change political policies? How is your community doing in this regard? What areas do you think should be improved on?


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Righteous Indignation

Righteous Indignation (HC) Righteous Indignation (HC)
Code: 978-1-58023-336-1
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