What We Believe

As Solelites, we are bold Pathfinders in the pursuit of social justice. A fierce dedication to social justice permeates our past and defines our future. Repairing the world is important work, and it’s not the work of a few. It is our vision to engage every congregant in tikkun olam—repairing the world. We will achieve this by creating innovative and rewarding opportunities that drive the active participation of all generations in the pursuit of meaningful change.

Our major initiatives in the area of social justice include:

Tikkun Olam

Just Congregations

PADS

Blood Drive

Mitzvah Day

Tikkun Olam

Our identity has always been closely tied to social justice. Solel has many groups devoted to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Tzedakah(justice)including Just Congregations, PADs, Congregational Blood Drive and Mitzvah Day Task Force. Social justice is woven into our every day, as generations come together to work on important issues in our community, the nation, and the world.

Just Congregations

Just Congregations is a social justice initiative at Solel focused on making the congregation an agent for bringing about significant social change.

With its focus on achieving systemic social change, Just Congregations is one of the important ways that Solel pursues social justice. The one-to-one conversations that provide the underpinning of the organizing model help build community within the congregation. Our involvement with the national Just Congregations initiative and our affiliation with Lake County United helps to strengthen Solel’s relationships with the Jewish and larger community and increases Solel’s visibility. We are hopeful that our work will continue Solel’s history of meaningful social action and leadership in the community on matters of social justice.

To learn more about Just Congregations, click here or contact the office.

PADS

PADS Crisis Services, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter, permanent housing, and support services to families with children and individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Lake County. One Sunday a month, a Solel family prepares and serves a meal to families at PADS. Solel has been committed to PADS for nearly a decade.

For more information or to inquire about volunteering at PADS, contact the office.

Blood Drive

Solel holds two annual congregational blood drives—an undertaking that involved dozens of volunteers who collaborate with the Red Cross to transform Solel into a blood donation center. If you would like to volunteer, contact the office. Solel has broken Lake County’s record for number of donations many times.

Mitzvah Day

Mitzvah Day is an annual Solel tradition that we’ve recently re-instituted. On this day, we join together to recapture the energy of our past as we work to build a better future.

Our updated approach to Mitzvah Day is holisitic in that it’s devoted equally to study and hands-on activities. We offer lectures, study sessions and learning programs, all with the theme of social justice. Activities include an educational component to provide context and encourage continued involvement in the cause.

This day requires a great deal of planning, and we welcome your participation in this important and exciting initiative. If you’d like to get involved in planning our next Mitzvah Day, contact the office.

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Recent Articles – Social Justice

  • Youth Group Bake Sale for Hurricane Relief
    Thank you to everyone who helped with the bake sale, as well as those who donated gift cards. On Sunday, September 17th, Congregation Solel’s teen youth group ran a bake sale during Lev Solel (Sunday school) to help raise money for Hurricane Harvey & Hurricane Irma relief efforts. In total, over $500 was collected and donated. [read more]
  • Waukegan to College Looking for Volunteers
    Would you like to help a Waukegan student on their path to college? Waukegan to College is seeking volunteers to help students craft their college admission and scholarship essays.  Volunteers will work with students 11:30-3:00 each day. [read more]
  • More About Just Congregations
    Just Congregations follows a model of congregation-based community organizing. The key tool in this model is the personal face-to-face meeting in which members of the Just Congregations core team have individual conversations with congregants to learn who they are, what they care about and why and to identify whether there are issues on which they want to spend their time and energy. [read more]
  • National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees
    On Sunday afternoon, February 12, about 275 people attended a program to support those seeking refuge in the U.S. and in opposition to current government efforts to ban or hinder refugees. The event was one of seventeen coordinated events held throughout the U.S. as part of a National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees organized by HIAS. The attendees were from Solel and at least 26 other congregations and two churches. [read more]
  • Dr. Martin Luther King and Solel
    Dr. King was invited to the dedication of Solel, but could not attend. This is the letter Dr. King sent to Rabbi Arnold Wolf on July 15, 1963: [read more]