International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Kathryn Madden

Second Reader

Laurie Ross


Synagogues in their urban context are searching for ways to responsibly act on the value of tikkun olam. Tikkun olam has adapted in the American context but in its essence is Jewish value of repairing the world. Five rabbis and one organizer were interviewed to shed light on the intricate dynamic between Jewish synagogues and social justice work in their city. The five synagogues were challenged by the Jewish call to social justice, and challenges that influenced their vision for a better world. Therefore, rabbis need to strike a balance between appeasing internal issues and being a present force in issues of justice. Once they find this equilibrium, synagogues will be able to meet the multiple needs of the Jewish community and the community at large.



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