Social Justice - Tzedek

Tzedek guy helping elderly woman.

“It is only through caring for one another, including the stranger, that we can really repair the world.” -Lexie, University of Maryland








College students want to change the world. They are building homes around the world. They are saving lives through bone marrow donations. They are planting trees, volunteering in soup kitchens, and raising money for charity. But college students can’t do all of this amazing work alone. That’s where Hillel comes in.

Tzedek.

It’s truly amazing to see how teamwork and determination can produce such impressive results. Every effort one makes to help out is significant. This experience enforced values of social justice and what it means to feel responsible for others. I truly feel like I gained more than I gave.- Leah, University of Illinois, Chicago

We help students explore the intersection of universal and individual values. Hillel:

  • Connects students to service and social justice opportunities
  • Convenes like-minded organizations and student groups
  • Provides training for Hillel professionals and student interns
  • Creates engaging resources for Jewish service learning and reflection. 

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Hillel provided the largest Jewish volunteer response, organizing and providing support for over 3,000 students and Hillel professionals to contribute thousands of hours of hands-on service.

Through our international public service effort, Weinberg Tzedek Hillel, we are dedicated to transforming life on campus and in the community. Framed by the Jewish values of tzedakah (righteousness), gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness), and tikkun olam (repairing the world), Tzedek Hillel engages and empowers students to grow intellectually and spiritually, and to think creatively about social justice while bringing about meaningful social change. 

Giving the Gift of Life

Since 2001, 85 Hillels across North America have recruited an amazing 26,541 bone marrow donors into Gift of Life’s registry. So far, their work has resulted in 981 potential matches and 144 transplants. That is 144 people with a renewed chance to live.

A recent study by Public Religion Research Institute (April 2012) found that more than seven-in-ten American Jews say that tikkun olam (72%) and welcoming the stranger (72%) are important values. And nearly half (46% of the 1,004 survey participants), when asked which qualities are most important to their Jewish identity, cited a commitment to social equality.

Weinberg Tzedek Hillel is generously supported by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Repair the World, and various other sources.

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