cover image Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice

Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Jewish Lights, $24.99 (300pp) ISBN 978-1-58023-336-1

Seeking to provide “a set of intellectual and spiritual resources to encourage a sophisticated conversation about Judaism, social justice and environmental responsibility,” this book more than meets its mark. The contributors, who are activists, intellectuals and spiritual leaders, broadly interpret their mission, touching on topics such as social justice, toxic waste, renewable energy, stem cell research, domestic violence and Middle East peace. Unsurprisingly, many touch on the Jewish imperative, tikkun olam —mending the world—and how we might better accomplish our part. However, those authors’ focus on mending the world doesn’t stop with recommendations for service but centers just as much, if not more, on far-reaching reform—changing social systems for the better. While written for progressive Jews and their communities, anyone struggling with the age-old conundrum of “...but what can I do?” should sample this wonderful buffet of ideas, replete not just with tradition but with innovative interpretations suited to a 21st-century approach toward social action and reform. A must-have for libraries, Hillel chapters and campus multicultural centers, it promises to fuel more than a few late-night conversations, whether around the Shabbat table, boardroom or dorm. (Feb.)