Social Action - What Makes A Good Jew?
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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This is the place!
- Chart (attached) amount depending on amount people in snif
- Large poster with the 5 answer-viepoints on the top
Goal: To encourage members of Chevraya Bet to think about how they can get involved in tikkun olam b’malchut Sh-dai.
This Peulah can be given in a number of formats. Choose the one that you think your group will enjoy the most.
Keep in mind that some may work better on weekdays and that the ones suited for Shabbat may require pre-Shabbat preparation.
1. Have the chevra fill in the chart on the following page individually.
2. Next, have them get together in small groups and fill out a group chart.
3. When they are done, bring them all together and raise the following questions:
· Could you divide the items on the chart into 2 categories? What would those categories be?
· Which category is more important in the opinion of the average orthodox Jew?
· Which category is more important in your opinion?
· Do you think a particular category is more neglected by our community? Why do you think that might be? What can we do about it?
4. Basically, though the peulah can be used simply as a general values clarification exercise, we have tried to use it here to differentiate between mitzvot bein adam laMakom and bein adam l’chaveiro, specifically those which fall into the theme of Social Action.
By allowing the chevra to realize that the mitzvot which demand that we become socially active are neglected in many of our communities (that’s not to say that there’s no room for improvement on the others as well…) we hope to Motivate and to Inspire them to take an active role in promoting this type of initiative in their communities.
Our responsibility doesn’t end here though, if we really want to see these programs be successful, we ourselves must keep helping out!
What Makes You a Good Jew?
1. Supporting the State of
2. Davening 3 times a day
3. Giving charity
4. Respecting parents
5. Learning Torah
6. Moving to
7. Being kind to friends
8. Feeding the hungry in your city
9. Celebrating Shabbat
10. Working at a homeless shelter
11. Keeping Kosher
12. Going to Synagogue
13. Organizing a clothing drive for the poor
14. Visiting the sick in the hospital
15. Collecting food for maot chitim (to enable the poor to celebrate Pesach)
16. Protecting the environment
This format may work better for Shabbat settings.
· Instead of having the chanichim fill in a chart, prepare 1 large poster board with each of the following descriptions and arrange them in order-with a large space in between them-on a long wall:
Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
· Read each of the statements written in the chart above. (Eg. A good Jew supports the State of
· Tell the chanichim to stand by the sign which describes how they feel about the statement.
· Once they are divided into sections, ask one from one or two of the sections to defend their choice.
· Next, read two statements together, one bein adam laMakom and one bein adam l’chaveiro, and rank one above the other. (Eg. A Jew who davens three times a day is better than a Jew who visits the sick.) They idea here is to create a conflict and force the chevra to choose.
· After you have read the two statements, ask them to position themselves by the sign which best describes how they feel about the statement and get them to defend their positions.
· After a couple of rounds, sit everyone down and run the same sicha as in format 1. (Simply adjust the first question to say “What two types of mitzvot were ranked against one another in this peulah?”)
This one is a bit shorter…
· Set up two points. (Eg. A chair at one end of the room and the wall at the other end.)
· Tell the chevra that the chair represents social action (feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, helping in shelters, soup kitchens, programs for the homeless, programs for the Jewish poor…)
· Show them the other point (the wall), and tell them to place themselves in between the two points according to how important they feel social action is. (ie. Sitting on chair is most important, further away is less important and by the wall is least important.)
· Next, ask them to rearrange themselves according to how much they feel they contribute to the causes of social action. (Chair representing the largest contribution and the wall representing the smallest.)
· Bring them back into the circle and ask each one to explain why they stood where they stood for each exercise, and-more importantly-why they might have stood in different places for each one. (i.e. we might all stand close to the chair to say that social action is important, but how many of us could stand close to the chair to say that we really contribute 100 percent of what we could to the causes of social action.)