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:

Just Congregations

Refugee Family Co-Sponsorship

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, 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

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.

Click here to learn more about Just Congregations at Solel.

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 Makom Solel Lakeside is sponsoring will arrive in June 2019.

Congregation Solel & Lakeside Congregation are co-sponsoring a family through RefugeeOne, and as part of this effort we will aid in resettling a family for their first six months in the Chicago area. Members are providing financial, and household donations in addition to the donation of their time over this period to ease the refugee family’s transition to their new home.  Click here for more information on Solel & Lakeside’s refugee family co-sponsorship and to make a donation.

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 Solel 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

  • Greening the Congregation
    Judaism teaches that we are to “tend and till” this fragile planet, a gift from God, not ours to own.  We are taught not to waste the earth’s resources.  If we do not abide by the guidelines that will protect the earth, “there will be none to come after.”  With these thoughts in mind, and in the context of climate change, Makom Solel Lakeside has organized a new group to integrate better environmental practices into congregational and individual lives. [read more]
  • Greening the Congregation
  • Lev Tikkun Olam Club – Baking!
  • Family Social Action – C2C
  • Social Justice Shabbat with Amy Lawless Ayala
    Congregation Solel has been an important part of Lake County United (LCU) since 2007. On Friday night, November 16, you can learn more about this effective and vital organization and how it helps us contribute to the larger community. [read more]