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:
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, Co-sponsoring a Refugee Family, 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 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.
Refugee Family Co-Sponsorship
“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus (23:9)
The refugee family Solel is sponsoring has arrived.
Thanks to the generosity of many Solel members, we raised the funds and obtained the furniture and household goods to furnish an apartment in Rogers Park for the refugee family Solel is co-sponsoring with Refugee One. The family—father, mother, and two sons (ages 5 years and 22 months)– arrived at O’Hare on May 17 to warm greetings from a welcoming party of 15. They are Rohingya, who fled Burma (Myanmar) and have been living in Malaysia. Solel volunteers will be working with the family for the next six months to help them acclimate to life in Chicago. Mentors have begun weekly visits and tutors will start working with the boys at the beginning of June.
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.
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 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.