Jewish tradition takes a clear stand on our obligations to “repair the world under the power of God’s rule” (Aleynu, prayerbook) and “Justice, Justice you are to pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In today’s modern, democratic societies Jews are afforded unparalleled opportunities to get involved and make a difference. We can become active participants in social agencies, volunteer programs, and political parties.
As Jews move into more active involvement in American society, we are challenged to consider the role our religion plays in our political choices. Some segments of the Jewish community argue that Jewish perspectives and texts should inform, but not dictate, our political and volunteer agendas. Others argue strongly that Jewish tradition must serve as our moral and intellectual compass – pointing us steadfastly toward specific political issues and positions. Regardless of our stance toward the role of religion in politics, all agree that we must become better acquainted with the Jewish perspectives and texts on leadership, good government and political involvement.
This response curriculum is designed to help educators identify and explore with their students three main concepts within the context of the upcoming general election:
1. Jewish views on leadership (beginning on page 3)
2. Jewish views on good government (beginning on page 11)
3. Jewish activity in the political system (beginning on page 17)
This curriculum is recommended for middle and high school students. Some activities may need to be adapted to better fit your students’ needs. In this resource packet you will find:
1. Background Information
2. Text Study & Classroom Activities
Middle School / High School